Anshei Sfard moves for dismissal of landmarking appeal

Anshei Sfard (Community photo)

Anshei Sfard is asking a Jefferson County Circuit Court judge to dismiss an appeal of the repeal of its historic landmark status, which is preventing the sale of its synagogue and real estate to The Jewish Community of Louisville (JCL).
The motion, which was filed on Dec. 21 with Judge Mitch Perry, seeks to throw out the appeal filed by Avram Kahn and Jeff Levy. The two petitioners want to keep the synagogue’s historic landmarking in force.
Louisville Metro Council voted Aug. 9 to remove the synagogue’s landmarking.
Anshei Sfard contends that Kahn and Levy, in filing their appeal, did not name all the “indispensable parties” in the matter – namely, the Vaad HaKashruth and the JCL – and have not taken steps to serve the ones who were named.
“Each of these failures is fatal to the appeal,” the motions says.
In addition to Anshei Sfard, Metro Council and the city’s Historic Landmarks Preservation Districts Commission, are named as defendants in the appeal.
Landmarks Commission, against the congregation’s wishes, granted the landmarking earlier this year by a 5-4 vote.  Upon review, though, a Metro Council committee determined that it didn’t meet the criteria for the status.
The JCL has said its purchase of the Anshei Sfard property was contingent upon the city removing the landmarking.
According to Anshei Sfard’s motion, the Vaad, Louisville’s kosher-certifying body, owns the community mikvah building, which stands on synagogue property.
And the JCL’s contract to purchase gives it at least “an equitable interest” in the parcel.
Since these steps were not taken, Anshei Sfard contends, the court has no jurisdiction in the matter, and the time allotted to “secure” it. (The 30-day appeal period following the Metro Council vote) has since passed.
Stephen Porter, attorney for plaintiffs did not immediately respond Friday to an emailed request for comment.
Sara Klein Wagner, JCL president and CEO, had no comment on the motion other than expressing hope for a quick resolution of the case.

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