Friday, November 14, 2014
A White Plains federal judge on Thursday shot down a bid by Hasidic community leaders for an order allowing them to complete construction on a 396-unit town-house complex and a religious school for girls in a tiny upstate village.
Judge Cathy Seibel sided with Bloomingburg officials, denying a temporary restraining order against a recently enacted local law prohibiting new construction in the village of 420 residents.
Bloomingburg is fighting a $25 million religious-discrimination lawsuit accusing the village of conspiring to block a mass influx of Satmar Hasidic families, mostly from Brooklyn.
Seibel did say that developer Shalom Lamm could move ahead with most of the "Chestnut Ridge" town-house complex because permits for roughly 300 of the 396 units were secured before the building laws changed in June. About 48 are already complete.
The judge also warned both sides to resolve their disputes before going to trial because "each side is looking to dirty the other."
Local officials say this has nothing to do with religion. They say they are fuming because the Chestnut Ridge site was approved as a gated community of 125 luxury homes. However, the original developer, Duane Roe, sold the property to Lamm, who upped the plan to 396 town houses.
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