The following letter appeared in The Rockland County Times just before New Years.
To the Editor,
On December 21, 2017 I attended a meeting of the Town of Ramapo Zoning Board of Appeals where I witnessed an extremely acrimonious dispute between long-time residents of the Fred Eller Lane, Monsey, NY community area and the attorney for a developer seeking to put multi-family housing into their neighborhood. Many of the feelings expressed by the residents were identical to those of my family and neighbors who are fighting a similar development. What these residents and their attorney noted in particular was the developer was not going to reside there on Fred Eller Lane.
The Town of Ramapo General District Regulations § 376-23 G states “No land or buildings shall be used in any manner so as to create any hazard to the public health, peace or comfort or to hinder the most appropriate use of land in the vicinity.” Yet we have seen absentee developers come into an area time after time and disrupt the peace of the neighborhood because they have been granted the “right” to build multi-unit monstrosities that are entirely unlike the structures these neighborhoods were originally zoned for when the original residents moved in.
In order to preserve peace in the community and to reduce the probability of disputes that force Public Hearings of both the Planning and Zoning boards to extend much later than the allocated time, I would like to suggest to the Town of Ramapo that a regulation be enacted that would require houses purchased in residential zones with the intent to enlarge or replace the structure be required to notify neighbors in the immediate vicinity at least one month prior to the closing of the sale.
If such notification is not given, the purchaser should not be permitted to add additional apartments nor replace the home with a structure of more dwellings for a specified period of time. This would benefit all parties involved, including the Town, since it would give a chance to not only resolve issues peacefully before contentious Public Hearings, it can help avoid costs to the developers in having to discard plans and designs they may be unable to use.
Asher A. Kaufman