In this case, on behalf of the Fort Collins Mennonite Fellowship, the ACLU asserted that the City of Fort Collins ws unjustifiably invoking zoning and land use regulations in order to thwart the Fellowship's plan to provide outdoor lockers, accessible 24/7, for people experiencing homelessness to store their belongings.

Ministering to the homeless is a part of the Fellowship's religious practice.  The lawsuit asserts that the City is applying its land use regulations in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on that religious practice.  The lawsuit relies on the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.  That statute requires that the City must justify its substantial burden by demonstrating that its restrictions advance a compelling interest and that they are the least restrictive means of furthering that compeling interest.  

The lawsuit was resolved in a settlement that allowed the Mennonite Fellowship to install the lockers in its parking lot and make them available 24/7 to people experiencing homelessness.  

ACLU news release:



Mark Silverstein, ACLU of Colorado Legal Director; Arash Jahanian, ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Brian J. Connolly, Thomas Macdonald, David A. Brewster and Andrew L.W. Peters of Otten, Johnson, Robinson, Neff & Ragonetti, P.C.

Case number