Homeowners Sue City for Allowing Synagogue Construction

July 11, 2003

Source: The Associated Press

On July 11, 2003 The Associated Press reported that "a group of Hancock Park homeowners sued the city Thursday for allowing Orthodox Jews to build an 8,100-square-foot house of worship in their wealthy neighborhood... The federal suit, filed on behalf of a nonprofit group and nine residents, alleges that Los Angeles violated its own zoning ordinances by issuing a building permit allowing the Etz Chaim congregation to build a multistory synagogue in an area of single-family homes... The suit contends that the congregation 'altered the residential character' of the community... 'It creates traffic, noise, basically a nuisance to neighbors,' homeowner Larry Faigan said. 'The use is inappropriate for a residential neighborhood...' Plaintiffs also say dozens of people have gathered at their rabbi's home for services while the synagogue is being built... Susan Azad, an attorney representing the congregation, said members are required to walk to Sabbath services, and the nearest synagogue was a half- mile away."