February 8, 2023

The house owners of a Shelburne Highway home in Shaker Heights discovered of opposition to their development plans as they have been heading to Israel.

Hirsh Henfield, who owns the home along with his spouse, Deena, stated they have been on their option to the airport when he discovered of opposition to their plans to tear down the prevailing home at 22276 Shelburne Highway and substitute it with one that may have 10 bedrooms, three kitchens, a simcha corridor and mikvah scorching tub.







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22276 Shelburne Highway 




“The primary message was from a pal of mine,” Henfield informed the Shaker Heights Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning Fee at a Dec. 6 listening to, the place the doable development on the property was mentioned at size. “‘Are you constructing a synagogue, and what are you speaking about?’” the pal requested.

The couple, who belong to a number of Orthodox synagogues, had front-row seats in metropolis council chambers throughout the Dec. 6 listening to as Poet’s Nook neighborhood residents criticized the dimensions and scale of the proposed constructing, questioned the accuracy of figures and renderings, and frightened that basement flooding will solely worsen with the brand new development. Roughly 100 folks attended in individual and 75 on-line. The vote was 4-0 to proceed the case to an unspecified date.

The assembly was a continuation of a request for website plan evaluate, rather a lot consolidation and a variance to accommodate a side-yard storage.

In an unsigned Dec. 6 memo previous to the assembly, Shaker Heights employees steered a second continuance to permit the Henfields “to contemplate a discount within the dimension and scale of the home to be extra suitable with the neighborhood.”

When the couple returned from Israel after the Excessive Holy Days, Henfield stated they reached out to neighbors and despatched postcards to those that didn’t reply initially. He stated they wished to listen to what their neighbors needed to say concerning the proposed dwelling in addition to to convey the Henfields’ intent for it.

“That is our perpetually dwelling,” he stated. “It’s designed as a single-family dwelling for us to make use of, and we intend to ask family and friends over for meals and maybe kin from out of city.”

Deena and Hirsh Henfield stay on Fairmount Boulevard in Shaker Heights; they don’t stay within the Shelburne Highway home at the moment. Hirsh Henfield stated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the household walked round Shaker Heights.

“We love the gorgeous properties, however it’s actually the those who left an amazing influence on us,” he stated, including the residents of the Poet’s Nook neighborhood have been particularly pleasant. “We’re excited to remain in Shaker Heights and construct our perpetually dream dwelling right here – our American dream dwelling, you might name it, I suppose.”

Multiple resident opposed stated the dimensions and scale of the proposed new house is out of character with the neighborhood.

“We’re right here at this time with a courtroom reporter,” stated Shaker Heights resident Patrick Peters. “As a result of we need to create a file. As a result of the usual of evaluate, ought to this go to courtroom, is an arbitrary and capricious abuse of discretion. It’s our opinion that you’d have abused that discretion when you approve this software.”

Among the many 48 letters and emails that have been obtained between the preliminary Oct. 6 public listening to and the Dec. 6 continuance, 9 have been in assist, with the others expressing issues.

“Believing the Henfields should not proposing a mini-synagogue for public use is like believing a Trump-appointed Supreme Courtroom nominee wouldn’t overturn Roe v. Wade,” Shaker Heights resident Herbert Ascherman wrote in an Oct. 16 electronic mail to Mayor David Weiss.

Along with the Henfields’ lawyer and architect, three folks spoke in favor of the plan on the Dec. 6 listening to.

Shaker Heights resident Holly Litwin, who participated by way of Zoom and recognized herself as Orthodox, expressed issues of a special variety.

“I don’t assume that when Christian or Muslim folks transfer into the neighborhood, anybody assumes that they’re constructing a church or they’re constructing a mosque,” Litwin stated. “If we go into this assuming the Henfields are being disingenuous or mendacity … the Henfields won’t ever have the ability to persuade you they’re telling you the reality.”

The board of zoning appeals and planning fee requested employees to collect details about different initiatives in Shaker Heights that contain tearing down an current dwelling and rebuilding on the identical lot, Ann McGuire, Shaker Heights director of communications and advertising, informed the Cleveland Jewish Information in a Dec. 7 electronic mail.

“Particularly, the board requested about sizes and numbers of bedrooms in new properties lately constructed on heaps the place an outdated dwelling was demolished,” she stated.

John J. Boyle III made the movement to proceed. Metropolis council appointee Sean Malone offered the second. Boyle, Malone, Jason Russell and the mayor voted in favor. Member Joanna Ganning left the assembly previous to the vote.

The earliest the case might be heard is Jan. 3, 2023, McGuire stated.

This can be a creating story.