“SPRING VALLEY – A townhouse development already under investigation now faces local violations for allegedly adding a school and place of worship.
Spring Valley Chief Building Inspector Walter Booker said Thursday that the school and synagogue violate the approved site plan for the three-story stone buildings at Main Street and Maple Avenue known as the Park View Condominiums. They were built as part of the village’s downtown urban renewal.
Booker said another inspector also approved two religious baths called mikvahs in May 2015 during a time when he was under suspension. He said he had previously rejected building the baths because they were religious uses violating federal guidelines for such projects and, several years ago, had forced the developer to bury the baths that were being constructed against his orders.
“The site is in violation of site-plan approval, building-permit statutes, certificate-of-occupancy statutes, zoning statutes and the conditions of the Urban Renewal Board that qualified the proposal prior to matriculation through the requisite land-use boards,” Booker said.
The owners have been under investigation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development since 2013 for allegedly not reaching out to prospective non-Jewish buyers when advertising the large apartments bordering Memorial Park.
The Spring Valley NAACP chapter filed a complaint with HUD accusing the developer of discrimination against blacks and other by selectively marketing and selling the units to ultra-Orthodox Jews. NAACP officials are scheduled to meet with representatives of the owners at a HUD conciliation meeting June 30 in Manhattan, NAACP Chapter President Willie Trotman said.
Trotman said Thursday that Booker’s violation notices will be discussed with HUD.
“I think its very disturbing that they are doing this, knowing there is a continuous, ongoing investigation,” Trotman said.
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