Law & Justice

Special Meeting to Consider Mosque Lawsuit Settlement Canceled; to be Rescheduled

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Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
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BERNARDS TWP., NJ - A special Friday afternoon meeting at which the Bernards Township Committee was to consider and possibly approve a legal settlement in federal cases involving a proposal to build a mosque in Liberty Corner village was canceled, the township announced on Friday. 

The meeting is due to be rescheduled, according to a notice from the township clerk's office sent out a few hours before the meeting was scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

Bernards Township Mayor Carolyn Gaziano on Wednesday said she was "optimistic" that the Township Committee might approve a settlement agreement with the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, as well as federal officials, in lawsuits alleging the township Planning Board's rejection of plans for a mosque in Liberty Corner was based on religious discrimination.

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The pending cases against the township were filed in 2016 by the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge in federal court, with a later case filed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Plans for the mosque at 124 Church Street were filed with the 

The township's representatives have been meeting with the mosque representatives recently. "We have been working through all of the issues," Gaziano said on Wednesday night.

This past New Year's Eve, a federal judge ruled that the Bernards Township Planning Board acted improperly when it demanded a higher number of parking spaces for a proposed mosque in Liberty Corner than the number of parking spaces that would have been required for a church. 

Township officials have asserted that the Bernards Planning Board's rejection in late 2015 of a proposal to build a 4,250-square-foot mosque on Church Street was based on land use issues.

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