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Homegrown Activism Takes Root In Ramapo Development Battle

Patrick Farm, a 479-unit development outside Pomona, is facing opposition from grassroots groups.
Patrick Farm, a 479-unit development outside Pomona, is facing opposition from grassroots groups. Photo Credit: Provided

RAMAPO, N.Y. -- Overdevelopment issues may contribute to the rift between religious and secular communities in rapidly growing Ramapo, but activists there say it’s less about "Not in my Backyard" and more about following the rules, according to a report by lohud.com.

One grassroots group is finding common ground by reaching out to other residents with similar worries about the fate of big parcels such as Patrick Farm, a 479-unit development outside Pomona, or a former school for troubled youth in Chestnut Ridge, lohud.com reported.

Hillcrest resident Micheal Miller, founder of Citizens United to Protect Our Neighborhoods, told lohud.com that he feels many, diverse, voices are better than one and has, to that end, helped inspire folks such as Shani Bechhofer of Monsey, who formed Viola Estates Resident Allied for Integrity.

According to lohud.com, several neighbors sued the town after it reacted to complaints that a project, located on land formerly owned by Temple Beth El on Viola Road, had more units than allowed by simply revising the plan. The town contends that the suit is meritless, lohud.com said.

Bechhofer said that while the development’s size was a concern, the bigger issue was making sure that both the town and developers respected the law and followed the rules, the lohud.com article said.

To read the lohud.com article, click here.

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