Millburn postpones hearing on disputed synagogue plan
Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky’s home on Jefferson Avenue in Short Hills; he is seeking zoning variances that would enable him to build a house of worship on this and an adjoining property.
March 3, 2010
Millburn zoning officials postponed a hearing on a local Chabad’s plans to build a house of worship on Jefferson Avenue, as supporters and opponents met separately to rally support for their positions.
The meeting was postponed after opponents suggested the filings were incomplete. A new date has not yet been set.
Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky, who leads the Chai Center for Living Judaism in Short Hills, applied for one zoning variance that would enable him to tear down two properties on Jefferson Avenue — his own residence at 1 Jefferson Ave. as well as an adjoining home at 7 Jefferson Ave. — and build a house of worship on the combined property.
Opponents of the proposal, organizing under the banner “Save Millburn, The Concerned Neighborhood Association of Millburn Township,” met Feb. 24 at Bauer Center at Taylor Park. Bogomilsky addressed the largely hostile audience, whose members said they objected to the size of the project and the establishment of a house of worship in a residential neighborhood.
Bogomilsky has countered that the proposal is in keeping with variances extended to 11 other houses of worship in town.
The zoning application before the Millburn Zoning Board of Adjustment was the result of a negotiated agreement to put a previously filed lawsuit and countersuit between the township and Bogomilsky on hold.