JACKSON – A developer has sued Jackson Township claiming that the town’s ban of dormitories was done specifically to keep Orthodox Jews from settling in town.
According to the suit, first published by The Lakewood Scoop, the entire purpose of the ordinance was to target the Orthodox Jewish community and to prevent it from being able “to have the necessary educational institutions to teach their youth, and to discourage that community from residing in Jackson Township.”
There are two plaintiffs. The first is Agudath Israel of America, which according to the suit, is a non-profit in New York founded with a mandate to “unite a broad array of Orthodox Jews, and to serve and advocate the interests of Orthodox Jewry.” The other plaintiff, WR Property, LLC, owns approximately 4.93 acres on White Road, known as Block 21401, Lot 1. It is zoned residential. It was purchased for $300,000 to be used as a school, but with the anti-dormitory ordinance in place, this would effectively kill that plan.
The suit alleges that the decision to ban dormitories is based on religious persecution, and that the Orthodox Jews are being treated unequally compared to other developers.
The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court. A clerk at the court’s office confirmed that the suit had been filed.
The township attorney, clerk, and mayor have said that they have not seen the suit as of the time of this publication.
Staff writer Sara Grillo contributed to this story.