Friday, May 15, 2015
Making your way through hundreds of pages of Volume One of the Kiryas Joel Generic Environmental Impact Statement, two points come through time and time again: With or without the annexation of 507 acres from the Town of Monroe into the Village of Kiryas Joel, the population affiliated with the cultural and religious mores of village residents will increase by more than 19,000 people in ten years to more than 42,000 people. And more than a dozen times, the document states the situation will not become another East Ramapo, where members of the Hasidic community in that school district have taken controlled of the school board. What follows is a summary and review of the key parts of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement prepared for the Village of Kiryas Joel by planning consultant Tim Miller Associates, Inc. The draft statement examines growth, water and sewage, traffic, public safety issues, schools and other issues. There are no significant issues that cannot be resolved, the consultant concludes.
507 acres, comprised of 177 tax lots 164 acres comprised of 71 tax lots
"No specific plans for development have been submitted with either petition," the villages says in its press release announcing the public hearing. The Village of Kiryas Joel has a geographic area of approximately 700 acres, or approximately 1.1 square miles. The 507 acres equal four-fifths of a square mile. How big is that? Although the land involved in the petition is not contiguous, in total it would represent 385 football fields, including both end zones. The size of the land also equals 1/28th of Manhattan.
Comparative development analysis
"The DGEIS establishes that continued growth of the area population is inevitable, with or without the annexation proposal," the village's consultants write in the executive summary. A projected 3,825 new families/households will be added to the community by the year 2025. This growth represents approximately 19,663 people to an existing population estimate of 22,634 people. (42,297) "This projection is comparable to the 2009 demographic forecast made for the Aqueduct Connection EIS," the consultants noted.
Population and development"
Since there are no development project associated with the Annexation Petitions, the only action required under Article 17 of the New York State General Municipal Law are the resolutions of the Village of Kiryas Joel Board of Trustees and the Town Board of the Town of Monroe to approve or deny the annexation. "The use and development of lands annexed to the Village will become subject to the Village Zoning."
All of the annexation territory is located within the Monroe-Woodbury School District," the report says. "Alteration of the district boundary line between the MWSD and the KJSD will not occur automatically upon annexation, but instead would require separate administrative actions, requiring agreement from both school district's Boards of Education." Without annexation, the consultants said, and with no change in the school district boundary, the Monroe-Woodbury School District "will see growth of the Hasidic population in the annexation territory of approximately 1,431 families." That would generate an increase in revenues of more than $9.2 million; its also would prompt an increase of costs of more than $7.5 million.
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