A federal appeals court says towns trying to control noise and traffic can legally bar religious groups from opening houses of worship in residential neighborhoods. The three-judge panel ruled against a Jewish congregation that wanted to open a synagogue in Abington Township -- a Philadelphia suburb where golf courses and kennels are permitted. The judges said they "do not believe land use planners can assume anymore that religious uses are inherently compatible with family and residential uses." The Township's lawyer said the case comes at a time when religious buildings "are turning into 24-seven' operations." The ruling may not permanently block the synagogue, because the appeals court sent the case back to a federal judge for further action.