Back on June 15, 2022, Jackson Township and the U.S. Justice Department signed a Consent Decree whereby Jackson Township agreed to repeal their 2017 ordinance which restricted private school development and "replace it with an ordinance that will allow religious elementary and secondary schools, religious higher learning institutions and religious residential schools... and permitting ... dormitories..."

The actual adoption of this ordinance has stalled several times since that time. However, now that Mordy Burnstein joined the Council, the Council has now unveiled Ordinance 31-23 which will bring signatures into action and pave the way for shul, schools, dormitories, and mikvahs.

For good measure - though completely unrelated to the litigation - the ordinance will also pave the way for "faculty residences." (Hey, why not sneak this in, not like anyone will notice anyways, right??)

Faculty residences are "dwelling units for the exclusive use of the faculty or administrative personnel of a School or Higher Learning Institution (and their family members).... and may be configured as multi-family buildings, townhomes, duplexes or single-family homes."

The idea in creating a carve out for "faculty residences" is to permit for less parking requirements, as R.S.I.S. requires "less [than] one space allocated to each faculty member residing in the residence provided the Faculty Residence is located on the same lot as or an adjacent lot to the Higher learning institution or secondary school."

The requirement for dormitories will also be less stringent than in Lakewood.

In Lakewood, dormitories are only permitted for a "not for profit institution of higher education... that is fully accredited and licensed by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education... and... offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees..."

In contrast, Jackson's new ordinance will permit "dormitories, student residences, and faculty residences, provided that the primary institution to which it is associated is located on an adjacent lot. Approval shall be conditioned on the identification of their affiliation with a secondary school on an adjacent lot."

The full ordinance is available here.

The ordinance is scheduled for a public hearing before the Jackson Township Council to be held on November 21, 2023 at 7:00pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building located at 95 West Veterans Highway. That will be the final vote on the ordinance.

You can go and argue that the ordinance is not in accordance with the Master Plan. However, that won't go anywhere. As previously reported here on FAA News, when the Planning Board amended their Master Plan to recommend that the Council adopt such an ordinance, they specifically did not establish area, bulk and design standards for any of the newly permitted uses. Rather, they gave the Township Council a blank check permitting them to establish the bulk standards. This lay the groundwork for the Council to now comfortably say that any ordinance they set is "fully in accordance with the Master Plan!"

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