Litchfield, CT - Town Moves to Dismiss Chabad Lawsuit
Litchfield, CT - The attorney for the Town of Litchfield has filed a motion to dismiss a federal lawsuit claiming discrimination in the rejection of a bid to expand a Victorian house to accommodate a synagogue.
In documents filed in U.S. Federal Court, attorney James Robertson Jr. said claims of discrimination made by Chabad Lubavitch of Litchfield County and Rabbi Joseph Eisenbach are groundless and that the lawsuit filed in August was improperly directed at the town.
Robertson notes that the lawsuit was filed against the Town of Litchfield, which has no jurisdiction over the Borough of Litchfield.
In what people think of as Litchfield, the downtown and historic district are actually within the Borough of Litchfield, which operates independently of the Town of Litchfield. The house at 85 West St. where Chabad Lubavitch proposed its synagogue is within the borough’s historic district.
Structural and exterior changes to buildings within that district are monitored and regulated by the Historic District Commission.
The town has no authority to enact or apply the land use regulations of the borough; and Chabad never sought the town’s approval to build and operate the temple, a proposal over which the town has no control.
Reached Wednesday, Eisenbach had no comment and referred questions to his attorney, Kenneth Slater Jr., who could not be reached for comment.
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