“A rabbinical college is preparing to apply for approval for the first phase of its dormitory school in Pomona following a judgment and injunction handed down this week in the nearly decade-old legal tussle.
The judgment forces the village of 3,200 to accept and process the Congregation Rabbinical College of Tartikov’s site plan application to house 250 students and their families along Routes 202 and 306, according to Paul Savad of Nanuet, one of Tartikov’s attorneys.
“This gives us a level playing field,” Savad said Wednesday.
Savad said an application for a second phase to accommodate possibly 250 more students would come at a later time. The school would provide tuition-free training for rabbis to serve in the rabbinical courts.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas’ judgment sets forth deadlines for Tartikov’s application process, stating that a public hearing must be held within 62 days of when the application is received. The hearing must be closed within 60 days and a decision rendered within 62 days after that.
The judgment also states that Tartikov’s proposed non-accredited rabbinical college with student family housing is a permitted use and does not require a special permit under the village’s one-acre, residential zoning.
Karas also required Pomona to reimburse Tartikov’s attorneys fees and costs, which Savad said could amount to about $2 million. That would be another blow for a village that’s racked up millions in lawyers’ fees and was previously ordered to pay Tartikov $43,000 in legal fees.
The judge’s March 20 order summarized his December 2017 decision that parts of Pomona’s zoning code were discriminatory and would limit Tartikov’s rights to build its dormitory school.
Village attorney Doris Ulman said Pomona’s Board of Trustees had adopted a resolution authorizing an appeal of the decision to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which must be filed within 30 days of the March 20 order.
Ulman said the village had “many, many issues” with Karas’ rulings but declined to be specific until the appeal is filed.
“We believe the judge made many errors in the December 7 decision and the judgment that he made yesterday,” Ulman said Wednesday.”
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