Ellen Jaffee Re “Ramapo’s Pascack Ridge housing plan continues amid opposition,” Aug. 17 article:
As an elected official, my job is to listen to those I serve and to alleviate, not impose hardships. Many of my constituents have expressed a broad range of concerns regarding the proposed Pascack Ridge development.
There are those who might justify the need for such a massive project to address the shortage of housing in the Town of Ramapo and the growing number of families with children. However, that is not the intent of this project. The proposed development is not a response to the Hillcrest community as a whole, but rather a proposal to create segregated housing in one of the most diverse communities in Rockland County, a community I am proud to represent. Any justification for a project that will benefit only some residents, while imposing an enormous burden on the entire community is nullified.
I share the very real concerns regarding the environmental impact of the proposed development, and, if approved, the disastrous effect it will have on the quality of life as well as the health and well-being of all residents.
This rezoning plan would convert the 27.6-acre environmentally constrained “Pascack Ridge,” currently zoned R-15 (one home per 15,000 square feet, or two attached homes per 20,000 square feet) to MR-12 (12 multifamily homes per acre) and amend the Town of Ramapo’s Comprehensive Plan to enable the rezoning. This is extremely troublesome.
The increased development without oversight will:
- Create safety risks for pedestrians and those who are used to walking, including young children and older adults.
- Require more firehouses and first responders.
- Impact human health — more vehicle traffic increases air pollution and the well-documented risk of lung disease, including cancer.
- Impact the environment, contributing to climate change and serious weather-related issues.
- Impact our natural resources, in particular a safe, sustainable, water supply.
- Impact our water infrastructure, roads, and sewers.
I respectfully remind the Town of Ramapo supervisor of his commitment to “undertake a full review of the Town’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Zoning Law” and to “implement a moratorium” on certain types of new development while a new Comprehensive Plan is drafted, one that will reflect the diverse needs of all town residents.
As a member of the New York State Assembly representing the Town of Ramapo, I am committed to using any resources within my Assembly jurisdiction, and to working with state oversight agencies, including the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of State, the Division of Human Rights, the Attorney General and the Comptroller, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers to stand up for what is right.
Ellen C. Jaffee
The writer, a Suffern resident, is a member of the New York State Assembly, representing the 97th District.