Thursday, May 25, 2006

Yeshiva Dorm under questioning

EX: The yeshiva students' use of a local residence has prompted questions from borough officials. During its May 15 meeting, Borough Council members heard from Housing Officer Edward Goetzmann, who has looked into the use by Yeshiva Me'on Hatorah students of the house at 53 N. Rochdale Ave. The yeshiva is located in the borough on Homestead Lane. Goetzmann said he recently received phone calls about the use of the North Rochdale property from Mayor Beth Battel and resident Bert Ellentuck,among others. He said he has seen yeshiva students traveling up and down Rochdale Avenue and going in and out of the house. "There are more people there than there should be," he said. Goetzmann said he has notified the property owner, Paul Brottman, who is in the hospital, about the matter. "The question is, what is the building being used for?" Goetzmann asked. Phone calls to Yeshiva Me'on Hatorah Vice President Josh Pruzansky went unanswered. Goetzmann said Brottman had previously called him to say he had a new tenant who wanted to move into the home quickly. An inspection of the home only turned up a few minor problems, none of which is dangerous, according to Goetzmann. After inspecting the property, Goetzmann told Brottman he could issue a "permissible continuing occupancy" permit. He said he made it clear to Brottman and to Rabbi Yisroel Eisenberg, of the yeshiva, that the house is zoned as a single-family occupancy dwelling. He also said the rabbi is somehow related to the tenants. According to Goetzmann, there are no sprinklers in the house. But if the house is being used as a boarding home, he said, it would need to have them.......He also said the residence may have changed from a single-family home into a house where 12-14 boys sleep each night. He said the state considers a boarding home any place where five unrelated persons over the age of 2 1/2 live together.
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