BREAKING: Jackson Planning Board Adopts Report Which Amends The Master Plan To Allow Dorms, Shuls And Other Religious Uses In Select Zones

The Jackson Township Planning Board voted tonight to adopt a Master Plan Reexamination report, which changes the town’s master plan, allowing for the construction of dormitories in several areas of town as a “permitted use,” negating the need for zoning board approval.

Another approved change would allow the construction of Shuls and Mikvaos to be permitted uses in additional zoning districts, as well as lowering the acreage requirement.

Today’s vote, which passed by a  9-1 margin, reverses ones made in 2017, when, in a controversial move, Jackson Township adopted two ordinances which removed public, private, and parochial schools as a permitted use in a number of the Township’s zoning districts.

In May 2020, as reported by TLS, the Justice Department filed a complaint alleging that Jackson Township and the Jackson Township Planning Board violated the equal terms and nondiscrimination provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and the nondiscrimination provision of the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

Last year, Jackson Township agreed to resolve the United States’ claims against the Township and Planning Board by entering into a Consent Order which requires that the Township repeal the 2017 Ordinance and replace it with an ordinance permitting schools, and associated housing, such as dormitories, in certain zoning districts.

“In order to effectuate the adoption of zoning amendments that permit schools, the Township finds it necessary to amend the Master Plan so to provide clarity on where future development, as related to life, safety, and welfare, is most appropriate,” a report by the township’s contracted engineering firm, Remington & Vernick, which listed tonight’s amendments, says.

“Permitting schools and other associated uses in a wide range of zoning districts could have wide ranging impacts on certain zoning districts, specifically single-family residential zones,” the report also notes.

The changes adopted tonight are expected to mark the beginning of the end to the eight-year saga, which TLS has reported on each step of the way.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. My question is this : will we end up again with irresponsible overdevelopment and complete deterioration and collapse of the infrastructure and environment? Can the Orthodox community have foresight to create some kind of smart growth model of development?

      • Sara – Thank you for your feedback. The non-Orthodox public is very well aware that the Orthodox are expanding and looking to establishing frum communities all over NJ and beyond Lakewood borders into other counties in NJ. There is one now in Jersey City. The Lakewood, Rockland and Orange County from communities model of growth is not sustainable long term as far as infrastructure and environment. The leadership needs to also take into account how the community’s needs should be balanced with logistical issues. Do you guys want to be in traffic in multiple towns? Is mass urbanization the price or do you want quality of life too?

    • It looks like yes there is more thought. If schools can only be built in certain zones away from residential neighborhoods while you keep the residential rules tough, you should be able to satisify both sides. It will change the dynamic of those permitted zones. But if noone lives there and its just say warehouses or shopping centers then within reason it shouldn’t affect it.

      The lakewood issue is more that devlopments of houses are plopped all over the place. This isn’t that since they aren’t letting new houses. Also in Lakewood schools and shuls are plopped all over too. if we kept it to only a few zones it would be better too.

      Lastly don’t forget that having schools far away and tons of car pools and buses, increase traffic too. The fabric of the town already changed just by the nature of our lifestyle where we K”ah have lots of kids and send to 5 different schools + morahs.

    • Wow! More over development! Jackson, Lakewood, Toms River and other communities , etc. Does anyone know what the word, “no” means? No more. This is enough. Build, but don’t over build. Put a limit to how much anyone can build. The quality of life is disappearing. Cutting down more trees?! Global warming. Carbon emissions. Think about it. Enjoy God’s earth. Not destroy it!!!

    • Why does everything have to be so biased? Why does religion have to come into almost every comment made? Be respectful good neighbors and everyone will get along.

      • Because if they only understood how much our Torah learning brings Bracha to their communities they’d be begging us to move in.
        What’s a little increase in traffic, overbuilding & infrastructure collapse compared to the Abishter smiling down upon all of us?

      • Because they weaponized the word antisemetic. If one doesnt get their way just start smearing everyone an antisemite and they back off. I guess some never heard of the boy who cried wolf

  2. What a joke! To pretend for one second that this is good for the overall community in Jackson is rediculous! I can hardly wait to see how this new “Master Plan” improves more than one specific community. Unbelievable!

  3. I’m not sure what all the negativity is. You currently need a few acres to build a house of worship and a school is also very hard to build. These amendments will make it possible to daven and go to school closer to home. I live in Jackson and am very excited to finally build a legal shul closer to my home.

    • Have you witnessed what happens when houses of worship are built? At first very few cars but then there’s cars lining the shoulder of the road parked on the grass, everyone sees what takes place. Let’s be smarter this time with our growth and building.

  4. Nasty People,
    What you don’t realize is that the people that have been living in Jackson like the open spaces that Jackson is quickly losing. The new people that are moving in don’t seem to care about the people that have been living in Jackson. Making this town over crowded and more congested is not an improvement. You chose to live in a town that was more spread out. Why do need to have this changed?

  5. I know eventually we in Southwind Village will be forced out by Crown Royal.The need for school system etc will override the needs of the working class poor.

  6. You currently need a few acres to build a school or shul??? Sir i refer you to areas like the brookwoods where schools are put in houses that are being converted to schools. Then when that overfills in come the trailer classrooms. Such an eyesore. But god forbid anyone complains its antisemetic

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