After months of testimony, the final arguments will be heard tonight in the West End synagogue application before the Long Branch Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Chabad of the Shore finished its testimony on Jan. 14 and now the attorney representing several West End business owners will cross-examine Chabad's planner, Richard Preiss. The board could vote on the application tonight, depending on how much time is spent on testimony, and if enough members are present to render a decision.
Chabad wishes to build a two-story building that contains a 200-seat sanctuary, a 200-person capacity multipurpose room with a kitchen on the second floor, and five classrooms, office space and a room for religious services on the second floor. A large, 51-space parking lot in the rear of the property also is included in the plan.
The plan would include the demolition of an old movie theater on Ocean Avenue and two stores north of the structure; Mike's West End Deli, which is now vacant, and Lou's Uniforms. There are also two vacant apartments above the stores.
A synagogue is not a permitted use in the commercial zone, so Chabad of the Shore is looking to obtain a use variance to use the site and also obtain some minor bulk variances for parking and setbacks.
Patch will be there to report whatever happens at the meeting, so check back early Tuesday morning for a full recap.