03/02/2016: Brick Township Board of Adjustment approves settlement with New Beginnings Christian Church
Brick Township's Board of Adjustment approves settlement with New Beginnings Christian Church after federal RLUIPA lawsuit filed.
The New Beginnings Christian Church ultimately received approval from the board to operate as a house of worship in its Brick Boulevard location, a former strip mall, the result of a settlement reached between the church and the township after the church sued following a previous denial by the zoning board.
John P. Miller, the board’s attorney, said the settlement would help the township avoid paying high legal fees as well as having to grant the church all it wanted in its original application. After being denied variances to operate due to concerns over the size of the church’s lot size, occupancy, traffic and parking concerns, the church sued in both state and federal court. The federal suit, based on the Religious Land Use And Institutionalized Persons Act, was a high-stakes battle, Miller warned. If a judge found just a single count of the church’s suit to be credible, the township would have been responsible to pay its legal fees and grant its application without board oversight.
Daniel Nee, "Brick Residents Decry Traffic, Safety Woes at Church’s Zoning Hearing," Brick Shorebeat (Mar. 3, 2016).