Chabad details plans for former Elks Lodge property
Published 11:13 am, Tuesday, April 19, 2016
FAIRFIELD — Chabad Lubavitch of Fairfield has submitted its application to the Town Plan and Zoning Commission seeking permission to transform the former Elks Lodge on Brookside Drive into a new house of worship.
The TPZ has not yet scheduled a public hearing on the request for a special exception permit.
The property is located in a Residence A zone, which allows churches and synagogues granted a special exception permit.
The Chabad proposal includes a small addition to the existing building and raising the existing structure above the flood elevation in order to make it compliant with Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations. The religious organization is also proposing to build, at the opposite end of the parking lot, a single-family home to be used by the rabbi and his family.
The Inland Wetlands Agency unanimously approved Chabad’s permit application for the new construction in February.
According to the statement of use filed by lawyer John Fallon, representing Chabad of Fairfield, religious services will be held there once a month on Fridays starting at 6 p.m. and on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. Services will also be conducted on holidays, including the high holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
A religious school for children 6 to 13 years old will also meet Sundays between 9:45 a.m. and noon, while adult education programs are planned Thursday evenings. The assembly area will have the capacity for 190 seats, according to the application.
The congregation’s office will be staffed with two to three people, who will work weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
“Chabad Lubavitch is a welcoming religious organization that provides enriching religious services and educational programs to our community,” Fallon said. About 70 percent of Chabad’s members live in Fairfield.
Fallon said the Chabad proposal for the Brookside property conforms with all the relevant zoning regulations.