Skip to comments.Amish, N.Y. town reach settlement over building codes
Posted on 09/25/2012 4:58:55 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
A New York town has agreed to drop criminal charges against an Amish community that had balked at following modern building codes for their homes by adding such features as bigger windows and smoke detectors something the traditional sect members argued violate its religious beliefs.
The case tested the boundaries of First Amendment freedoms versus the rights of government to enforce its rules, and both sides made concessions in a settlement.
Morristown, N.Y., officials agreed that some Amish building methods did meet the rules, while the Amish agreed to forgo some techniques that didnt live up to standards.
On the thorniest issue smoke detectors neither side caved. The towns code inspector will install detectors before giving homes a final approval, but whether they remain is up to the homeowners, as it is in any home.
This is a really good settlement. It means the Amish are not going to jail and they can continue living in Morristown, Lori Windham, an attorney for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which helped represent the Amish, said Monday in announcing the settlement. It shows how cities and small religious communities can work together and cooperate to meet everyones goals.
The Amish population in the U.S. is growing, and they are pushing into areas theyve never been before, which means localities are having to grapple with the issues they raise.
A census of Amish by researchers at Ohio State University, released this summer, found that communities are popping up at a rate of more than one a month, and that New York is a major area of growth, with 15 new settlements since 2010.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
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