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)

Calendar of Events

July 2018
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No one including, the Township, dreamed the hearings would drag on so long. Perhaps the applicant knew and prefers it this way since while it drags on they can operate on a conditional basis.


While attendance was high at the first few Zoning meetings, it has dwindled over time. Not necessarily because of lack of interest but because of the length of the meetings (four hours 7 to 11pm) and the number of the sessions.


In recent meetings when attendance was low for both sides. However that said, Chai Center supporters have actually left the hearing chamber (2nd floor town hall) to make phone calls to get their members and interested parties to come to the meeting even if in progress.


The Concerned Neighborhood Association expert witnesses are now testifying. Their expert architect, Michael Soriano, testified last Monday and his key findings are revealed below in detail. But here is the headline from his facts.


If the application were to be approved, the new structure would legally be able to hold over 1,000 people.

The Association lawyer, Kevin Coakley, hired  architect Soriano to analyze the existing Chai Center site plan application to determine what the maximum occupancy load could be under the International Building Code, New Jersey Edition.


The architect testified Monday evening, which may shock many of you as residents, that The Chai Center could have (even if not practical) 1,216 people at one time in the structure and still be legal if all variances were approved.


This many people would be legal and The Chai Center plans are only showing 50 parking places. Below from his testimony, is how the architect concluded they could have that many people in the building if approved.


While the total number of 1,216 is a bit of a stretch, since no chairs or tables would be used, a number of 500 is not so unreasonable over time.


The architect Michael Soriano estimated that the sanctuary could hold 209 users, using fixed and portable seats. The social hall could have 143 people if tables and chairs were used, and 306 people if just chairs were used. The maximum capacity of the hall would be 428 people if no tables or chairs were used. Four proposed meeting rooms would accommodate 135 people with tables and chairs and 290 people with chairs only. A proposed playroom in the basement could hold 73 children with play space, or if used for other purposes, 135 people with tables and chairs or 289 people with chairs only, according to the architect.


If the variances for the new structure were approved on the undersized property by the Zoning Board, who would police this potential growth? That is a fundamental question.


At the up coming November 21st meeting, The Association will call upon a Planner expert and a Traffic expert and perhaps another Trustee. Then there is no meeting scheduled for the month of December and the January date of January 30th is not confirmed yet.


The Chairman of the Zoning Board of Adjustment has said he hope the case would be over and decided by the end of this year but that does not seem likely at this point. Remember he has also promised that every single resident would be allowed to make a statement at the end before deliberations by the board.


The Concerned Neighborhood Association Trustee Robert Sanna conducted an interview with a reporter from he Item November 4th after the most recent Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting. Mr. Sanna provided more relevant information to the reporter at The Item. The Item, Millburn’s most local newspaper, has been an excellent source of information as this hearing has gone on for 20 months now. Sanna also pointed out again the importance of the testimony provided by expert witness for The Association, the architect Michael Soriano, who testified under oath on Monday.

The Concerned Neighborhood Association again asks you to stay involved. They thank you for allowing your name to be posted on the website and for the financial contributions you have made. But attendance, even for part of the hearing held each month, is very important. It is also important that you ask questions of the witnesses and then when the Chairman does invite public statements, that you make yours and be heard.


The Concerned Neighborhood Association sent a letter about a lot of this into the local The Alternative Press. Copy and paste this link into any browser window to read it.

SAVE MILLBURN is the name for the local, registered, non-profit group,

The Concerned Neighborhood Association of Millburn Township, Inc. 2011 or write:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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