This proposed 16,350 square foot house of worship would require
65% more land than owned to meet the legal requirements.
The structure would be too big, too high, too wide, too close to neighbors,
and without a major variance, would not be legal.

Contributions can be made to:
Connell Foley LLP
Attorney Trust Account
Please mail check to:
Connell Foley LLP
85 Livingston Avenue
Roseland NJ 07068,
Attn: Kevin J. Coakley
(Funds only distributed with consent of the Association's trustees)

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Resident Mike Becker of Highland Avenue, who said he had attended all 16 hearings over a 22-month period, urged the board to deny the application. Credits: Patricia Harris

PHOTO


Patricia Harris - The Alternative Press

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 • 8:14am


MILLBURN, NJ - Millburn’s Zoning Board of Adjustment early this morning denied the application of the Chai Center of Millburn-Short Hills to build a 16,000-square-foot synagogue at the corner of Old Short Hills Road and Jefferson Avenue.

 

The board reached its decision during a 51/2-hour session that started Monday night and ended just before 1 a.m. The hearing drew about 200 supporters and opponents to the high school auditorium, where a steady stream of speakers came forward to make comments.

 

Many of them stayed until the end, when the board voted in dramatic fashion on whether to grant four variances they had deemed necessary for the building to go forward.

 

"Still we’re 100 people, which is testimony to the deep feelings you have about the issues,” Chairman Joseph Steinberg told the diehards.

 

First and foremost, the board had to decide whether to grant a variance for a lot that is smaller than the three-acre size required by township ordinance for a house of worship. The proposed synagogue would have sat on a 1.8-acre property.

 

The board voted 6-1 to deny that variance. In comments beforehand, several board members expressed concerns that the lot is significantly smaller than three acres and the proposed synagogue would be “squeezed” onto the property. That situation would affect buffering from neighbors, the distance the building would be set back from the streets and the size and flow of the parking lot, they noted.

More on this story still to come.

 

Save Millburn is the name for the local, registered, non-profit group,
The Concerned Neighborhood Association of Millburn Township, Inc. - Email Help@SaveMillburn.com