03/18/2008: Roman Storzer to testify before the Rockland County legislature regarding a resolution calling upon Congress to review RLUIPA
Zoning laws have been used in the County time and time again to discriminate against and burden the religious exercise of an identifiable group that constitutes a substantial minority of the population: Hasidic Jews. In that respect, Rockland County is different in my experience from any other county in the country. This specific demographic, with their unique culture, worship and education, often clashes with the rest of the population and land use goals. All too often, the response is that if their way of life is different, they should go elsewhere. RLUIPA should not be used as a sword, some say, since it was meant as a shield. This kind of hyperbole is not helpful. Either religious exercise is protected or it is not. . . . .
I urge you to consider the implications for all of the citizens of Rockland County if this Resolution passes. If it does, we will make sure that Congress is also informed about what’s really going on in Rockland, and why RLUIPA is so necessary.
Read Mr. Storzer’s testimony here.
Read the Journal News article here.