It will be interesting to watch what happens in Montgomery County, Maryland as churches seek to take advantage of their entitlement to build in the suburban countys "agricultural reserve," virtually its last affordable real estate. For the most part, Montomery County (which sits on the northwest border of Washington, D.C.) si densely developed, though roughly one-third has intentionally been left in agriculture (with the aforementioned exemption for churches).
Now, a number of growing and rather large churches are seeking to build sanctuaries and campuses there. These same churches likely couldnt afford to build elsewhere in the county and, given their size and the traffic they would generate, wouldnt necessarily be welcomed with open arms in or near residential neighborhoods. (This, by the way was one of the issues that led to the passage of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000.) In this case, however, the churches aret facing NIMBYs but rather NIMARs (Not In My Agricultural Reserve)--environmentalists and lovers of green spaces. That some of the congregations that are seeking to build are African-American adds yet another complicating dimension to the issue.
As I said, it will be interesting to see how the countys elected officials (mostly Democrats, I would imagine) deal with this hot potato.