One month after a court-imposed deadline to tear down a building addition at 14 Aigburth Road, the Chabad of Towson and Goucher is continuing the legal battle to keep it standing.
Hasidic Jewish organization Friends of Lubavitch, the owner of the building, was ordered last April to tear down a recent addition because it violates setback covenants. The deadline was March 1 this year.
Friends of Lubavitch appealed the order. Then the day before the deadline, they asked the court to extend it until after that appeals process is complete, which will take until at least September. Circuit Court Judge Susan Souder denied the request.
Now, Friends of Lubavitch is appealing that denial to Maryland’s appellate court, in a filing dated April 2.
Kimberly Manuelides, a lawyer for Friends of Lubavitch, said that she was “disappointed” in the judge’s decision, arguing that if the building is demolished before the appeal process is complete, the appeal will be rendered meaningless.
“You run the potential of completely denying one party their full day in court, which they’re entitled to,” she said.
In the request for the stay, Manuelides wrote that having the structure demolished would cause “unnecessary waste and expense.” Attached in court documents was a demolition quote from the company Renovation Contractors LLC for $98,575.
Robin Zoll, who lives next door to Chabad and is the lead plaintiff in the case, said the recent moves show that Friends of Lubavitch has no intention of complying with the order to tear it down.
“Somehow the burden ends up being on us to make them follow the court order,” Zoll said. “And that’s wrong.”