The Tennessean reported last Thursday that the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals will hear an application for a special exception for a Hindu temple, of approximately 500 seats in size, on 5.8 acres to be located at 355 Haywood Lane here in Nashville. It will be interesting to see how this process works out; the zoning board certainly hears a good many cases involving religious uses but a Hindu temple is certainly a little unusual for Nashville.
In addition, there is the potential application of the Tennessee Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Tenn. Code Ann. § 4-1-407, which places the burden of proof on the local government when dealing with a religious institution, and requires that there be some “compelling governmental interest” in order to deny an application.
Although I hardly have a list of religious institutions which have been approved by the board over the past five or 10 years, I don’t recall too many being turned down. Possibly because of the impact of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The board will hear the case on August 4, 2016 at 1 PM. It may be interesting to watch if you have time; the proceedings before the board are broadcast on Metro Channel 3.