Foil: Your right to Know.
Announcement sent to the CUPON Community on February 28, 2023 from Micheal Miller.
“On February 22, 2023, the court issued a decision concerning the Town of Ramapo in the first of two Pascack Ridge cases. Pascack Ridge is the 224 Unit development to be located in Hillcrest on Pascack Road and Ewing Avenue, between Spring valley, and Nanuet.
Overall, the Court has overturned the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), finding that the Town did not follow procedural rules for how it handled the rezoning local law. They will have to do the SEQRA again, which will delay the project for another several months, and that’s a victory for us, but not a total win!
A disappointment in this ruling is that our claim that this development will be racially segregated housing that should be annulled by the court. Our claim required the Town Boards to specifically consider the racial impact, not only of the rezoning to allow construction of multiple family residences on the site, but of the racial makeup of the future residents of the housing to be built on the site in a primarily diverse area. The court ruled this is speculative, is not required by SEQRA or its regulations, and has been squarely rejected by the Appellate Division. Accordingly, this Petition and Complaint were denied and dismissed.
The three resolutions where we prevailed are:
- Findings Statement under the New York State Environmental Review Act (‘SEQRA’);
Accordingly, this matter is returned to the Town Board for correction of the procedural deficiencies involving its failure to properly identify the action as rezoning and site review and to identify the involved agencies when they accepted the DEIS, in particular, to treat RCDA as an involved agency, and to solicit comments from the agency
- A Resolution to amend the Town’s Comprehensive Plan;
The Court need not reach this issue in light of its determination to return this matter to the Town Board. On remittal, the Town Board shall comply with the procedural and substantive requirements of SEQRA and the applicable Town Law.
- A Resolution to change the zoning designation of certain parcels of land within the project site from R-15 (single-family dwellings limited, four per acre) to MR-12 (multi-family dwellings, twelve per acre).
The Court does not seek to substitute its judgment for the Town Board’s or to usurp the Town Board’s role of choosing from reasonable alternatives. However, the Town Board was required to thoroughly consider less dense alternatives to MR-12 zoning.
The court decision requires that the SEQRA be redone by the Town of Ramapo that includes all relevant agencies, a specific Site Plan, and consideration of less dense zoning as a reasonable alternative to MR-12 zoning. A copy of the decision is attached should you wish to review it.
This ruling is one of two complaints we filed to bring attention to the inequity in new housing developments that is happening all over Ramapo, and beyond. To keep up this fight we need your support.
CUPON Inc. is an all-volunteer, non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to preserving our community. We incur costs when Professional consultants and Attorneys are needed. Your support will be appreciated. You can donate by postal mail or on the web.