Welcome to the Neighborhood

After talking with the rabbi, Kasdin was receptive to the idea of arranging a broader discussion. He even set a date: Monday, July 19. "Emotions were running very high," the mayor acknowledged. "I was going to call a meeting of the neighborhood group and the planning director to discuss alternatives, other ways of approaching it. But apparently what happened was there's been a complete split in the neighborhood. It's now two separate camps."

News of that split disappointed Rabbi Bixon. "Things could have been resolved among neighbors," he said. "I think it's a big mistake for the community because a community is always stronger when people work together."

Bill Wax was also disappointed. "I've been a moderate voice in this affair," he recalled last week, "but I was a minority voice of compromise. I still hope we could come to some agreement by way of good communication with the city, the religious groups, and citizens. I really wanted a workshop to happen with Mayor Kasdin. But fear was the problem. That's the whole problem."

On July 10 Concerned Citizens for the Preservation of Single Family Zoning met again. Attorney Tucker Gibbs reported on an important development that had occurred late in the week. The proposed zoning change, scheduled to come before the full commission July 20, would be delayed so city officials could modify the plan in a way that might satisfy both sides. That, of course, would require some communication between the Orthodox and the non-Orthodox. Gary Hunt says it's a possibility, though it won't likely be neighbor-to-neighbor. It'll be attorney-to-attorney.


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