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November 17, 2011

Group says 'Look at the figures'

The Item of Millburn and Short Hills
by Lindsey Kelleher

What's good for Brooklyn is apparently not good for Forest City Ratner's head of construction's own neighborhood.

Supporters of the Concerned Neighborhood Association argue that the infrastructure on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Old Short Hills Road isn't big enough to support the proposed synagogue that Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky wants to build there.

And Robert Sanna, a trustee for the association, noted that constructing a synagogue on this property, which is 1.8 acres, could set a precedent for building other institutions such as shelters, day care centers or hospitals on property lots that are too small to accommodate them. Current township regulations require 3 acres of land for building a house of worship.

State-licensed architect Michael Soriano from Cornerstone Architectural Group LLC was hired by the Concerned Neighborhood Association's attorney Kevin Coakley to show the Millburn Zoning Board of Adjustment how many people could fit inside the Chai Center under the International Building Code New Jersey Edition.

The Item previously reported that some people in favor of the Chai Center find it ironic that Sanna is against zoning exceptions in his Jefferson Avenue neighborhood but is employed with Forest City Ratner Corporation, a development company in New York. Sanna noted to both The Item and at the Oct. 31 hearing that his occupation is not relevant to the synagogue application.


NoLandGrab: But Sanna's own unvarnished, hypocritical NIMBYism is relevant to us! He doesn't seem to have a problem with a state override of city zoning for Atlantic Yards, the sweeping away of city rules forbidding the siting of an arena in a residential neighborhood, or the fact that (if his boss can hornswoggle the funds to build it) Atlantic Yards would be the densest residential tract in North America.

Posted by eric at November 17, 2011 1:22 PM