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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
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Chabad of North Hollywood Construction Halted by Neighbors

Dozens Sherman Oaks residents are complaining that the new Chabad House on Chandler Boulevard is “just too big for the surrounding blocks of single-family homes, some starting at more than $1 million,” the LA Times reports.

The new building is slated to be 12,000 square feet, on a 9,568-square-foot parcel which is zoned for residential construction.

According to the Times, plans for the Chabad of North Hollywood are for a structure that will be almost nine times the size of the original structure.

Chabad of North Hollywood says a larger synagogue is required to serve its growing congregation, which on major holidays counts as much as 400 participants.

The project has been halted by litigation, even though last year an appellate court ruled in favor of Chabad.

The project will likely go before a land-use subcommittee, and be returned for a council vote later in June.

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5 Responses to “Chabad of North Hollywood Construction Halted by Neighbors”

  1. CORRECTION: Our organization sued The City of LA, not Chabad, and the neighbors (West Chandler Blvd. Neighborhood Assoc.) prevailed in the Appellate Court, not Chabad. Here’s a link to the court’s opinion in this matter:

    http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?page=6&xmldoc=In%20CACO%2020110816025.xml&docbase=CSLWAR3-2007-CURR&SizeDisp=7

    As a result of our win – the City of LA was ordered to set aside Chabad’s land use entitlements (which they did on May 29th) and it also says very clearly that in reconsidering their decision the City must comply with the requirements of the LAMC 12.24.I and LAMC 12.27K as well as the land use case known as Topanga Assn for a Scenic Community v. County of Los Angeles.

    The Court of Appeal confirmed that the Chabad project the City Council approved in June 2009 was not properly before it and could not be considered because it was outside the record. Thus the current project must go back before the zoning administrator in accordance with the Writ of Mandate and LAMC 12.27K.

    This case was never about Chabad. It’s about land use. The City of LA abused it’s discretion and acted unlawfully when it rammed this massive project through. The building is too big, with grossly inadequate parking and the surrounding residential neighborhood cannot sustain this kind of intensity of use.

    If they have outgrown this site, that is a self-imposed hardship and should not be put on the backs of the neighbors.

  2. Tess Jones Ramin says:

    It's so frustrating when journalists can't get their facts straight…

  3. graceacosta says:

    First, let me say that I love Chabad, and I fully support the Rebbe’s call to expand Yiddishkeit among the unaffiliated.

    That said, I do not understand why Chabad houses are constantly built in extremely expensive neighborhoods, where you know everyone around is going to have a stake in the area’s development. There is no parking available, often using other resident’s spaces instead. That won’t win you any friends when they can’t get out of their own garage!

    There’s no affordable housing for people who are wanting to become more religious, forcing them to drive on Shabbos and High Holidays. There are noise issues from people coming and going, and on top of that, once they’ve settled in they want to have all zoning restrictions waived for them!

    Chutzpah. That’s what I see. If Chabad wants to have a thriving community, try finding a large space like an unused warehouse or Elk’s Lodge, turn part of it into housing for the rabbi’s family, and make sure that it’s located near lots of apartment buildings and “starter homes”. Start a small school, Sunday program or day care to help meet the building’s expenses until a good membership is built up.

    Don’t go building around the millionaires, go to the “common people”, the 99% who would welcome you! If you stay away from messing with the millionaire’s neighborhood, maybe they’d be a lot more friendly and open handed when it comes time for fund raising.

    My two shekels, anyway.

  4. I totally agree with the points made here. It's all about an unlawful act by our City Council, which now needs be corrected.

  5. John Little says:

    They new the neighbors were against it and decided that they didn't care what the neighbors thought and built it anyway. They are not the orthodox jews they would like people to think they are.

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