Suffern Building Project Proposal Possible

More than ten years ago the Village of Suffern was faced with lawsuits over a piece of property on Hillside Avenue, on which a Yeshiva with housing for more than 200 people was proposed to be built. In June 2002 the planning board turned down the proposal, leading to the village spending over $460,000 on legal fees and civil penalty from lawsuits filed by the congregation and the U.S. Attorney’s office under the fair housing act and the Religious Use and Institutionalized Person Act. In 2006 residents received a 5.48 rise in taxes when the village increased a fund in the budget for legal fees by seventeen percent. Recently controversy has risen up again. According to Airmont Mayor Veronica Boesch, an engineer for the yeshiva allegedly questioned the Community Design Review Committee on how to file permits. Boesch stated that the four-year decree, signed by U.S. Judge Lewis Kaplan in 2011, that allows the yeshiva to build on the property will expire soon. The yeshiva was originally planning a 170 student housing project with 30 apartments for faculty and spouses. No application has been filed yet, but residents and neighbors of the project have expressed concern of overgrowth in population in the area.

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