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July 20, 1990 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-07-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Seven reasons to shop
House of Watchbands.

was to break the law concer-
ning "propiska."
In light of these facts, the
hypocrisy of President Gor-
bachev's statement about the
possibility of changes in
Soviet emigration policy for
Jews, has no limit.
Lies and treachery are still

a main part of Soviet policy
today. As stated, the Soviet
government uses the Jewish
question and anti-Semitism
as a way to achieve its aims
in its foreign policy and a way
to divert attention away from
the country's economic pro-
blems. ❑

I LOCAL NEWS

Lubavitch Foundation
Seeks Approval For Path

SUSAN GRANT

Staff Writer

I

t may be a little late, but
the Lubavitch Founda-
tion is seeking a permit
to widen a path on property
it owns along Maple Road,
west of the Jewish Commun-
ity Campus.
Last month, West Bloom-
field Township officials
issued a stop-work order
against the foundation when
an area resident noticed a
bulldozer clearing a path
through the woodlands on
the foundation's 40-acre
property. The foundation
eventually plans to build a
religious and educational
facility on the site.
Rabbi Yitschak Kagan, as-
sociate director of the
Lubavitch Foundation, said,
"What we wanted to do was
widen the path so we could
bring supporters to see the
property. Although the path
was walkable, it was too
narrow for cars. We wanted
to be able to drive on the
property."
The foundation, which ex-
pects to spend $15 million on
facilities at the site, would
like to build a 10-foot-wide
gravel path with a turn-
around at the end, Rabbi
Kagan said.
The township prohibits
tree cutting within
designated woodlands
without permission from the
woodlands review board,
said David Merkarski,
township planning and envi-
ronmental director. The
foundation did not have a
permit to widen the path,
which runs into the property
from Maple Road and ex-
tends into the woodlands for
300 feet.
When the township in-
formed the foundation of the
woodlands violation, Rabbi
Kagan said he didn't realize
the foundation needed per-
mission just to widen a path.
The woodlands along the
path did not suffer much
damage, he said. Only one
tree with a four-inch

diameter was removed. The
rest of the trees were mostly
saplings.
"It is just a storm in a
teacup," Rabbi Kagan said.
But Merkarski disagreed,
saying a forester's report
immediately after the inci-
dent showed more than
1,500 small trees were
destroyed. That does not in-
clude a section of saplings
and brush cleared away in
an unregulated scrub forest
which runs between Maple
Road and the woodland area.
"Pleading ignorance is not
valid in my opinion,"
Merkarski said. Township
officials had met with foun-
dation leaders prior to the
incident to explain the
woodlands process, Merkar-
ski said.

The Lubavitch Foundation
avoided a potential $500-a-
day fine and 90-day jail
sentence for the violation by
submitting an after-the-fact
woodlands permit applica-
tion for the path. The
woodlands review board is
expected to discuss the
damaged area and deter-
mine how the foundation can
make amends at its Sept. 5
meeting.
In the meantime, the
foundation is working on
plans to build its religious
and educational retreat.
Plans call for a 200-seat syn-
agogue, a rabbinical college,
student and faculty housing,
an administration building
and a library.
"The Campus of Living
Judaism," as the facility is
called, is primarily a re-
ligious center, not a college,
Rabbi Kagan said. The col-
lege is only an extension of
the synagogue.
The foundation is using
that description because of a
recent ordinance change.
The ordinance states chur-
ches and synagogues are
allowed in areas zoned for
residential use, but univer-
sities are not. Foundation
and township attorneys are
expected to meet soon to
discuss the matter. ❑

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS 11

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