Synagogue’s claims about church’s size are inaccurate

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

Greenwich Reform Synagogue is misstating the size of Greenwich Baptist Church.

It was reported in the June 3 issue of the Greenwich Time that on Greenwich Reform Synagogue’s plans for a temple, “The 12,000-square-foot plan is not abnormally large compared to other similarly zoned Greenwich religious facilities, according to figures compiled by the synagogue: The Greenwich Baptist Church on 10 Indian Rock Lane, less than half a mile from the proposed Greenwich Reform Synagogue location and within the same R-12 zone, is just under 24,000 square feet.”

This was repeated in the June 23 and the July 9 issues of the Greenwich Time and was used in other published commentaries. It is also stated in the Greenwich Reform Synagogue lawsuit that Greenwich Baptist Church has “a facility just under 24,000 square feet.” But, according to the Greenwich Assessors Field Card, the Greenwich Baptist Church (GBC) total square footage for their church and chapel buildings is approximately 17,284 square feet.

The chapel building, built in 1940, has total area of 2,814 square feet and is occasionally used for religious purposes.

The church building, built in1970, has three levels: a basement, an area of 4,772 sq. ft., consists of classrooms, a kitchen, a meeting room and rest rooms; the first floor consists of a sanctuary of 3,142 sq. ft. and a foyer of 1,630 sq. ft.; a second floor, an area of 4,827 sq. ft., consists of offices, classrooms and rest rooms for a total church area of 14,371 square feet.

Where did this “just under 24,000 square feet” come from? Was the size misstated to make the Greenwich Reform Synagogue plans look small in comparison?

Greenwich Baptist Church has 4.766 acres on which, besides the church and chapel, are three residential homes and a building used for preschool. They also have sufficient parking on their property to accommodate all of their religious activities. Renacimiento, a non-denominational Spanish church, also uses the GBC facility without any impact on the residential character of the neighborhood.

The Greenwich Reform Synagogue is trying to squeeze their 12,242 sq. ft. building and 47 parking spaces onto 1.77 acres.

 

John Timm
Cos Cob

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