Monday, May 22, 2006

Judge clears way for vote on new village

A state judge has cleared the way for residents of southern Blooming Grove to decide whether to establish the first new village in Orange County since Kiryas Joel formed in 1977.

State Supreme Court Justice Lawrence Horowitz ruled Friday that a petition signed by nearly 1,000 residents of the proposed village was valid, despite a litany of technical objections brought by landowners hoping to derail the effort.

The ruling clears the way for Blooming Grove to schedule a referendum for residents living within the 4.8 square miles that would constitute the Village of South Blooming Grove. Almost 2,800 people live in that area.

Spencer McLaughlin, an attorney who has advised the organizers of the petition drive, said today that the proposal still carries momentum, despite the nearly two years that have elapsed since residents mobilized to form a village.

"They'll be very happy," McLaughlin said. "I get calls about this a couple of times every week."

An appeal appears unlikely. Hal Greene, a key opponent, said today the decision will rest with the investor group that recently bought a controlling interest in the former Lake Anne Country Club, the 862-acre expanse that Greene's family owned for decades.

Ziggy Brach, an influential member of that partnership, said he has no interest in an appeal.

"The whole lawsuit was nonsense," he said.

South Blooming Grove was one of three village proposals that surfaced in 2004 as people in areas outside the Hasidic community of Kiryas Joel scrambled to prevent the densely populated village from expanding into their suburban neighborhoods.

A petition to form a Village of Woodbury was submitted in 2004 and challenged; the case is now before the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court. A third proposal, to incorporate Salisbury Mills as a village, never got off the ground.


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Chaptzem! Blog