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As of moments ago, it is officially easier to get approval for a dormitory in Jackson than in Lakewood.

Lakewood Township's zoning ordinances - as affirmed and interpreted by Judge Marlene Ford - permit only "not for profit institution of higher education that is a not for profit entity that is fully accredited and licensed by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education of the State of New Jersey and one that offers... graduate degrees" to construct dormitories.

The reason that the Township does not permit schools which do not offer graduate degrees to construct dormitories is because back in the day, Beth Medrash Govoha wanted to be "the yeshiva in Lakewood," therefore they got the governing body to word the ordinance in a way that precludes anyone else from constructing a dormitory.

However, Jackson Township is now an entirely different situation.

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 in numerous residential and other zoning districts, and permitting associated housing such as dormitories as an accessory to private, parochial, and public schools in certain zoning districts."

The consent order specifies that the new zoning ordinance is required to treat religious schools equally with non-religious institutions that operate in the Township.

The actual adoption of this ordinance stalled several times since that time. However, tonight, the Council adopted Ordinances 30-23 and 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."

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 full ordinance is available here.

A large crowd of members of the public attended the Council's special meeting and spoke up in opposition to the ordinances.

To much applause from the audience, Council Vice-President Nino Borrelli voted against the ordinances, highlighting that "these ordinances go above and beyond what the litigation settlement requires of us." To no applause from the audience, Council President Sephen M. Chisholm, Jr. abstained from voting.

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Yossi Goldman said...

Best line someone said in Jackson last night:

Mr. Burnstein, with all due respect, you have one agenda here and it's not for *the* people of Jackson, it's for *your* people of Jackson!

Anonymous said...

The lawsuits in Jackson caused a tremendous sinas yisroel who is taking achrayus for it
Even more the unzereh who live there don't want this they know how these things turn out
Watch the video of the meeting it was a chutzpah of how some of unzereh spoke

Anonymous said...

and you wonder why so much hate torwards Jewish community.The Jewish community is moving everyone one out and are destroying the American dream.So lets get the record straight there is no such word as Anti-Semitic so stop using it as a tool,Jewish community have used this word just to made a religion issue out of it. Religious freedom in America means we all have the right to our religious beliefs, but it does not give us the right to use our religion to discriminate against and impose those beliefs on others who do not share them.Also by law do Jewish Boys at age of 18 register for Slective Service.