Agreement Could Keep Chabad House Open

A dispute may be nearing a close in the fight over whether an orthodox Jewish center for University of Hartford Students can stay open.

Earlier this year, we told the story on NPR of the case of a house owned by a group called Chabad Chevra on Bloomfield Avenue in Hartford.  The Jewish organization planned to use that house as a place for students to worship and study.

But neighbors objected, saying they didn’t want to live next to a raucous student center — Jewish or otherwise.In 2009, the city issued a cease and desist order saying, among other things, that a religious use of that sort, at that site, was not permitted.  And despite the fact that the Jewish organization bought the sprawling brick house from a Christian religious organization, the city’s zoning board appeals eventually upheld the decision.

The case wound up in state and federal court. Tonight, the city’s zoning board of appeals is set to vote on an agreement between the city and the religious group.  If it’s approved and then signed off on by a state court judge, the Chabad house will be allowed to stay open — with various caveats.

But the effect of the agreement would be to overturn the city’s actions and allow the Jewish organization to operate largely as it had intended.

Attorneys for both parties declined to comment.

The board is set to meet tonight at 7:30.

Here is the proposed agreement.

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