BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Bridgewater Township Council unanimously approved an ordinance for a land swap as part of the litigation settlement with the Al Falah Center for a mosque in town.
The ordinance gives the Al Falah Center the property on Route 202/206 that was formerly owned by the township, and which was approved by the planning board for a mosque. It gives the township the former Redwood Inn property on Mountain Top Road.
This is part of the litigation settlement agreed upon by the township and Al Falah, in response to a lawsuit filed in 2011.
The settlement agreement preserves the residential zoning on the Redwood Inn site, which was part of an ordinance approved in 2011 to remove houses of worship from sites in the township that do not front on a county, state or designated township road. In addition, the settlement settles all monetary claims related to the litigation.
In 2011, Al Falah sued the township after the ordinance was approved and while the application for a mosque was being heard by the planning board. Enacting the ordinance pushed the application to the zoning board for a variance to be on the Redwood Inn property.
The settlement allows Al Falah to build a mosque on a site on Route 202/206, rather than the former Redwood Inn property on Mountain Top Road.
The mosque application was approved in September, for a worship center and school on the 10.85 acres of the property.