Federal Officials End Probe of Toms River’s Zoning Laws

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) -

Federal officials have ended their investigation into whether zoning laws in Toms River, New Jersey, had religious bias, and will not take any action against the municipality.

The Asbury Park Press reports that the Justice Department notified Toms River late last month that its investigation — which began nearly two years ago — had been closed.

The investigation had focused on the town’s zoning laws related to religious land uses. It was sparked by a Board of Adjustment decision to require the Chabad Jewish Center to obtain a use variance in order to continue operating at a rabbi’s home.

A federal judge had ruled in the rabbi’s favor earlier this year, finding that the town and the zoning board had violated numerous federal laws by requiring the rabbi to obtain a use variance.