Monday, June 16, 2014

Bloomingburg Votes to Dissolve Zoning, Planning Boards 

The Village of Bloomingburg votes to dissolve its planning and zoning boards.

"Since we took over the administration of the village, we have not had anybody on the zoning or planning boards," said Frank Gerardi, the village mayor.

The Town of Mamakating will now assume the responsibilities of both boards.

"Our boards are operating at a much more professional level," said Bill Hermann, Town of Mamakating supervisor.

The prior planning board was heavily criticized by residents for their role in approving Shalom Lamm's 396 high-density housing development Chestnut Ridge. Despite how it appears, Mayor Gerardi says the local laws were not enacted to spite any one developer, nor will they have an impact on Lamm's project.

"He [Lamm] has permits that were issued by the previous administration," said Gerardi.

In the last election Herrmann was largely successful because he was a founding member of the Rural Community Coalition that vocally opposes the Chestnut Ridge project. He says now that the zoning and planning of the village will be under the supervision of the town, all future large scale development will be heavily scrutinized.

"A developer shouldn't be coming into the area and getting 'carte blanche' what they want. This is our town, these are our villages and the people should be getting the consideration, not the developer," said Hermann.

The village also moved to suspend issuance of building permits for 90 days.

Hermann says village and town residents should expect to see some major changes.

"Number one, we'll adhere to the law, which certainly it's questionable whether that's happened in the past within the village, but also to make the project what's right for the people," said Hermann.

Chestnut Ridge developer Shalom Lamm declined to comment.


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