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Monroe village board delays 'places of worship' vote following NY AG concerns

The comprehensive plan is intended to provide a foundation for all future zoning and land use decisions in the village, according to documents posted online.

Jonathan Gordon

Sep 14, 2023, 8:15 PM

Updated 278 days ago

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The village of Monroe Board of Trustees did not take a vote on a proposed law amendment that would regulate where places of worship can be.
Local law #5 was part of 13 law amendments before the board Thursday night as part of the village's comprehensive plan to guide future zoning and land-use decisions.
The proposal would amend the zoning law to "regulate Residential Gathering Places, Neighborhood Places of Worship, Community Places of Worship, and Schools of General Instruction in certain zoning districts while maintaining the established residential character and quality of life of existing neighborhoods, and protect the health, safety, and general welfare of Village of Monroe residents."
New York Attorney General Letitia James' office sent a notice to Village Mayor Neil Dwyer voicing "serious concerns" the amendment violates state and federal law by restricting the religious practice of Orthodox Jewish residents.
"The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) asks that you delay any action on Local Law 5 until our office has a thorough opportunity to evaluate the law," wrote Rick Sawyer, Special Counsel for Hate Crimes.
James' office is requesting the village provide a written justification describing the compelling governmental interest the amendment is intended to address and why it is the least restrictive means for advancing that interest including what specific problems the law seeks to remedy by Sept. 29.
The other 12 amendments passed unanimously.
The board's next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 26.


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