Taylor KnightDec 27, 2017, 11:54 amDec 27, 2017, 6:15 pm

End could be near in ongoing dispute between Orthodox Jewish group and Mahwah

Town council expected to reverse ban of out-of-state residents from using community parks


MAHWAH — A settlement could be coming in the months-long fight with the Orthodox Jewish community. On Thursday, the township council is expected to vote to reverse an ordinance banning out-of-state residents from using community parks. The decision comes after the town council voted earlier this month to eliminate a ban of white PVC pipes on utility poles known as "eruvs." Those two ordinances are at the center of the dispute and prompted state and federal lawsuits claiming discrimination. The state attorney general's office and a New York Jewish group filed the suits, claiming the sign and park ordinances violate civil rights.

The controversy began over the summer, when an Orthodox Jewish group in New York expanded its eruv into Mahwah. Local leaders said it violated zoning laws. The township council amended its sign ordinance in July to include the ban of eruvs.

Earlier in June, the township council put a ban in place to keep out-of-state residents from using Mahwah parks. This was because many residents complained of overcrowding, particularly by large groups of Orthodox Jews who arrived to the parks in buses.

Gov.-Elect Phil Murphy and Sen. Cory Booker have spoken out against the Mahwah laws against the religious group. They said they are examples of anti-Semitism.

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