Sherman Oaks News
SHERMAN OAKS—The city's Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) voted in favor of the expansion of a synagogue in Sherman Oaks on Tuesday, June 26. The 2-0 vote will allow Chabad of North Hollywood to continue building a 12,000-square-foot synagogue on Chandler Boulevard.
Due to Tuesday's approval of the project, the full city council will make a final vote regarding the synagogue on Wednesday after a dispute that has been ongoing for four years. The new building will accommodate up to 200 worshipers and is about eight times the size of the former building. The building will include a Hebrew school, synagogue, lecture area and playground.
Those who oppose the expansion argue that the building is just too large for the residential area. The neighbors who were against the project won a ruling earlier this year from the California Court of Appeal which ordered the city council to reevaluate the issue and reach a conclusion.
L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz stated through his planning deputy, Shawn Bayliss, the project had the approval of the full council as he could not see any reason to go against the construction. "We don't feel that there's been any new evidence in this case (to warrant overturning the permits)," said Bayliss during the meeting.
Residents living near the Chandler Boulevard property attended Tuesday's hearing and spoke up about their opinions regarding the synagogue. Julia Granovitz explained that the larger building is necessary as the population of their worshipers grow. She said that her daughter refused to go to Sabbath because she had to stand in the back. "Families should be able to sit together to pray,'' Granovitz told committee members.
Rudy Nunez, who opposes the expansion, stated that she has no problem with the growing presence of Orthodox in her community but she does have a problem with the size of the temple. "I welcome them to my neighborhood,'' said Nunez, who has lived on Chandler Boulevard for 37 years. "But I oppose the size."
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