Monday, May 09, 2011

NY village agrees to amend zoning for yeshiva 

A suburban New York village has agreed to amend its zoning code to allow construction of a Jewish boarding school.

The agreement settles a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department six years ago against Airmont, 27 miles from Manhattan.

Federal prosecutors said the village's prohibition of student housing violated the Religious Land Use Act. The statute prohibits governments from using zoning to impose an unreasonable burden on religious rights.

A congregation of Hasidic Jews had been denied permission to build a yeshiva in 2002. The village said student housing was not allowed.

The village has until Oct. 15 to amend the code. It agreed to pay a $10,000 penalty but did not admit any wrongdoing. Village attorney Michael Zarin said Monday the new zoning language could be a national model.


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