Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Villages move to evict families from yeshiva housing in Ramapo 

Four villages today mailed eviction notices to 16 Israeli families living in yeshiva-owned housing on Grandview Avenue based on a state judge's decision after yeshiva failed to follow his orders, officials said.

A lawyer representing the Ramapo villages in the ongoing lawsuit said eviction letters were sent after Mosdos Chofetz Chaim refused to follow the judge's order to put up a $75,000 surety bond.

Mosdos Chofetz Chaim moved the families in last year despite a court injunction freezing activity and occupation of the units pending the result of ongoing legal action with the four villages.

Attorney Michael D. Zarin said the families were being given 30 days to leave, unless the yeshiva operators put up the bond and paid the villages' legal fees ordered the judge.

The villages won the opening round of the court case when Justice Francis Nicholai ruled the yeshiva and Ramapo failed to conduct a proper environmental review before construction of 60 units within 12 multiple-family buildings.

Nicholai's decision was part of the villages' challenge to Ramapo's 2004 creation of adult student housing zones. The yeshiva's appeal of Nicholai's decisions on the environmental issues is pending before a state Appellate Division panel.

After Mosdos Chofetz Chaim moved the families in last year in violation of the court injunction, Nicholai permitted families to stay "as a humanitarian gesture" pending the appellate court decision.

After giving the yeshiva 10 months to put up the bond, Nicholai issued an order on June 15 allowing the evictions, Zarin said.

The lawsuit — brought by Chestnut Ridge, Montebello, Pomona and Wesley Hills — charged that Ramapo created its adult-student housing zones without sufficient environmental reviews.


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