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What was previously heralded by local community leaders as a "historic pathway to legalize shuls in Jackson Township," is now tabled indefinitely, Council President Martin Flemming announced on Tuesday.

Under the Township's current zoning ordinances, houses of worship are permitted as a conditional use in the R1, R2, R3, R5, R9, R15, R20, PMURD, MF, MUNC, HC and NC zones provided that the lot, use and structures shall adhere to the following:

Lots shall not have their primary frontage or access on a residential access or residential neighborhood street or any lower order street, as defined by the Residential Site Improvement Standards.

The required minimum lot area shall be two acres.
The required minimum lot width shall be 200 feet.
The required minimum lot frontage shall be 200 feet.
No principal building shall be located closer than 100 feet to any public street right-of-way and no closer than 50 feet to any rear or side property line.
No accessory building or structure shall be permitted in any front yard, nor shall any accessory building or structure be located closer than 30 feet to any rear or side property line.
The maximum permitted building coverage shall be 25%.

Perimeter buffer: A landscaped buffer shall be required around the entire length of side and rear property lines, except where access drives or other accessory features must, of necessity, traverse this reserved strip. The minimum landscape buffer widths shall be as follows: From a nonresidential use or district: 25 feet. From a residential use or district: 50 feet. A required buffer shall be landscaped with trees, shrubs, and other suitable plantings for beautification and screening. Natural vegetation should be retained to the maximum degree possible. On those sites where no existing vegetation is present or existing vegetation is inadequate to provide screening, the applicant shall suitably grade and plant the required buffer area, such that this planting shall provide an adequate screen of at least six feet in height so as to continually restrict the view. A minimum on-center distance between plantings shall be such that upon maturity the buffer will create a solid screen. The buffer may be supplemented with a fence of solid material where necessary.

Other site standards: The front yard, exclusive of walkways, pavilion areas, or driveways, shall be landscaped with grass, trees, shrubs, ground cover, flowers, existing vegetation, or any suitable combination thereof. Plantings shall conform, however, to restrictions on corner lot placement, in order to protect visibility.

As previously reported here on FAA News, shortly before Pesach, the Township Council introduced Ordinance 14-23 which proposed to significantly decrease the bulk requirements for shuls and mikvahs.

However, following heavy opposition from many residents of the municipality, the Township Council on Tuesday night announced that the Ordinance is now "tabled indefinitely, until further notice."

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