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Chabad 1 Step Closer to Building Center

by Michael Gannon – The New Haven Register

Guilford, CT — Chabad of the Shoreline [under the direction of Rabbi Yossi and Rochel Baila Yaffe] cleared its first hurdle this week with revamped plans to establish a community center on Goose Lane.

Chabad’s revised application for dealing with drainage, waste water and storm runoff passed the Inland Wetlands Commission unanimously this week.

Chabad Lubavitch, a branch of Hasidic Judaism, first filed applications before the town’s land use boards last summer.

The group, located in Branford, is seeking to construct a religious and community center on the 1.28-acre site.

Plans were withdrawn in early fall with the intention of revising and resubmitting them. Thus far, no new paperwork has been filed with the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The commission would have to sign off on any such project, because the area is zoned for residential use. Regulations do allow construction of a house of worship in residential zones if a special permit is granted.

Neighbors along Goose Lane have protested on various grounds.

Letters on file at Guilford’s land use office claim that such a large building is inconsistent with the residential nature of the neighborhood; that the increase in traffic would only exacerbate problems that they feel were worsened with the opening of Yale-New Haven’s Shoreline medical center just down the street; that activities on the site would bring noise; and night lighting would disturb surrounding residents.

Congregation officials have said they and their architects will work to make every possible accommodation to address neighbors’ concerns.

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