After initially being rejected, the ban on the Hamptons’ eruv has been reversed, as the acting Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Joseph Farneti deemed the verdict wrong, reports Suzanne Vega for JP Updates.
The board had originally classified the lechis, wooden or plastic strips attached to poles to indicate boundaries of an eruv, as the town’s sign ordinance.
However, Farneti said the grouping was incorrect and it would not inhibit drivers or pedestrians. The community was seeking to place 28 on 15 poles, according to the Jewish week.
Such a finding is “irrational and unreasonable in that it does not comport with the sign ordinance’s intent,” the judge wrote. “The Court finds that the boundaries are invisible as the lechis are not discernable. … Neither drivers nor casual observers would be able to differentiate the poles which have lechis attached from the other poles.”
In addition, Farneti indicated that the eruv did not violate separation of church and state. While the town may choose to appeal the measure in the future, many are still considering it a win.
“We are building blocks for victory,” said Yehudah Buchweitz of Weill, Gotschal & Manges, the pro bono lawyer representing the East End Eruv Association that brought the suit
The association representing the Jewish community sued the three municipalities of the Town of Southampton and the villages of Quogue and Westhampton Beach in 2011, because of their refusal to permit the eruv, which had already been partially erected when there wasn’t a signage ordinance.