JCC Neighbors Decide Not to Appeal Expansion Plans to Appellate Court
Summit Jewish Community Center will move forward with 4,000 square foot expansion.
The Summit Jewish Community Center has finally received the zoning board approval necessary to proceed with its property expansion project and neighbors are no longer eligible to appeal this approval.
According to JCC spokesman Richard Barron, the Summit Zoning Board approved the application for expansion in December 2008. A number of neighbors appealed the decision, a process that took almost a year to complete. Finally, a Superior Court Judge ruled in (the JCC's) favor in November. The neighbors then had the right to file yet another appeal, this time to the Appellate Division.
"On the last day they were eligible to file, we heard from their attorney who told us that they would not appeal the decision after all," Barron said. "So after years of planning and undergoing hearings and legal processes, we are finally approved to expand according to the plan we presented."
Barron said plans for the expansion were developed in relation to the amount of money raised and that the congregation membership has remained constant, with about 310 families. The center wishes to expand its 7,097-square-foot building by another 4,000 square feet that would include a new sanctuary with seating for 294 congregants (including a center aisle), three additional classrooms and a multi-purpose room on a lower level. More parking would be available as well.
"We're obviously elated about the approval," Barron said. "Expanding our physical facility has been a dream of literally generations of our congregants and here we are actually approved to implement our plan."
Barron noted that construction will take about 18 months but is not sure when it will actually begin.