Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bloomingburg development moratorium extended for 90 days 

A 90-day extension of the June moratorium on all development in the village was passed unanimously by the Village of Bloomingburg Board of Trustees Wednesday night.

The extension was necessary, according to Mayor Frank Gerardi, as an investigation into several complaints related to building, zoning and other violations has not been completed. A complete review of the village's zoning laws also has not been finished to meet the standards of the Town of Mamakating's comprehensive plan.

A vote on a referendum for the dissolution of Bloomingburg into Mamakating is scheduled for Sept. 30.

Michael Fragin, spokesman for the Bloomingburg Jewish Community Council, the group behind a complaint, and previously a spokesman for developer Shalom Lamm during the ballot fraud controversy earlier this year, criticized Wednesday's vote. He said the moratorium has brought difficulty specifically to the Hasidic Jewish population that moved into the village at the beginning of the year.

"Jewish residents need to make their homes compatible with Orthodox Jewish life," Fragin said in a prepared statement. "We believe this law was enacted under highly questionable reasoning and fear that its extension does not serve any public purpose. We have every desire to be good neighbors and friends, and only ask the same in return."

Village Attorney Steve Mogel said the comprehensive review has been interrupted because of distractions, such as the recent $25 million lawsuit filed by the Bloomingburg Jewish Education Center on Monday.

The 66-page complaint cited the moratorium as an example of the village's effort to create "a number of roadblocks" to prevent the Hasidic Jewish community from growing in the village.

Gerardi declined to comment on the complaint that seeks to stop the vote on the dissolution.


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