Wednesday, June 29, 2016
After two meetings, the Mamakating Planning Board has yet to have any meaningful public discussion about the possibility of rescinding permit approvals for the controversial Hasidic housing development Chestnut Ridge.
The board called its first due process hearing on June 16, but promptly adjourned that meeting because attorneys for the Chestnut Ridge developers submitted a 19-page letter only hours before the hearing. They scheduled a new hearing for June 28, to have time to review the letter and to give the developers' attorneys another chance to appear and make their case.
Tuesday night's meeting unfolded much like the previous one. The board received more letters, chairman Stosh Zamonsky and town attorney Ben Gailey said. Two letters were sent on behalf of Chestnut Ridge unit owners, one who owns multiple units, and one more letter was sent from an attorney for the developers. The board also gained access to a letter that was sent from the state to the Village of Bloomingburg, citing fire code violations in Chestnut Ridge, and a letter from the previous village attorney agreeing with the state's assessment.
With new letters to consider, the board went into executive session for legal advice, and then scheduled another meeting at 7 p.m. July 13. Opportunity for oral response is closed, but more letters can be sent to the board.
There is a lot to review, and that is why the process is taking so long, Zamonsky said.
"We review in detail, and that's how we're doing this," Zamonsky said. "Just like any applicant that comes before us."
At the July 13 meeting, Zamonsky said the board will have a public discussion regarding their consideration of rescission. He could not say whether the board will vote that night.
When asked whether there would be more meetings following July 13 to continue discussing the possibility of rescission, Gailey said, "Anything's possible."
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