Chestnut Ridge residents furious over neighbor's 'storage shed' used as house of worship

Chestnut Ridge residents say they are furious over a neighbor's "storage shed" that is more like a building large enough to fit hundreds of people.

News 12 Staff

Mar 25, 2022, 1:00 AM

Updated 796 days ago

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Chestnut Ridge residents say they are furious over a neighbor's "storage shed" that is more like a building large enough to fit hundreds of people.
The structure in the backyard of 312 North Highland Ave. has a permit from the village of Chestnut Ridge for a "Modular Storage Unit.”
But the "unit" is made up of two double-wide residential trailers with HVAC systems, electric wires and stairs from multiple doors.
Neighbors say at least 200 people worship from the building on Fridays - and upwards of 300 on holidays like Purim.
During his visit, village fire inspector Kim Weppler placed a notice of "fire safety code violations" on the building Thursday for a number of issues.
One includes clear escape routes, which now dangerously consists of rocks, mud, boulders and tree stumps. 
What was once wooded views and home to wildlife, is now leveed to a muddy clear. It's unclear why the area is razed, but newly installed markers now define property lines, which divides that flattened land in half.
News 12 reached out to the building inspector about those property markers and violations posted on the building but hasn't heard back yet.
At a routine village board meeting Thursday, the mayor was pressed on the issue by News 12 and a number of residents but he declined to comment.


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