In an update to our previous post about an eruv dispute in New Jersey, the Mahwah Township Council has voted to withdraw two ordinances at the center of a religious discrimination lawsuit involving the construction of an eruv. In September, we reported about Bergen Rockland Eruv Association, Inc.’s (“BREA”) lawsuit against the Township of Mahwah challenging certain township ordinances that prevented the expansion of an eruv, allegedly in violation of the First Amendment, RLUIPA, and other federal law. One of these ordinances, which had been proposed but not yet adopted, would have prohibited the posting of PVC pipes, among other things, on utility poles, effectively prohibiting the construction of an eruv. The second ordinance, which banned non-state residents from using Township parks, was adopted earlier this year. NorthJersey.com, part of the USA Today network, reported that “[t]he parks ban emerged in June after numerous residents complained of overcrowding at local parks, particularly by Orthodox Jews.” It is not clear if BREA will now withdraw its lawsuit, given the Township’s apparent concession.
At the same meeting, the Mahwah Township Council proposed an ordinance that would allow both residents and non-residents to use Township parks. See page 68 of the Township Agenda Packet for more information on the newly proposed ordinance.