Englewood’s East Hill Synagogue Plans Promote Safety
On January 3rd in a 7-2 vote, the Englewood Planning Board approved the application submitted by the East Hill Synagogue of Englewood, lobbying for the installation of a new security fence. According to attorney Elliot Urdang, the motivation and intention of the East Hill Synagogue proposing this installation was to promote the safety of those members of Englewood’s East Hill Synagogue.
Englewood’s Planning Board took into consideration local neighbors’ concerns for maintaining the aesthetics of the neighborhood as they reviewed the plan’s details and descriptions of the new fences and gates. Representatives of Englewood's East Hill Synagogue requested height variances to accommodate for the proposed six-foot fence on the Walnut Street side and the new eight-foot fence in the rear of the property. Plans also indicate replacing the current chain link fence with an estate fence on the East Hill Synagogue’s Brayton Street side, as well as on the west side of the property. Additionally, a new stockade fence would run along the back of the property line. This new fence would be similar to the style of fencing used on the grounds of the Dwight Englewood School and Moriah School. Lastly, the East Hill Synagogue’s proposal included adding gates to its entrance and exit, found on Walnut Street.
Neighbors surrounding Englewood’s East Hill Synagogue were skeptical at first, afraid that the new fences would convey an “institutionalized” feel. In an effort to appease the adjoining property owners’ request for a buffer, the East Hill Synagogue will also be planting foliage in three separate spots, two located on the Walnut Street side and the third on the east side of Brayton Street. Land surveyor, Joseph Barbieri, who testified at the January 3rd meeting, outlined the changes that were incorporated and assured Englewood’s residents that the proposed plans for this installation will not have a negative impact on Englewood’s residential zone.
Though plans proposed by the East Hill Synagogue have been approved by Englewood’s Planning Board, it has been requested by board member James Demetrakis that the East Hill Synagogue submits a more detailed site plan to the city engineer, one that will more thoroughly illustrate the features of the fence and the gate.