Foil: Your right to Know.
“A neighborhood preservation group is taking the town to court for the third time to block land-use board approvals of high-density development along a residential section of Union Road.
Citizens United to Protect Our Neighborhood’s attorneys argue in court papers the town planning and zoning boards violated rules concerning issuing zoning variances, ran afoul of state environmental and general municipal laws, and decisions were marred by other procedural deficiencies. Sharon Doucette, whose property is next door to the Union Road site, also is part of the legal action to block the Bluefield Extension project. The Bluefield Extension has been in development and before land use boards for nearly a decade. The 1.05-acre property is located amid single-family houses across from the massive Bluefield complex of multiple-family townhouses. Ownership of the property has switched hands several times as multiple development plans have been offered.”
The latest legal action filed by attorney Susan Shapiro provides a history of the site, including investment speculation for millions of dollars among various owners. The legal action states the developers want permission to build 15 units of multi-family housing, including five accessory apartments, The buildings would be three-to-four stories. The current zoning of R-15 allows three-to-four homes per acre.
Acting New York State Supreme Court Judge Sherri Eisenpress has twice voided the project’s approvals and zoning board variances. She found the land-use boards failed to comply with the Rockland Planning Office recommendations under general municipal law.
Eisenpress also vacated the planning board’s New York State Environmental Quality Review Act determination there will be no environmental impacts from the high-density project.
The Ramapo Zoning Board of Appeals again approved the variance in February, leading to the latest legal action. CUPON recently filed legal action citing some of the same issues and procedural deficiencies in its latest challenge that had been ruled improper previously by the judge in 2020.
The CUPON legal action states the boards and developers “continue to make many of the same substantive errors.” The filing asks the court to annul the approvals and award CUPON legal fees, as was done previously.
Micheal Miller, a CUPON leader, said the town’s comprehensive plan only allowed a maximum of four semi-attached units to be built. He has said the town’s actions place the financial and ethical burden on the residents to resist wrongful doings by going to court.”
Read the complete Journal News coverage here.