• A Pennsylvania state court ruled that an Orthodox Jewish synagogue had improperly been denied a permit to construct a parking lot with 19 spaces on its property. The synagogue was located in a home in a residential zone, and was informed by zoning officials that the property could no longer be used for such purposes unless 19 parking spaces were added to the property. The synagogue’s application for approval to construct 19 parking spaces on its property was denied because it would “adversely affect the traffic conditions” in the vicinity despite the congregation’s insistence that its tenets prohibited the use of vehicles on the Sabbath or on holy days. The court ruled that permission to construct the parking spaces had improperly been denied, since “the central, uncontradicted fact of this case is that … Orthodox Jews do not drive on their Sabbath day of worship or on Jewish religious holidays,” and accordingly that construction of the parking spaces would not “adversely affect the traffic conditions” of the neighborhood. Orthodox Minyan of Elkins Park v. Cheltenham Township Zoning Hearing Board, 552 A.2d 772 (Pa. Common. 1989).
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