June 24, 2020 2:44 pm at 2:44 pm #1875828SchnitzelBigotParticipant
Would you describe someone who opposes in a zoning hearing a shul going up next door to him as a “rasha”?
Once we’re on the subject, what does חושן משפט הלכות שכנים say about zoning laws and what is the proper torahdig way of enforcing zoning regulations by my neighbors?June 24, 2020 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm #1876280
Zoning laws and other regulations governing allowable land uses protect both individual homeowners as well as various mosdos in their locational and investment decisions, unless they are misused for the purpose of discrimination. Would a shul that properly followed the zoning rules to build its facility in an area zoned for institutional use be happy if a huge industrial shlachthois or a “gentlemen’s club” obtained a variance to build nextdoor?? Likewise, if I purchased a home on a residential street zoned exclusively for single family properties, why would I be happy if some rav decided my neighborhood needed another shtieblach next door and held daily minyanim with parking issues, noise, etc. Local governments are limited in their ability to deny variances for such uses unless they can show serious health and safety issues.June 25, 2020 12:28 am at 12:28 am #1876291
RLUIPA takes precedence over local zoning regulations.June 25, 2020 1:03 am at 1:03 am #1876308SchnitzelBigotParticipant
That’s not factual, but that’s what the anti semites in my area say. They also think that rluipa means that if you’re religious you can build whatever you want. All Rluipa really says is that a town cannot make it excessively difficult to build a shul.June 25, 2020 6:14 am at 6:14 am #1876342Avi KParticipant
Not necessarily. Maybe he wants peace and quiet. The key is whether or not he would also oppose some other house of worship. Of course, it could also mean that he does not want another shul competing for membership with his shul.June 25, 2020 10:02 am at 10:02 am #1876372akupermaParticipant
It’s not clear that zoning laws could ban a shtiebel. After all, back when it was illegal to build a synagogue in the United States (in some states until the Jacksonian era) people could still have a private minyan in their house (note: the same rule also applied to Roman Catholics when their churches were banned). The common law rule that everyman’s home is his castle at least covers what you do in your house. And this is without dealing with the discrimination issues addressed in federal and state constitutions and statutes.June 25, 2020 10:02 am at 10:02 am #1876390
All too often, we read here about yidden in some town or suburb opposing a zoning variance for some shul, yeshiva or other mosdos and immediately he/she is tagged as a “self-hating” jew. In most cases, its a NIMBY thing and has nothing to do with anti-semitism. There are many legitimate reasons why an erhliche yid would oppose such a variance just as there are many BAD reasons why both a yid or goy would seek to block such a variance. Its fact specific and very naive to assume ANY opposition to a non-conforming use is rooted in bias and anti-semitism.June 25, 2020 11:08 am at 11:08 am #1876479anonymous JewParticipant
Most complaints come down to parking, or lack of it. 30+ years ago a rebbe wanted to open a shtibel in his house on east 7th street in Midwood. My father in law and others asked where would they park as parking is tight. They were assured that members would walk, even during week. Well, from the first week members were blocking driveways, saying they were were late for minyan. One resident, after being blocked in his driveway, solved the problem. He went into the shul with a boombox and asked the offender to move his car. When the parker refused because he was davening, the resident turned on the boombox full blast, stopping the davening. He said he would do it every time hid driveway was blocked. The car was moved and they stopped blocking drivewaysJune 25, 2020 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm #1876496
AnonJew: Surprised the neighbor was allowed into the shul with his boombox, much less allowed to play it in the shul. How times have changed. I do agree entirely that in most cases, its what I called the NIMBY/quality of life factors (aka parking, noise, trash accumulation etc) and not anti-semitism that triggers opposition, whether to a proposed shul or small evangelical church seeking to locate in an otherwise residential neighborhood.June 25, 2020 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm #1876528
As akuperma pointed out, no law can stop anyone from praying in their private home or from inviting friends into his home or from praying in his home with all his invited friends praying with him.June 25, 2020 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm #1876526Avi KParticipant
Akuperma, you are wrong. A person may not use his house for an illegal business and may not violate a zoning ordinance. One of my uncles was forced to give up a pet (if I remember correctly, a goat) he bought for my cousins because he had less than an acre of land.June 25, 2020 1:09 pm at 1:09 pm #1876535
A zoning ordinance cannot restrict religious prayers in private residences without violating the constitution.June 25, 2020 1:54 pm at 1:54 pm #1876568akupermaParticipant
AviK — davening is not a business. Under Common Law (i.e.the law as it was before the Constitution), you could always reserve land for agricultural purposes. But you couldn’t ban people from praying in their house. That is why there were minyanim (and Catholic services) at a time when the only house of worship were those of the established church. If a right exists at common law, it can only be repealed by a specific statute (not by implication). So a traditional shtiebel (davening in someone’s home, no request for a tax write-off, or a parking lot, etc.) is covered.
Raising livestock was always regulated in cities While most people needed horses and cows, other livestock were a problem and were required to live on farms.June 25, 2020 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #1876625anonymous JewParticipant
Gadol, he didn’t request permission to bring it in. It initially was off.July 6, 2020 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm #1880107n0mesorahParticipant
‘Describe’ as ‘rasha’. It would depend on the nature of the dispute. If the community is unified and he is dissenting, I would consider it. But, if it is only some of community with others dissenting (and he is fighting for them) he may be a tzaddik. (Or a troublemaker.)July 6, 2020 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm #1880113n0mesorahParticipant
Hilchos Shechaynim is predicated on being able to have some dialog with your neighbors. You could take money from someone to pay for your damages. There is no payment for making to much noise etc. Therefore, the first enforcement is being able to negotiate terms.
The main concepts of these sugyos are that the physical effects of my property cannot extend into your property, but my nonpossessory extends to your property as much as it is a right and not a monetary benefit. Subsequently it is very dependent on the norms of the neighborhood in question.
In regards to a shul or beis medrash, one can object to using the house they live in. If it is in a different house, even on the same property one cannot oppose it. NIMBY does not apply to shuls and schools. However, if someone is using this halacha to exploit the neighbors, the Rav is required to stop them.
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