Greenwich Reform Synagogue: “Laws & regulations should govern this land-use issue and guide the discussion, not rhetoric.”

To the editor:

Sarah Darer Littman’s assertion that we, or anyone affiliated with our Congregation’s leadership, have accused anyone in Cos Cob of anti-Semitism is unfounded and untrue.

A litany of inflammatory and deliberate misrepresentations runs throughout the letter, but engaging in that level of discourse would not be productive. Laws and regulations should govern this land-use issue and guide the discussion, not rhetoric.

Our synagogue plan speaks for itself. We have gone above and beyond in good faith to address the neighbors’ concerns. We think we can become a positive, constructive part of the neighborhood. We are certain we will be good neighbors.

Sandy Soule

  • Sarah Darer Littman

    Oh really, Mrs. Soule?

    The WSJ reporter used only a portion of my quote in this piece to suit his agenda – I complained to his editors. The full quote was: “Some of the online comments made me uncomfortable but I didn’t know who made them, and if I felt that anyone in our group was anti-Semitic I wouldn’t be working with them.” But he didn’t think that fit his purposes so he hacked it. Shoddy journalism.

    Mr. Birnbaum then went on CBS radio – and their reporter never reached out to us but nonetheless used my quote on air. So please. Spare me.

  • Carol

    Well, laws and regulations did guide the issue at the June 11 PZA hearing, which denied the GRS building because it is inappropriate for this small neighborhood, citing the 2009 town-wide plan of conservation and development, a plan we all live under.

    Unfortunately, the GRS building committee needs to come to grips with the fact that GRS was sold a bum lot – the property is full of rock ledge, with wetlands, in an under parked and congested residential area of Cos Cob. Yes, it has town sewers, but that is about it. Of course Atty. Heagney would want to GRS to sue the town, because that is what lawyers do. He could be laughing all the way to the bank to set up a trust fund for his -great-great great grandkids right, predicting that the over-inflated egos involved could guarantee the trust a lifetime annuity!

    As to Sandy Soule’s remark about spending 40 years in the desert (referencing the ZBA denial), THAT remark had nothing to do with the facts. Don’t forget, GRS voluntarily made a lot of money on the land deal for their 11.5 Stanwich Road acres in 2012. To me, the group looks like land developers with a religious exemption. They spent 20 years on Stanwich Road, talked about building housing there, sold the property at a huge profit, and are now attempting to buy up and bulldoze over a small Cos Cob village area. Who is to say they won’t make a huge profit on this Orchard Street development and move somewhere else?

    I also really take offense to Sandy Soule describing this congregation as small and quiet. The rock ledge blasting, months of rock crushing, and a huge commercial development project will be anything but quiet, especially to the neighbors who live 10 feet away.