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Friday, October 24, 2014
Village claims shul violated permit rules
(Page 2 of 2)
Courtesy Gloria and Willy Katz
According to Michael Ryder, the Village of Lawrence Building Department superintendent, Bais Medrash of Harborview constructed these wooden platforms without village permits.

Four of the summonses were for violating the 2009 restrictions, which cover parking, trash storage and catering, and the other four summonses were for erecting wooden platforms without permits from the Building Department. “The summonses are all pending, with a [response] date of Jan. 8,” Ryder said, “and they will have to go in front of the village judge.”

The Katzes want the Board of Zoning Appeals to hold another hearing to reconsider its decision to allow the shul to erect a tent, because the issue of drainage was not taken into consideration when the shul was granted permission to host parties. The Katzes also claim that BZA Chairman Lloyd Keilson, a member of Bais Medrash, has a conflict of interest, and are calling for him to recuse himself from any possible future hearings on the shul.

“We just want a fair zoning board,” Gloria Katz said, “and transparency in government.”

Keilson, who has served on the zoning board for the past 10 years, said he belongs to 10 synagogues in the area. “If I were to recuse myself from issues regarding the synagogues, I would not be attending very many meetings,” he said. “There are also no requirements in the state of New York for me to recuse myself as long as I am not receiving any pecuniary interest.”

According to Keilson, there is no reason to hold another hearing. “The matter was deliberated and a decision was reached,” he said. “Permission for the tents will expire as soon as the country club is up and operating or six months from the date of the decision — the earlier of the two.”

The Katzes said they don’t object to having a shul near their backyard. “I consider it an honor to have a place of worship in my backyard,” Gloria said. “The only thing I find self-serving and highly inconsiderate is their behavior. It’s one thing after the next, and we don’t trust them anymore.”

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