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Site Map and on the right thumbnail
for the larger Site Plan image. (When you open the Site Plan, you can enlarge the
map by moving the cursor over the image and clicking the magnifying glass or look for
the expand button when you move the cursor and click there.)
Religious School With 4,500 Residents Planned for Pomona
The Rabbinical College of Tartikov, Pomona, NY, will have housing for 1,000 married students. Located on 100+ acres south of Route 202 and to the east of Route 306 (see map above), the school reflects the legacy of Adult Student Housing in Ramapo with more than 90% of the buildings used as residences and less than 10% for schools. This is not the typical college campusĖ-not with less than 10% of all buildings dedicated to classrooms.
The single school building is the smallest structure on the grounds having only three stories. All other buildings on the "campus" are four, five, and six stories. The school building has a total of 34 parking spaces. The other dwellings have parking for 1,036 vehicles. On the site map (above), the blue building is apparently the school (34 parking spaces), and the red buildings are the residences for students. You probably canít see it on this map, but the numbers on the roofs designate 4, 5, and 6 stories.
The Adult Student Housing residences will average 1,800 square feet, with either three or four bedrooms. They will house a combined population on the site of approximately 4,500, broken down in the following way:
1,000 adult students
1,250 children under the age of five
1,250 school-age children.
According to the plans, the average family will have 2.5 children and occupy a three or four-bedroom apartment.
For more information on Ramapoís Adult Student Housing Law click here. Briefly, though, in Ramapo RLUIPA (the Federal Religious Land Use Law) was used by our town board as the legal justification for its new Adult Student Housing Law (ASH). Michael Klein, our town attorney, informed the town board that under RLUIPA it could not prevent religious institutions from creating "Adult Student Housing" connected to schools providing "post-secondary education."
Rather than test the fairness and constitutionality of the RLUIPA law in court, Supervisor St. Lawrence and his Board created a number of ASH zones in Ramapo including the project on Grandview Ave. on the old Nike site and numerous others. (Photo of construction appears below)
By doing so, St. Lawrence and the Board have opened the floodgates to urbanization with high-density, multi-story apartment complexes masquerading as school campuses.
The only way out of this march over the cliff is for voters to clean house this fall in the Ramapo elections, just as they did last fall in state and national elections.
We will continue to cover this story as the plans make their way to village boards. Meanwhile, please send this information to neighbors who might not be aware of the seismic changes that are going in Ramapo regarding overdevelopment and the failing infrastructure (water, traffic, and sewers). You can cut and paste the address for this story, or just tell them to visitwww.preserveramapo.org where they can also sign up for free e-mail notifications of breaking news.
Professor Marci Hamilton of Yeshiva University is "an
nationally recognized constitutional authority specializing in church/state
relations. She is a leading national expert on the Religious Freedom Restor-
ation Act, which she successfully challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court
and is involved in cutting-edge First Amendment litigation involving religious
land use (Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act--RLUIPA)." The
Community View that appeared in The Journal News addresses Attorney
Storzer's attack on Pomona residents and his misstatement and misunderstanding
of the legislation. Full text here.
Preserve Ramapo editorial published in
The Journal News that responds to
Roman P. Storzer's pledge that his clients will live in "harmony with the
surrounding community" in Pomona. Mr. Storzer is the attorney for the
Congregation Rabbinical College of Tartikov. Full text here.
A Journal News letter writer itemizes the
extended costs for a development like
the Pomona college application. Text here.
Feb 27, 2007
"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." Read the entire letter here.
Jan 29, 2007 In a letter to The Journal News, a Pomona
resident asks several pointed questions
about the proposed "college" on 306. One has to do with the actual name of the
organization planning the project and another has to do with the group's tax status.
"Since the nonprofit organization and Babad Management use the same address,
and Chaim Babad seems to be active in both business and nonprofit activities, this
could be a violation of IRS 501(c)(3) regulations and the organization's right to have
tax-exempt status." The reader offers an IRS address for Commissioner of the IRS
Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division to which interested parties could
write for an answer or request for an investigation. A second letter writer offers a
warning about the out-of-control growth in Ramapo which will have county-wide
consequences. Both letters here.
Jan 21, 2007 Peter Applebome says at the beginning of his
story, "You might think itís time for
some brakes on development in an area with chronically stressed sewers that is so
short of water that itís thinking of taking drinking water from the Hudson (nothing
like a little strontium 90 in your coffee to get you going in the morning). But, if so,
you probably would not be familiar with the Town of Ramapo in Rockland County."
The Town of Ramapo with a Supervisor and Board (St. Lawrence and the Gang of
Four) who have created a plan for Adult Student Housing, have refused to fight
RLUIPA, have downzoned areas where you can now build on 90% of your site, and
who allow dormitories without any review or variances. Sunday Times story here.
Construction on Grandview Avenue (Previously the site of the Nike Base)