TOMS RIVER - The United States Department of Justice is investigating Toms River's zoning laws affecting religious land uses.

In December, Rabbi Moshe Gourarie was ordered to seek a variance to turn his home on Church Road into a Jewish community center and house of worship.

A 2009 revision to the township's zoning ordinance banned churches in the residential zone, including his property.

Gourarie received eight zoning violations in October 2014 for operating the Chabad in a residential zone.

He pleaded not guilty.