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the city's landmark preservation commission approved a controversial school expansion into the rear-yards of neighbors of the chabad school, on west 86th street between columbus avenue and central park west.

the project would allow chabad of the west side synagogue and pre-school to take over two landmark-protected brownstones, 43-45 w. 86th st. the brownstones had two tenants living in them, one in a rent-stabilized unit.

in june, community board 7 sided with neighbors and voted down the plan. the landmarks commission, however, unanimously approved the plan after chabad reduced the rear-yard expansion and adjusted the floor height.

"the owner addressed the concerns the commission raised at the public meeting," said elisabeth de bourbon, a commission spokesperson.

chabad spokesperson hank sheinkopf said the organization would continue to be considerate and a "good neighbor."

"we enjoy a good reputation and look forward to continuing that," sheinkopf said.

helen rosenthal, the community board's chair, is establishing a committee to follow construction, which is slated for completion in 2013.

"the community board stands ready to help all parties involved," rosenthal said. "the construction committee will keep information about what's going on very accessible."

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