Town that denied permit to pay Islamic group $3.25M

Published 8:44 pm Thursday, June 1, 2017

A New Jersey town will pay an Islamic group $3.25 million to settle a lawsuit over its denial of a permit to build a mosque, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

Under the settlement, the group will be allowed to build the mosque and the town agreed to limit the zoning restrictions placed on houses of worship.

The Islamic Society of Basking Ridge sued Bernards Township, an upscale town in central New Jersey, last year, claiming it changed its zoning ordinances in order to deny the group’s plans. The Justice Department also sued the town last year, alleging it treated the group differently than other religious groups.

The $3.25 million is to settle the Islamic Society’s lawsuit against the town, split into $1.75 million for attorneys’ fees and costs and $1.5 million for damages.