A question on which I’m seeking expert advice, for practical reasons:
Assume a religious group which extends the prohibition of “graven images” to any depiction of the human form. Assume that the group has bought a landmark Art Deco building for use as a house of worship, that the building has on its outside a group of sculptures of human figures, and that the group wants to remove the sculptures.
1. Is landmark status a “land use regulation” for the purposes of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act?
2. If so, does RLUIPA exempt the religious group from the effects of the landmark designation?
3. If the group is exempt, is it free simply to take the sculptures down and then use RLUIPA as a defense when it is cited for doing so, or is there some legal process it needs to go through first?