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Thursday, October 30, 2008

GUILFORD-The night after Tuesday's election will see another chapter written on whether or not Chabad of the Shoreline synagogue will be built at 181

The proposal - hotly contested by area residents led by Dr. Donna Criscenzo but supported by a number of shoreline men and women - is unlikely to be approved or rejected by the Planning and Zoning Commission Wednesday.
The 7:30 p.m. meeting at the community center will see a continuation of the previous two public hearings.
Opponents of the synagogue have cited increased traffic, noise, a drop in surrounding property values and a dramatic change in the quality of life in the neighborhood as reason for their opposition. They also claim the 17,000 square foot project is not appropriate in an R-5 zone.
Chabad and its Rabbi, Yossi Yaffe, have said none of the neighbors concerns are based on fact. Chabad insists its studies show the synagogue would not cause any appreciable increase in traffic, no drop in property values, little noise and no change in the quality of neighborhood life
Experts hired by both sides have debated these and other issues.
The controversy has raised considerable interest.
Town Planner George Kral has pointed out that religious institutions are permitted in all zones if they meet special permit requirements.
Whether the synagogue proposal meets those requirements will decide the issue.
Chabad is a Hasidic Jewish organization now operating out of a small office in Branford.

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