PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – An Islamic school has settled a federal lawsuit against a Michigan township that denied zoning for a new school building.
The Michigan Islamic Academy will get $1.7 million and can build a school and housing on the land in Pittsfield Township, near Ann Arbor. Township officials approved the settlement Wednesday.
The academy sued after the township, in 2011, rejected its request to build. The academy says its current Ann Arbor location is insufficient to meet its religious and secular needs.
Township officials also settled a Justice Department suit that said it violated a law that prohibits imposing land use regulations that put a substantial burden on religious exercise.
Pittsfield Supervisor Mandy Grewal says Thursday that the township denies any wrongdoing and that traffic and congestion were original concerns.