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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Millburn Concerned Citizens issue
statement on lawsuit settlement

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Patricia C. Kelley/The Independent Press

 

MILLBURN – Short Hills resident James O. Welch, a trustee with the Concerned Neighborhood Association of Millburn Township, has issued a statement in response to Mayor Sandra Haimoff’s announcement that the courts are being asked to review a 2009 settlement with Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky that forgave $499,000 in fines for alleged zoning violations and put limits on the size and scope of the Chai Center for Living Judaism’s religious activities while Bogomilsky is awaiting zoning approval on a new site.

 

This is the text of Welch’s statement:

 

“Based on Millburn Mayor Sandra Haimoff’s statement read last night at the Township Meeting, our group feels that allowing a new judicial review by the Essex County Court judge will end with a ruling in our favor. Our group and many residents believe that The Chai Center has violated the settlement agreement with the township that was dated July 7, 2009. The settlement excused $499,000 in previous fines in return for The Chai Center agreeing to terms they have violated.”

Bogomilsky has not yet responded to our request for a comment.

 

Christy Potter Kass, reporter for the Millburn-Short Hills Patch,

published this after the June 21st Township meeting

 

Mayor Sandra Haimoff said the township committee has been asked by The Concerned Neighborhood Association to review the township’s lawsuit against Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky. The suit was settled more than a year ago, and the rabbi filed an application for the center to construct a new synagogue at the corner of Old Short Hills Road and Jefferson Avenue. Since then, Bogomilsky, lawyers for both sides, and various experts have been testifying before the zoning board. Haimoff said the township committee’s legal counsel has advised the board can revisit the lawsuit, but she said this action should in no way be construed as the township committee having taken sides, or that it will interfere with the zoning board proceedings.

 

Millburn asks court to re-examine rabbi settlement

Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 9:40 AM

By Patricia C. Kelley/The Independent Press

MILLBURN -- Millburn officials are asking the courts to review a 2009 settlement with Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky that forgave $499,000 in fines for alleged zoning violations and put limits on the size and scope of the Chai Center for Living Judaism’s religious activities while Bogomilsky is awaiting zoning approval on a new site.

 

Mayor Sandy Haimoff read a brief statement at the June 21 Township Committee session in which she said that following an April request from two members of the Concerned Neighborhood Association of Millburn Township (CNAMT) town officials have decided to authorize a review by the court of the settlement. Haimoff said this action should not be seen as an indication of the Township Committee’s support of either side in the matter.

 

On advice of the township attorney, Haimoff later said she could not provide any additional information about the request.

 

In April, James Welch and Robert Sanna, Bogomilsky’s neighbors and trustees of the CNAMT, came before the township’s governing body and claimed that Bogomilsky is in violation of the 2009 settlement and asked officials to revoke the settlement. Welch and Sanna oppose Bogomilsky’s plans to build a 16,350 square-foot religious facility on Jefferson Avenue in Short Hills and they contend he is in violation of the earlier settlement so he should therefore be required to pay the waived fines.

 

Bogomilsky’s attorneys responded that there was no legal or factual basis for the request to rescind the settlement agreement and any attempts to do so would “face vigorous opposition.”

 

According to Bogomilsky’s attorney Philip Pfeffer, the fines were “falsely manufactured” and were imposed to “punish” the rabbi and his wife “for exercising their constitutionally protected rights to host prayer meetings in their home and to deter them from doing so in the future.”

 

The Independent Press is reaching out to both sides for comments and will print them as they come in.

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