BREAKING: Mo Hill opposes proposed zoning changes for Houses of Worship in Toms River

Toms River Councilman Mo Hill, the Republican candidate for Mayor of Toms River, announced today that he is opposed to zoning changes being proposed by the Township’s Legal Department.

Hill received a proposed ordinance from the Law Department on Friday, September 13, for consideration by the Council’s Land Use Sub-Committee at its meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 17, that would reduce Toms River’s zoning for Houses of Worship from 10 acres to 7 acres town-wide and to 2 acres in the northern part of town near the Lakewood border.

“My colleagues and I on the Council approved the existing zoning regulations for Houses of Worship over the last 10 years and I think we got it right,” Hill said. “I don’t know what the lawyers are thinking, but I am opposed to these changes as a Councilman and I will oppose them as Mayor if I am elected.”

“The northern part of Town is slated to see significant growth due to the State mandated housing developments imposed upon Toms River by the New Jersey Courts. Now is not the time to make zoning changes, ” said Hill.

“Zoning decisions, even for Houses of Worship, are not made with any particular religion in mind,” Hill said. “We have a devout community of many religions, I am proud of that. We welcome all to Toms River who appreciate our quality of life and follow our laws.”

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    • Well, there are no 10 acres properties available, and definitely not affordable, so you are welcome to move there, and pray at home. For that, you may as well move even further away. We won’t cry.

  1. To Yid

    I think its great that you are happy. Please remember that appiness when you have to walk an hour or more in to Lakewood to go to Shul. And if Lakewood shul is full, you are free to daven at home . It is almost not possible to make a legal shul with the current zoning .

  2. To Qwerty

    No problem. So you are saying that thousands of people should move into Tom’s River and they should all walk for an hour and freeload off the existing Shuls in Lakewood . That is very nice of you guys. You move out of town and pay no taxes to Lakewood and then use all of Lakewood roads and schools and shuls and create all new traffic in Lakewood all while paying all your taxes to Tom’s River . And then you will of course complain why there is so much traffic in Lakewood that you help create and why the shuls and schools in Lakewood are so full and have no place for you . That is selfishness at its greatest .

    • @ Chacham, the reply was to the comment Zvi was making about walking to Shul in Lakewood, so it was relevant (and yes, I did read the article).

      I suppose if one wanted to walk to a Shul located on the opposite end of Lakewood from where they live, it could/would take more up to three hours to do so. However, in my person experience, most folks live nearby to their local Shul, temple, or church, so I stand by my comment.

      Also, not a hater, I gladly associate with ALL, until given a reason not to (such as being treated poorly). It’s a diverse world I live in; can you say the same?

      Good day, sir or madam.

  3. I live in Toms River , and any 10 acre
    Property that becomes available is purchased by the township for “open space” very convenient. So not only am I not supposed to have a shul, but
    My taxes are being used to prevent us having the required acreage!!!!

    • Well, ANY religious place of worship (shul, hindu temple, mosque, church) that wants to built on a parcel less than 10 acres cannot be constructed, not just shuls, so I don’t see what the problem is, exactly.

      Sounds anti-religious and not anti-semitic, but that’s just my humble opinion.

  4. being im not familiar with toms river i cant mix in ,but looking in from the outside ,
    how can you blame a candidate for not wanting his township to look like lakewood with over building,over crowding,roads at certain times like one big parking lot …etc we who live here in lakewood suffer but why should he vote in laws that will affect the quality of life of those who live their ?
    hes 100% right and being clear from the get go where he stands on the issues its actually quite refreshing to hear a candidate speak the truth
    and this has nothing to do with any particular religion which he made sure to point out

    • There is a difference between “becoming like Lakewood” and creating zoning that effectively stops shuls from being built. No one is asking them to change residential zoning for more density, no one is asking them to legalize basements, no one is asking them to permit shuls on every lot without adequate parking or set backs.

      However the current zoning, that was passed within the last decade to stop people from moving in, effectively blocks any shul from being built. The acreage required is larger than some strip malls, and other houses of worship built previously.

      There are very few lots in Toms River that meat this requirement, and if any do meet the requirement, the land alone would cost over $7 million, just for one shul.

  5. To Ari
    Technically it has nothing to do with any particular religion. But the only religion that can not drive to their house of worship on certain days is …… And therefore they have made it impossible for this religion to have what is called a reasonable accommodation to practice their religion and they will eventually lose in court like every other township did .

  6. As a resident of Toms River I feel like 2-3 acres is a good compromise. It will ensure that shteeblach don’t pop up in every other house. 10 acres is impossible.

    • Being from Toms River, you may want to look at a land map and see what land is available before making a suggestion. There are not a lot of parcels available were Orthodox Jews live, including 3 acre parcels. some of the areas off Whitesville rd are zoned 1/2 acre or even higher density, so a developer can build 6 houses or more on a 3 acre parcel. Even if you could find one, the land would easily cost $2 million or more. That is over kill for a shul. But hey, if that is what you want and you’re a Toms River resident, good luck on raising the $4 million just to build one shul.

      • they changed zoning last 1-2 years
        – those parcels with 1/2 acreage are now 2 Acres
        and those that were 2 or more acres are now rural zoned in North Dover.

  7. a few above commented how toms river residents walk to lakewood to daven on shabbos but you are all wrong we dont walk to lakewood. BH Toms river currently has at least 20 minyanim with more to come,im extremely happy with the house shteebel i daven in

  8. That’s how it used to be. There was a main Shul in a city or town. If people want to come together and raise 4 million dollars to have a beautiful Shul on 3 acres then by all means expend the effort to putting the Shul back on the pedestal is used to once occupy.
    Until then we have the basements and garages.

    • 3 acres is 130,680 sq feet. To give you some perspective, a football field is 57,600 sq ft. Is there any rational reason why a shul would need to be 2.5 times the size of a football field?( Let alone the 435,000 sq ft which is currently required).

      The Jewish Community in Toms River is also very spread apart and consists of a number of neighborhoods, should people have to walk over 3 miles to daven in a shul Friday night?

      • Read comment #10,Seriously Stop exaggerating & making things up. There are plenty of minyanim in TR & NOBODY is walking 3.miles to shul

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