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Chabad House Location

Your Chabad House –whether your home or not- should be in an easily accessible location; not around bend, behind the bushes, passed the fire hydrant etc.
You will want maximum visibility to attract passerbyers. A main road is a lot better than a dead end.

Permits

When buying a property, you have to look at the "DEED" to see if there are any restrictions.

Every municipality has its own unique laws; there is no specific zoning for places of worship. You will need to get what is usually called a “conditional use permit”. Even though there is a Supreme Court ruling that is favorable for us, it is not much help. If the neighbors do not want you, it is called NIMBY (not in my back yard)-it is a real battle. Even with no opposition from neighbors, your local council may not want a synagogue or any place of worship in the area you are thinking of. They may never say this outright. It can take a years, energy and lots of money just to get the permit you want. Call the Director of Code Enforcement of your Township.

It was suggested to meet with the Neighborhood Civic Groups before and after purchasing property to assuage any fears that they have. It is a strategic and tactical move that has worked.

Do not go about it without expert advice, (i.e. a land planning/zoning expert). It’s not cheap but it’s a lot less expensive then buying a piece of land that you can’t use without a protracted legal fight!
Go out of your way to develop positive relationships with your neighbors including the following:
a. Bring them Challah every Friday - tell the Goyim that it makes great French toast.
b. Don’t let your chevra park inconsiderately.
c. Events that will attract crowds larger than available parking should be done in other locations even if it costs.

Note: In September 2000, Congress passed a law, signed by Bill Clinton, called RLUIPA (r-loo-pa). RLUIPA is a federal statute that provides stronger protection for religious freedom in the land-use and prison contexts. It makes it harder (not impossible) for a zoning board to deny an application for a synagogue. RLUIPA has since been asserted in dozens of lawsuits. For full text of the law or more information see www.rluipa.com

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