“An acting New York State Supreme Court justice has again scrapped a Ramapo zoning board decision that would allow multiple-family housing on one acre along Union Road.
Ramapo has vowed to appeal Justice Sherri Eisenpress’ March 2 ruling blocking the hotly contested 15-unit Bluefield Extension project in a neighborhood predominantly composed of single-family housing.
Eisenpress rejected the Zoning Board of Appeals approved variances for the development. The judge also vacated the planning board’s New York State Environmental Quality Review Act determination that there will be no environmental impacts from the high-density project.
Susan Shapiro, attorney for Citizens United to Protect Our Neighborhood, known as CUPON, and homeowner Sharon Doucette, said the judge rejected the approvals on procedural grounds. She said the town had ample opportunities to properly access the project over the years.
The judge’s ruling called the town’s decision “jurisdictionally defective” because the required time for public notice for an environmental review hearing was not provided.
“The myriad of Bluefield Extension applications over the past seven years paints a sordid history of the past abusive decision-making by Ramapo for this project …,” Shapiro said.
Shapiro said the town also failed to conduct proper review relating to the inflated purchase prices for the land acquisitions, which they tried to justify a use variance.
“In spite of these procedural problems being brought to the town’s attention in advance, the town willfully ignored the warnings, and once again failed to fulfill its most basic legal responsibilities to protect the public and comply with lawful procedures,” Shapiro said.
Ramapo intends to appeal Eisenpress to the Appellate Division, Deputy Town Attorney Dennis Lynch said. The town previously allowed the developer to resubmit documents and the board to correct errors cited by the judge.”
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