A Baltimore County Circuit Court judge heard testimony Wednesday on two proposals for what to do about the Chabad of Towson University and Goucher College, a structure in Towson’s residential Aigburth Manor neighborhood that a court ruled is in violation of a setback covenant.
Neighbors want Hasidic Jewish organization, Friends of Lubavitch, which runs the Jewish outreach program, Chabad, to raze the building. But the Jewish outreach group proposed moving it backward 62 feet instead.
Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Cox, who took over the case after Judge Susan Souder retired earlier this year, will decide between the two. But in closing remarks, Cox expressed concerns about ruling either way in a case that has layered expensive appeals one after another.
“It is clear as day to me that no matter what I rule, there will be an appeal,” Cox said. “You all are locked in this battle that I think, procedurally, is in a posture that doesn’t serve either side well.”
The case stems from the construction of a large addition in front of a residential building at 14 Aigburth Road. Friends of Lubavitch was ordered to tear down the structure last April because it violates setback covenants in the deed. The structure, which dwarfs the original building, sits less than 60 feet from the road, far closer than the required 115 feet. Setting it back 62 feet would then meet more than the required 115 setback covenant.