When is a college really housing?

(Letter to The Journal News--first appeared
February 27, 2007)

In response to a Feb. 20 "Community View" by Roman P. Storzer, "Rabbinical college also concerned with Pomona's well-being," the proposed plan to build a college in Pomona that will train 1,000 rabbis is clearly and simply a housing plan, not a religious-use plan. The 100-acre tract is currently zoned for single-family houses on one-acre lots. An educational institution is a permitted use in that zone and is not in dispute.

The issue of contention is the plan to build apartments for 1,000 families. The developer would construct 10 buildings to house about 4,500 people. The buildings could be as high as six stories and would park about 1,000 cars. This is totally out of character with the village, which is seated in a rural-like setting at the foot of the Ramapo Mountains.

People who expect to live and raise their children in a community for 15 years should live in residential housing that should be part of the community. As residents of Pomona and the Town of Ramapo, they will be receiving municipal services and should be expected to pay their share of taxes that support those services.

To build an enormous housing project and call it a religious function is pure fantasy on the part of the developer and should not be allowed.

Howard Cohen

Chestnut Ridge