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Jackson, NJ lowers required minimum land plot size for houses of worship

Synagogues in the town, with a growing Orthodox population, now need just one acre, not two.

Jackson, N.J. Credit: Freeholdman12 via Wikimedia Commons.
Jackson, N.J. Credit: Freeholdman12 via Wikimedia Commons.

The town council in Jackson, N.J.—home to a growing Orthodox population—announced that it will lower the zoning threshold for houses of worship.

Those who want to build new synagogues in the area, for example, will now need just a one-acre plot, while previous regulations required two acres. One-acre plots are much easier to find.

“This vote is a giant step forward for religious rights in Jackson, N.J.,” said Rabbi Avi Schnall, director of Agudah’s New Jersey office. “This will allow the growing Orthodox population in Jackson to freely exercise their religious rights.”

Mayor Mike Reina “has been the driver behind this ordinance, and we look forward to working with him on similar issues in the years to come,” added Schnall.

Located in central New Jersey, Jackson is adjacent to the town of Lakewood, which has about an 85% Jewish population—an overwhelming majority of haredi Jews—per Agudah estimates. In recent years, young families have moved to adjacent towns, including Jackson and Toms River, seeking more available and affordable housing.

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