The problems with the Lubavitch

Lubavitch try to steal legit synagogue,want it wholesale or closeout! What a shock!
May 10, 2009, 3:08 pm
Filed under: Greed, Real Estate


Court To Weigh Sale Of Syosset Shul
Stuart Ain, The NY Jewish Week

The long-running saga over the fate of the East Nassau Hebrew Congregation in Syosset seems now to be at a crossroads.

A controversial plan to sell the synagogue to a Korean church deserves judicial scrutiny, according to State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

In papers filed before State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Phelan in Mineola, Assistant Attorney General Dorothy Nese asked the judge to conduct a full evidentiary hearing if necessary before deciding whether to permit the sale.

At issue is which of two groups of residents are telling the truth when they claim to be the synagogue’s trustees.

A group that includes the congregation’s rabbi, Sol Appleman insists that there is no longer an active congregation and that there has not been a minyan there for several years. In court papers, Rabbi Appleman said he is seeking dissolution of the congregation so he can sell the synagogue and three homes it owns.

The group seeking to block the sale, he said, wants to bring about “a hostile takeover” of the building, which he said his late parents bought and later donated to the congregation. Rabbi Appleman’s father, Morris, had been the Orthodox congregation’s spiritual leader for more than 40 years.

He charged also that Chabad-Lubavitch of Plainview is behind the group seeking to block the sale and that “their real goal is to obtain possession of East Nassau’s real property.”

Gerald Gross, the attorney for the objecting residents, claimed in court papers filed by an associate, Elliot Pasik, that Rabbi Appleman was “trying to play this court like a fiddle” in order to pull off “an elaborate scam.” He insisted that the board Rabbi Appleman said truly represents the synagogue is actually a “sham” because it is “populated by his family and friends who do not reside in the Syosset area.”

“Rabbi [Appleman] has, quite intentionally, driven this synagogue into the ground, closing it, looting its assets, and behaved like a neighborhood street bully, all in an effort to enrich himself with a $300,000 plus judgment,” Pasik wrote.

Rabbi Appleman said in an interview that he has arranged for the proceeds from the sale of the congregations’ properties to go to 25 different charities and yeshivas.

A bet din or Jewish religious court awarded Rabbi Appleman more than $290,000 in back pay that he said the congregation owed him. A court later affirmed that award in an uncontested proceeding that the objecting residents are now seeking to vacate.

In her papers to the court, Nese said she has been following this dispute for more than two years. At first it concerned allegations that the rabbi improperly leased the synagogue to an outside group and was planning to sell it. To do so or lease it for longer than five years would need her office’s approval.

Nese said she wrote to Rabbi Appleman to tell him of complaints about his “purported misuse or misappropriation of the synagogue property” and the way he was “conducting himself as the rabbi.”

She said also that she is still awaiting information from him that she requested a year ago and that the objecting residents had sought to argue their case before a bet din. When Rabbi Appleman declined, the religious court issued a ruling barring him from selling the congregation’s property.

Rabbi Appelbaum said the proceedings were holding up funds that were eagerly awaited by charitable beneficiaries.

Rabbi Appleman said three different developers want to buy the houses and that “a church wants to buy the synagogue indirectly.” He said the sale price is $2.5 million.

Rabbi Tuvia Teldon, executive director of Lubavitch of Long Island, said his organization is trying to see if there are other area residents interested in saving the congregation.

“They need to get more people on board to convince the court that there are enough people who want it to be a viable congregation,” he said. “We’re trying to help them get their shul back.”

Rabbi Appleman commented on VIN’s post about this story:

I’m the rabbi of the Shul in question. There is no “olam” there anymore. There are 30 paid up members who agreed to the sale. There are 5 people who oppose. 2 of the five had their house up for sale for almost 2 years. Another supposed “member” was the lawyer for the opposing group 2 years ago and he now claims to be a board member. One of this group is an intermarried Kohain. None of the 5 people in opposition has ever paid any kind of membership fee or even a donation to the Shul. Had they done so, maybe the we could have survived. I gave my life to the Shul. I placed a yeshiva there for three years. None of these purported members ever attempted to help keep it going. Now, when it’s time to move on, they all of a sudden wake up because they smell there’s money to be made. It’s sickening that it had to come to this. Anyone interested in the list of mosdos who are to receive the money from the sale may contact me directly to see the side of the story that is not being reported.
I’m at
Rabbi Sol Appleman

I had no problem selling the Shul to the Chabad of Oyster Bay. In fact, in 2003, I personally contact Rabbi Shmuel Lipsycz of the Town of Oyster Bay Chabad and asked him if he was interested in the Shul. He answered that he was and we had a meeting. He offered $300,000. We turned him down. Besides the “offer” being insulting, the courts would never allow a sum paid for real property of a not for profit religious corp to deviate by more than 10%. Shortly after, The Torah Academy of Long Island signed a lease for 4 years. They tried to build up the school, but a flood and asbestos cleanup ended that dream. After they left in Aug. 2006, I tried to sell the Shul to YU, Chofetz Chaim, Touro and others. No one wanted it. People from The Chabad of OB – the same ones involved here – tried to stop any sale then. However, rather than come up with the fair market value of the building, they wanted to simply take it over by importing chasidim from Crown Heights. I called Tuvia Teldon in March 2007 to ask him to stop them from doing that. He told me that he doesn’t get involved in internal disputes in a Shul. He called me before Pesach this year and informed me that he was now getting involved. So I guess he lied to me. Again, had Chabad offered a fair market value, they could have had it. However, I will not stand by and let them steal it. Some of the money will go to pay debts incurred. At least 3/4 of the money will go to institutions that my parents A”H supported their entire lives. Every day that goes by, these institutions are losing money. That is on the head of these 4 imposters, 1 lawyer and Rabbi Teldon.

Chabad has pulled this type of sleazy con dozens of times, from Vilna to Manhattan. It is notorious for this, and the Rebbe when he lived was behind much of it.

Pasik, of course, is either ignorant of or has chosen to disregard that history. More troubling, Pasik’s language is abhorrent. Do you have posek who allows this, Elliot? Or do you just get to do this whenever the whim strikes you? (If the latter is true, could you start using the same strong language to describe the gedolim who cover up for Kolko, Margulies, etc? Or are haredi gedolim untouchable?)

Attorneys choose their clients. They also choose what language they use to describe opposing litigants.

In Elliot Pasik’s case, both choices appear troubling. Is Chabad Trying to Steal This Synagogue?By Shmarya Rosenberg


Hollywood’s problem with the Orthodox and helped by Chabad Lubavitch
May 10, 2009, 1:45 pm
Filed under: Entitlement, Real Estate | Tags:

Hollywood case asks: When is a chicken a pet?

Family says code enforcement is targeting Orthodox Jews with Middle Eastern surnames

HOLLYWOOD – On one side of the battle in upscale Emerald Hills is a Middle Eastern Jewish family who claims code enforcement is targeting their community for harassment. On the other, there’s a city still reeling from an expensive religious discrimination lawsuit.

In the middle, is Onyx the hen and her gaggle.

The Orthodox Jewish Kohn family, citing the city code, calls them legal “small domestic” pets; the city calls them illegal “fowl or poultry.” The Kohns say their religious tenets favor chicken over dogs as family pets.

“The real issue here is a government telling us what type of animals we can or cannot have,” said the family’s patriarch, Steve Kohn. “Our neighbor across the street can have a parrot, but we can’t have a chicken. Obviously there is no scientific research that shows that a pet chicken is more of a hazard than a pit bull or more of a nuisance than a screeching macaw.”

The city’s response is simple: You can’t have chickens within city limits, so chuck them or face the possibility of stiff fines.

A city-hired special magistrate, who can set the fines, is tentatively scheduled to referee the chicken fight on May 19.

But for the Kohns, it goes beyond cluckers. The Kohns, who are from Syria and Morocco, claim the city’s Code Enforcement Department is targeting them and other Jewish families of Middle Eastern descent. The complaints have captured the attention of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rghts Division.

City officials acknowledge they have some history with the Justice lawyer looking into the Kohns’ complaint. Sean Keveney partnered with the Chabad Lubavitch in 2003 to sue Hollywood over the city’s efforts to oust the synagogue from its Hollywood Hills neighborhood.

The city admitted no wrongdoing, but settled the case for $2 million in 2006. The city was ordered to keep prosecutors updated on efforts, such as employee sensitivity training, to avoid discriminatory practices.

City Attorney Jeff Sheffel, who went to work for Hollywood in 2008, admitted last week the city “simply forgot” to keep the Justice Department updated. He believes that’s the reason federal prosecutors are entertaining the latest complaint.

Federal prosecutors declined to comment, while city administrators insist there is no reason to be concerned.

“This is a city where the city attorney is Jewish, the mayor is Jewish and the commissioner who represents the district is Jewish,” said Sheffel. “I can guarantee you that any hint of anti-Semitism will be dealt with. My belief is that the Kohns are trying to create a big storm of controversy to distract everyone from the fact they have chickens in their property.”

The Kohns say they have proof, and have gone as far as launching their own investigation and filing a police report.

According to them, Irish Gardner, the code enforcement officer for their area, began harassing them before the pet chickens arrived in December, as far back as October. They say the officer parks in front of their home almost every day, warning and nitpicking about a wide variety of things. That includes chastising the family just two days after they moved into the house on North 51st Avenue for stacking empty moving boxes outside.

The family filed a police report on March 23 when the Kohns’ teenage daughter, who was sunbathing in the backyard, said she spotted two heads peering over a six-foot fence and taking pictures of the chickens.

City officials say it was Gardner and a supervisor acting on a complaint. They maintain case law allows officials to peer into yards looking for violations.

Soon the family began comparing notes with neighbors and members of their congregation. They began documenting cases they say unfairly target Jewish families with Middle Eastern surnames, while ignoring others.

Gardner declined to comment through city officials who cited city policy prohibiting employees from speaking to reporters. Clay Milan, his boss, rejects the family’s findings by pointing out Emerald Hills is predominantly Jewish.

On one occasion, Steve Kohn’s wife, Renee, saw and photographed Gardner citing the home of a Jewish neighbor who had just moved in. The home was cited for excessive mold on the roof, but two other homes across the street – – with just as much or even more mold – – went unchecked.

The Kohns have compiled similar incidents from other Jewish families. Members of two of the families did not want to comment, fearing retribution from the city.

Milan said he and Sheffel met with Gardner, who had received sensitivity training as required by the Chabad settlement, and saw no red flags.

“We found absolutely no proof that there is a problem,” said Milan.

Ihosvani Rodriguez can be reached at or 954-385-7908.

Guilford, Ct. Vs Lubavitch Chabad
December 17, 2008, 7:02 pm
Filed under: Real Estate | Tags: ,

From: Guilford Courrier

Deliberations Begin on Chabad

Posted by Shore Publishing on Dec 11 2008, 02:13 PM

Filed under: guilford, Chabad

By Fay Abrahamsson, Courier Senior Staff Writer:

If an exit poll was conducted of the Planning & Zoning Commission (PZC) members as they departed the first day of deliberations on the Chabad’s application, the mood could only be described as favorable to the applicant.

That’s because as members tossed around opinions, arguments, and facts concerning the application, only one person appeared skeptical that the application met the requirements of a special permit.

In its first meeting held to deliberate the Chabad-Lubavitch of the Shoreline’s application for a special permit to build a 13,700 square foot house of worship and day care center at 181 Goose Lane, Chairman Shirley Girioni stressed that the decision can be based only on information received by the commission during the public hearings, which closed Nov. 19.

“No more discussion or emails can be done or letters can be read,” said Girioni.

The discussion regarding the Chabad’s application was informal as the members discussed the standards of a special permit. The PZC did not make a motion in favor or against the application and no vote was taken. A vote is likely at its next scheduled meeting, Dec. 17.

The location of the Chabad’s proposed synagogue is currently zoned residential. The property to the direct north is also zoned residential; the property to the direct south is zoned commercial.

Criteria of a special permit include such things as the proposed type, character, and size of the building should be in harmony with the neighborhood; that the building must have adequate access for fire protection; and that it will not create an undue traffic hazard or congestion. In addition, the lot must be of sufficient size for the use, the proposed building cannot be detrimental to the neighborhood or adjacent lots, and the design of the building cannot conflict with the architectural design and style of adjacent properties, among other criteria.

The PZC is allowed to impose as many conditions as it feels necessary should it grant a special permit in this case. For example, the Inland Wetlands Commission, in its approval of the construction of Guilford Commons on the “Rockpile,” listed more than 50 conditions.

Commission member David Grigsby questioned many of the applicant’s plans, including the level of use proposed for the synagogue and social hall.

“Are we in a position that we can enforce a limit of maximum occupancy?” he asked.
Town attorney Charles Andres said certain terms of use such as occupancy could be included as one of the conditions of approval.

Grigsby’s initial hesitancy regarding the amount of people using the facility, which the applicant said could reach 200, was apparent as he spoke about the possible impact of increased traffic and noise such a crowd could bring to the site.

“It is difficult to believe that there will be absolutely no impact on the property to the north,” said Grigsby.

Commission member Ray Bower agreed with Grigsby about an increase in traffic to the area, but noted that the PZC’s impartial traffic expert and the chief of police believe there would be no traffic issues.

Girioni said that she feels the applicant’s property “is an area of transition,” and that any impacts such as traffic and noise are already present.

“This lot is directly across the street from a major interstate,” said Girioni. “There are hospitals and doctors’ offices to the south, the largest industrial zone in Guilford across the street, and to the north, a residential home used for a doctor’s office and medical practice.”

PZC member Robert Richard agreed, voicing that the area is not strictly residential.

“If you drew an imaginary circle around the applicant’s site, you would find that it is mixed–a mixture of different zones,” he said.

The Guilford Planning & Zoning Commission may be prepared to render a decision on the Chabad’s application at its next meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Greene Community Center on Church Street.

Court battle against Lubavitch Menorahs in Poughkeepsie
December 17, 2008, 6:53 pm
Filed under: Real Estate, separation of church and state | Tags: ,

Judge lets menorah stay at city corner

By Larry Hertz • Poughkeepsie Journal • December 11, 2008

A large menorah that has been a part of holiday displays in downtown Poughkeepsie for the past two decades may be erected again this year at the

city’s main intersection, a judge ruled Wednesday.

The 22-foot symbol of the eight-day Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, owned by Town of Poughkeepsie Rabbi Yacov Borenstein, has been the subject of a yearlong court battle between the rabbi and city officials and four city residents.

The city and four intervenors in the lawsuit contended the use of city workers to help Borenstein erect and light the menorah during the eight days of Hanukkah constituted a violation of the principle of the separation of church and state.

The city enacted a policy last month permitting religious and nonreligious holiday displays to be placed only on a city-owned lot on Main Street, about 250 feet east of the Market Street intersection, where the menorah has been placed during holiday seasons since 1996. Under the new policy, the city would not help any group erect its displays.

But in his ruling, acting state Supreme Court Justice James D. Pagones said the rabbi could erect the menorah, with the city’s help, on the sidewalk at Main and Market streets – in part because the city traditionally uses public funds to put up wreaths and garlands on utility poles downtown and to decorate two Christmas trees on city-owned property. The judge said he considered such items to be primarily symbols of the Christian holiday of Christmas.

“If this court were to … exclude the eight-day display of a single menorah from the holiday celebration,” Pagones wrote in his 24-page decision, “the result would be that the principal effect of the holiday celebration would be to promote Christianity and inhibit Judaism without any rational basis, thereby violating the Establishment Clause (of the Constitution).”

Mayor will consult

City Mayor John Tkazyik said he planned to consult with the corporation counsel’s office to consider whether to appeal Pagones’ ruling.

“This decision leaves the city with two very unacceptable choices,” Tkazyik said. “One, to continue the practice of using city resources and funds to travel out of town to a private property and put up a privately owned religious symbol, then participate in religious ceremonies during the duration of Hanukkah; and two, to remove all lights and holiday displays on public property in the city.”

Tkazyik said the judge’s decision appeared to imply the city’s annual holiday celebration, called the Festival of Lights, “is suddenly illegal.”

“The people of this city I represent should be upset by the choice the court has left us with,” the mayor said. “This city could use a bit of cheerfulness.”

Poughkeepsie attorney Jack Economou, who represented the four city residents who intervened on the city’s behalf, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Borenstein said he was pleased with Pagones’ ruling, saying he believed it was consistent with the message of Hanukkah.

“The menorah is a symbol of religious freedom, and the concept of Hanukkah is to add more light to the world,” he said. “I hope this ruling will bring peace and unity to the community and to the world at large.”

According to Jewish scripture in the Talmud, the lighting of the menorah stems from a conflict more than 2,000 years ago between Jews and a Syrian ruler who attempted to prevent Jews from practicing their religion.

Smaller menorahs planned

Borenstein said the menorah he places in downtown Poughkeepsie every December is certainly the largest of such symbols his organization, Chabad Lubavitch, owns. But he said the group planned to erect about 40 smaller menorahs at other public and private sites, such as shopping malls, in Dutchess, Ulster and Orange counties when Hanukkah begins Dec. 21.

The dispute over the menorah began November 2007 when city officials informed Borenstein they would not help him erect it or light it, citing concerns about the separation of church and state. But Pagones issued a temporary injunction directing city workers to erect the menorah and provide a “cherry picker” truck to enable the rabbi to light it each evening of Hanukkah.

After Borenstein went to court seeking to make Pagones’ order permanent, the city and the four city residents represented by Economou then filed papers opposing Borenstein’s request.

Reach Larry Hertz at or 845-437-4824.

Gilford, Ct. another papers view of the Lubavitch
November 15, 2008, 6:05 pm
Filed under: Real Estate | Tags: ,

Chabad Hearings Heat Up

Posted by Shore Publishing on Nov 13 2008, 03:14 PM

Filed under: ,

By Fay Abrahamsson, Courier Senior Staff Writer:

It was just a question of time before the religion issue was raised during the public hearings held on the Chabad-Lubavitch of the Shoreline’s application before the Planning & Zoning Commission to build a synagogue on Goose Lane.

In heated speeches, the subject of religion was raised by those speaking both in favor and against the application. Those speaking positively about the Chabad said others were afraid of change and of having a Hasidic Jewish synagogue come to their town.

“The neighbor’s opposition to the Chabad is highly exaggerated and of collective hysteria,” said Moshe Gai of Branford.

Suzanne Crelin of West Street remarked on the lack of houses of worship for Jews in Guilford.

“As I look around town, there are many churches in residential neighborhoods,” she said. “I am hoping that we can welcome change.”

On a similar note, Lili Foggle of Madison counted 26 churches in Branford, Guilford, and Madison.

“Surely there is room among all those churches for one synagogue,” she noted.

Those speaking against the application said their objection was to the size of the building and the chosen location, not the Chabad itself.

“We object to this building not because it’s a synagogue but because it’s a large building on a small site. If they wanted to build a Taco Bell I’d object to that, too. It has nothing to do with religion,” said Karen Flately of Village Victoria.

Susan Knoll of Cindy Lane echoed the previous speaker, saying it was not a religious issue but “a common sense issue.”

“I am not opposed to a Chabad building in Guilford,” she said, expressing that the current design is too big for the lot on Goose Lane. “Instead, why don’t they find a nice, large lot?”

Michael Birch of Old Lyme asked, “why this intelligent congregation was trying to shoehorn this building into this little lot?”

The “too small for the lot” opinions were raised despite the fact that Marjorie Shansky, attorney for the Chabad, announced at the start of last week’s public hearing that the size of the building had been reduced by 4,000 square feet. She explained that the architects have pulled the north wall 12 feet in from the neighbor’s yard, adding more lawn space and reducing the size of the storage and classrooms. The building will retain basically the same footprint.

Shansky noted that the building was reduced from 17,000 square feet to 12,700 square feet in order “to show good faith to the neighbors.” She noted that the parking, playground, septic, storm water management, and sanitary plans remain intact.

The occupancy of the social hall was reduced from a capacity of 100 people to 54; the capacity of the worship area remains at 100, said architect Luann Heft of Arbonies King Vlock of Branford.

The reduction in the building’s size did not make a difference for many residents, most of whom still saw a 12,700 square foot building as too big for the 1.3 acre lot.

Elizabeth Schwartz said to the applicant “there are more appropriate places in town where people will open their homes and hearts to you.”

Charles Magby of Stepstone Lane suggested a possible spot to build the Chabad.

“We’ve got an empty space sitting on Route 1–Fonicello’s,” he noted.

The Guilford Planning & Zoning Commission’s public hearing on the proposed Chabad on the Shoreline is continued to Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Greene Community Center on Church Street.

    Lubavitch still fighting zoning in Guilford,Ct….crying anti Semitism
    November 15, 2008, 5:58 pm
    Filed under: Real Estate | Tags: , , ,
    Guilford from:

    Chabad of the Shoreline synagogue plan stirs more emotion

    GUILFORD-The ugly charge of anti-Semitism surfaced at the third continued public hearing last week on the application by Chabad of the Shoreline to build a synagogue at 181 Goose Lane.
    The charge from several people favoring the synagogue that anti-Semitism was part of opposition to its construction was strongly denied by neighbors who have fought fiercely to convince the Planning and Zoning Commission to reject it.
    They have based their opposition, led by Dr. Donna Criscenzo of 199 Goose Lane – who operates her medical practice on the second floor of her home – on their contention that the synagogue and day care center would change the quality of life in their neighborhood.
    They argue it would cause serious traffic and noise problems and is not an appropriate use for a residential parcel only l.3 acres in size.
    Addressing some of the opposition’s objections, Chabad attorney Marjorie Shansky proposed changes in the synagogue plan, reducing its size from 17,700 to 13,700 square feet and cutting the capacity of the social hall from 100 to 54.
    But opponents – many of them highly emotional – said the changes did not alter the fact that Chabad’s insistence that no more than 100 people at a time would attend its various religious events was an empty promise unlikely to be kept.
    In a letter to the Shore Line Times, Criscenzo, who feels her practice would be threatened by the synagogue right next to her house, said reducing the width of the proposed building by 12 feet “does little to change its perception from the street. It remains 36 feet high on its elevated spot.
    “The enlarged playground remains as close to the street and highway interchange. The width of the social hall/sanctuary is unchanged, capable of occupancy of 300 or more. The outdoor pavilion, abutting private yards, holds the same capacity as the social hall and sanctuary combined.
    “We are told it will rarely be used. Interestingly, the maximum use figures have been increased at each meeting from 80 to now 200.”
    She said this has been done without regard to Rabbi Yaffe’s previous public promise that he would rent another site for groups greater than 120.
    The proposed building, she said, does not even meet minimum standards for a commercial building abutting a residence. Guilford’s zoning regulations, she added, require a minimum setback of 20 feet, absent any parking or driveway. The driveway for Chabad is only 13 feet from her home – 32 feet from the master bedroom, she said.
    “As for the requirements for a special permit, we have evidence and precedent enough to show that these are unmet. We pay dearly to live in Guilford and expect our commissioners to protect us within the spirit of the law.”
    Chabad Rabbi Yossi Yaffe has consistently contested all of Criscenzo’s claims and insists the synagogue – located near the Yale-New Haven Shoreline Medical Center and right across the street from an industrial park – would not change the character of the neighborhood at all and would actually enrich it.
    Religious institutions are permitted in all Guilford zones provided they meet special permit requirements. Yaffe and Shansky maintain their amended application does so.
    Criscenzo and her neighbors say it does not.
    Chabad is a Hasidic Jewish sect with branches all over the world. Chabad of the Shoreline is currently operating out of a Branford office.
    The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a fourth continuation of the public hearing – which will be limited to comments on changes in the Chabad application – on Nov. 19. According to Town Planner George Kral, the PZC will almost certainly not vote to approve or reject the application until the following meeting on Dec. 3.
    Criscenzo has said she and her group will appeal the decision if it goes against them, but added last week: “We have made a strong case and are hoping that will not be necessary.”

    Robert C. Pollack can be reached at 203-752-2717 or at

    ©Shore Line Times 2008

    Boca Raton Lubavitch Chabad fights the Community for more parking
    October 3, 2008, 10:25 pm
    Filed under: Real Estate | Tags: ,

    Boca Raton parking rules complicate things for synagogue

    Nearby residents persuade city to require more parking spaces

    Boca Raton – For nine years, Chabad of East Boca has met in rented space. On the brink of building its own permanent synagogue, the chabad was stuck on the question of parking.

    The City Council on Tuesday approved rules that could more than double the number of spaces required at the chabad, which is planned as a two-story synagogue in the Golden Triangle neighborhood by Mizner Park. Residents there have been fierce in their opposition to any change that would bring more vehicles onto their streets and swales. They say they already are overwhelmed with overflow parking from Mizner Park.

    About 75 residents showed up at City Hall on Tuesday night to persuade council members to keep parking requirements strict.

    “We’re happy with keeping parking as it should be,” resident Anthony Majhess said before the meeting. “We felt in the beginning the city was going to try to make it less restrictive.”

    City officials set out to make uniform rules for all places of assembly. Parking was a significant part of the effort, which began more than a year ago. In June, the chabad applied for a 23,000-square-foot building on six lots.

    “This is not an issue of support or nonsupport of faith tonight,” said Deputy Mayor Peter Baronoff. “I would be very embarrassed as a council member if that’s what it came down to tonight.”

    Golden Triangle residents wanted the city to keep parking at one space per three seats in gathering places and one space per 25 square feet of space for overflow parking. It would require more than 100 spaces at the proposed synagogue, in stark contrast to the 42 spaces the chabad proposes, said Rabi Ruvi New.

    The synagogue had planned to seek off-site parking agreements on occasions when parking is heaviest, such as the High Holy Days.

    “This particular ordinance has been revised and revised. … Certainly, there has been a lot of pressure for the neighborhood,” New said.

    Charles Siemon, a planning consultant who developed Mizner Park, told council members he was disappointed with the “one-size-fits-all solution.”

    Residents held up signs during the meeting, including “1 PER 25” and “90% ON SITE,” when a few speakers asked for more leniency. Residents expressed concern the ordinance would allow for “technical deviations” that would make its requirements moot.

    “Why bother?” asked resident David Warburton. “On-site parking must be sufficient [but] there is one glaring loophole.”

    City Manager Leif Ahnell said city officials would re-evaluate technical deviations, which would allow developers to ask for more parking for extraordinary circumstances.

    Patty Pensa can be reached at or 561-243-6609.