Justice Department Threatens Lawsuit Over Toms River Zoning Regulations for Houses of Worship

The US Department of Justice is threatening to file a lawsuit against Toms River over zoning regulations that make it difficult to build houses of worship. 

In a letter sent to Toms River officals, US Attorney Craig Carpenito gave the Township until September 29th to enter negotiations over the issue, with a lawsuit coming if they fail to do so.

On Tuesday night, the Toms River Council did just that, voting 6-1 to enter negotiations with the Justice Department. Councilman Daniel Rodrick was the only dissenting vote.

Toms River’s zoning regulations have for years made it practically impossible to erect a shul for the township’s growing population of Orthodox Jews.

A Toms River resident who is involved in community matters told TLS they hope to have the issue resolved quickly.

“We most certainly hope that Toms River and the Justice Department will reach an agreement to settle this,” the resident said. “Nobody wants a drawn-out legal battle. It is better for everyone if they can simply accommodate Orthodox Jews’ needs without having a fight over it.”

See statement below from the TRJCC:



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There are 5 Comments to "Justice Department Threatens Lawsuit Over Toms River Zoning Regulations for Houses of Worship"

  • Don't Mess With Big Brother says:

    Nice to see them cornered by DOJ. One more bites the dust.

  • barry says:

    Maybe they will pull a JACKSON and act like idiots and fight…Jackson Reina should learn from Tomsriver

  • NJDESIDOC says:

    I think the time has come for all the towns that are expecting growth of the Orthodox community to set up a committees between the non-Orthodox and Orthodox. Maybe bring in legal experts, leadership from both sides and community members to see how we can address religious needs that need to be met and infrastructure needed to carry out your religious way of life.

    We non-Orthodox do not want our towns to become like Lakewood. I am of the understanding that the majority of Orthodox moving to our towns are also fed up with Lakewood style development too.

    I just don’t want Howell to go the way of Jackson, Toms River and other towns in Rockland and Orange County, NY. Best to avoid lawsuits and work together. And in the process for all the Orthodox and non-Orthodox to continue to enjoy the suburban life we all want.

  • ahuva says:

    @NJDESIDOC that’s a great idea. I’m sure there are many Orthodox who would agree.

    • NJDESIDOC says:

      Ahuva – I think the Toms River Jewish Community Council has done a very nice job being a liason between the Orthodox and non-Orthodox of Toms River. Perhaps more of those should be put together for Howell and Jackson.