Jackson Zoning Board Shuts Down Rabbi Matzliach’s Shul

The Jackson Zoning Board on Wednesday evening affirmed a zoning officer’s determination that an part-time minyan in a home’s detached garage on Ashford Road requires a use variance.

The Board determined that using the garage does not fall under the permitted use of one’s home for prayers because it is technically a standalone structure.

The applicants argued otherwise – that the detached structure was 100% part of their home and used by the family as part of their home – a point the board made no attempt to deny.

This case will most likely ultimately end up in court, with a judge making the final decision over whether prayers in a detached garage should be considered a permitted use or whether it should require a use variance from the Zoning Board.

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  1. The Board pointed out that while the Matzliach’s asserted that just as prayer is permitted in the house it should also be permitted in a garage, Jackson Township’s ordinances consider a garage an accessory use and not a principal use as a house is considered.

    Additionally, I’m not convinced it’s accurate to say that the Board “made no attempt to deny that the detached structure was 100% part of their home and used by the family as part of their home,” because the Board responded by pointing out that the Township’s zoning ordinances consider a garage an accessory use in which only parking and storage is permitted, and therefore the use of religious services would require a Use Variance.

    Of note, tonight’s application was only for an appeal of the Zoning Officer’s determination – which the Board found to be in accordance with the Township’s zoning ordinances. The Board did not actually deny a Use Variance to permit religious services because the Matzliach’s did not apply for one.


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