Chabad details plans for former Elks Lodge property
Updated 5:39 pm, Saturday, February 13, 2016
An application to convert the former Elks Lodge on Brookside Drive into a Jewish community center is in the works.
Chabad of Fairfield has submitted an application for the project to the town’s Inland Wetlands Agency, although a hearing has not been scheduled and petitions have not been received requesting a hearing.
The local group plans to use the former lodge building as a base for its education and outreach activities, including youth clubs, adult classes, lectures and a weekly Hebrew School. The one-story structure, built in 1952, encompasses 5,461 square feet and is in a residential A zone.
Under the Chabad plans, a house also would be built on the property to serve as a residence for a rabbi, according to John Fallon, the lawyer representing Chabad.
The former lodge will get an exterior face lift, with new windows, landscaping and a facade to give the building a more residential look, according to the proposal.
In 2012, local Elks leaders, as a way to generate revenue for the fraternal organization, sought to subdivide the property with a plan to build two new houses on the newly created lots. The Town Plan and Zoning Commission rejected the application in 2013, citing concern over traffic sight lines.
Chabad of Fairfield purchased the property last October for $810,000. The property is assessed at $773,430 and has an appraisal of $1,104,900.
Chabad has been leasing part of the former Hillel Day School on Stratfield Road, but has had to move some of their programs off that site, according to Chabad’s director.