Reminder: Spring Valley CUPON Meetings This Week

After a brief hiatus, SV-CUPON is back with a new meeting place and time. 

Our next meeting will be at the First Baptist Church, 3 Hoyt Street, on Tuesday, Nov 13 at 7:00 PM.

The ZBA (Zoning Board of Appeals) meeting is Wednesday, Nov 14 at 7:30 PM in the village hall.

Don’t be a wallflower! Get involved, come to our meetings, or the village meetings. 

The schedule is on our calendar page. We are looking forward to seeing you!

Public Hearing for Ewing Ave Project

The village board is proposing to downzone property on the corner of Ewing Ave and Rose Ave. There will be a hearing on Wednesday, Nov 7 at 8:15 PM at village hall (200 N Main St)

The proposed project would bulldoze one of the last wooded areas in the village. This is one of over 160 proposed developments being considered just this year by the village government.

There has been no consideration of the cumulative impact on the infrastructure – traffic, schools, etc.

If you live in Spring Valley, you know that traffic has become a nightmare.

There is also a crisis of space in schools. There are children in trailers and some have been without even running water or electricity.

Please join us on Wednesday as we call for reasonable limits to development, based on careful analysis of environmental factors.

We are back!

After a brief hiatus, SV-CUPON is back with a new meeting place and time. Many thanks to St. Paul’s AME for allowing us to use their space for several meetings earlier this year.

Our next meeting will be at the First Baptist Church, 3 Hoyt Street, on Tuesday, Nov 13 at 7:00 PM.

What has been happening with land use boards in Spring Valley? These include the village board, the planning board, and the ZBA. SV-CUPON members have attended several meetings.

On a technical level, you could say the land use boards are dysfunctional. The meetings are chaotic. The agendas and minutes are unavailable. The web site has been down for months.

However, in another sense, the boards are functioning just as the leadership intends them to function.They are enriching speculators and developers by approving ever-increasing density on ever-smaller lots, at the expense of the quality of life of the residents of the village.

Fortunately, Rockland County is doing what it can to control the irresponsible village boards. When the village ignores laws that require county input, the developers find that they can’t get water or sewer hookups from the county. This has forced many projects back to the village boards.

You can read the opinions of the Rockland County Planning board at: http://rocklandgov.com/departments/planning/land-use/general-municipal-law/gml-reviews-by-municipality-2/

In 2018 alone, there were 160 applications from Spring Valley reviewed by the Rockland County Planning Board. Compare this to Nyack, which had three, and Haverstraw, which had 7.

The reason there are so many projects in Spring Valley is that the village has essentially announced that it will not defend its code. Things that would never fly elsewhere are almost guaranteed to pass in Spring Valley.

Even when the County Planning Board recommends disapproval, saying that “doubling of the residential density … will generate more traffic on the local streets, leading to congestion and traffic conflicts (and) an oversized residential building on an undersized parcel … will set a precedent that will negatively impact its community character”. the village boards actually override the county board, over the objections of neighbors, who affirm the findings of the county.

Don’t be a wallflower! Get involved, come to our meetings, or the village meetings. The schedule is on our calendar page. We are looking forward to seeing you!

CUPON Supporter on Ballot

This Thursday, Sept 13 will be the Democratic Primary Election.

CUPON supporter Vivian Street is on the ballot for the NY State Democratic Committee (District 97).

If you are a registered Democrat, please do not fail to go vote and support our sister Vivian.

Also:

Tomorrow, Wednesday Sept 12 will be the continuation of the public hearing on the yeshiva at Stonehedge Plaza. Please make every effort to attend this important ZBA hearing.

Stonehedge is Back!

IMPORTANT ZBA MEETING WEDNESDAY:

Wednesday August 22 at 7:00 PM at Spring Valley Village Hall (enter st the Police door)

Please make every effort to attend this meeting!

This Wednesday, August 22, the public hearing for a use variance for the school at Stonehedge Plaza (across the street from village hall) will continue. This parcel was never zoned for a school, and yet the previous Building Inspector gave them permission (accidentally?). At the first meeting where this was discussed (February 27) concerns were raised about having so many schools right on Main St, especially on the section between Ewing and Hickory which there is nowhere for the traffic to go. Also the suitability of the site for a school was questioned as it is just office space and a parking lot.

Report from Ramapo Town Board meeting:

Several members of Spring Valley CUPON attended a Ramapo Town board meeting about the Pascack Ridge proposal. Here is a report from CUPON founder Micheal Miller:

This meeting was held last night with a standing room only audience. CUPON members, and other Hillcrest and Spring Valley residents came out in numbers. Residents from Clarkstown, Orangetown, and Stony Point came out in support of us also. Several noteworthy elected officials were there and spoke in our behalf including Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, Rockland County legislator Cris Carey, and Councilman’s Pete Bradley and Pat Carroll from Clarkstown.

The developers presented a very skillful slide show where they depicted 293 units, 3 stories tall, as a harmonious improvement for the town and neighborhood. Their main theme was “more housing is needed” and this is the ideal spot for it. Our basic rebuttal message was: piecemeal Comprehensive Plan changes (down-zoning); housing segregation; overdevelopment; inadequate infrastructure; wildlife; traffic; and community character concerns, all of which this plan is ignoring. There were a couple of speakers that made anti-Semitic remarks, which only serves divisiveness and does not represent the views of CUPON or the community as a whole.

There was no vote or decision at this meeting. Written Public comments will be accepted until Monday, August 27th, 2018. After that the builder will prepare responses to all of the relevant questions and concerns raised. I believe this will be followed with another Town Council meeting where they will decide the next steps.

Thanks,
Micheal

 

Rent Freeze!

This year SV-CUPON has joined with Spring Valley tenants to get a rent freeze for rent stabilized housing in the county. We passed out flyers and packed the room at the Rent Guidelines Board meeting on Monday June 11 at Finklestein Library.

Tonight, at the follow up meeting in Haverstraw Town Hall, the board voted for a two year rent freeze!!!

This means our neighbors living in rent stabilized housing, including Regency Village, Meadow Lane, and several others, will get to keep more of their hard earned dollars.

Thanks to all the CUPON members who came out. Your participation does make a difference!

Special Guest This Thursday

The SV-CUPON Monthly Meeting will be Thursday, June 14 at 7:00 PM, at St. Paul’s AME, 121 West St. (Harriet Tubman Way)

Special Guest: Assembly Member Ellen Jaffee

Agenda: Review what our members have observed in the Planning, Zoning, and village board meetings, as well as activities by other CUPON groups from around Rockland. We will plan our upcoming activities.

Please join us as we work to improve our quality of life and keep Spring Valley a place where diversity is welcomed and promoted.

Spring Valley CUPON is formed, as one of many CUPON organizations in Rockland, to give the residents a voice in the boards that control our village. We invite you to join us as we unite to protect our neighborhoods!

Village Board Defunds MLK Summer Camp

At last night’s village board meeting, Mayor Alan Simon and trustees Grossman and Charles refused to fund the MLK Center Summer Program. The village has been funding the program for several years now, providing a safe place for the village’s children to learn and play when school is out. The Mayor gave no reason for his action, which will leave parents scrambling to find safe places for their children this summer. Many members of the public spoke in favor of keeping the Summer Program.

The planning and zoning boards meanwhile have been approving more and more high density housing, with the majority of the plans being for two large units. These plans are often disapproved by the Rockland County Planning board, but overridden by the Spring Valley Planning and Zoning boards. There has been a pattern of  having a third unit, designated as a basement, but including kitchen, bathroom, etc. and which is later converted to a third unit by addition of a single door. The reason for the sham is that buildings with more than two units are subject to fire inspection.

Residents who spoke at the village board meeting also voiced concerns about racial conflict. They felt that the village policies are favoring white, ultra-Orthodox Jewish residents over Black and Latino residents. It is true that much of the new housing being approved is designed for ultra-Orthodox needs (many bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom design). It is true that needs of Black and Latino families are ignored (Summer Youth Program).

Another topic of discussion at the village board meeting was the ward system.The village board voted to repeal a law passed by the previous administration which would have given voters the option to adopt a ward system. A ward system is often adopted by local government to better represent minorities. At-large voting was often used as a tactic after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to disenfranchise minority voters through ‘voter dilution’. Sometimes courts will order a ward system to prevent voter dilution. There is currently a lawsuit brought by the Spring Valley NAACP to get a ward system for the East Ramapo school district.

Upcoming Meetings:

The Rent Guidelines Board will meet on Monday, June 11 at 7:00 PM in Finklestein Library, 24 Chestnut Street, Spring Valley.

This board determines the rent for all rent stabilized housing in Rockland County. Over the past two years, tenants have successfully argued to control increases. They have also described some of the conditions caused by lack of maintenance, resulting in improvements to the buildings. Please come out and support your neighbors who live in rent stabilized housing.

The SV-CUPON Monthly Meeting will be Thursday, June 14 at 7:00 PM, at St. Paul’s AME, 121 West St. (Harriet Tubman Way)

We will review what our members have observed in the Planning, Zoning, and village board meetings, as well as activities by other CUPON groups from around Rockland. We will plan our upcoming activities. Please join us as we work to improve our quality of life and keep Spring Valley a place where diversity is welcomed and promoted.

Progress

Thanks to those who came to our May meeting. The next meeting will be June 14.

We heard reports from those who have been attending recent ZBA and Planning meetings:

  1. The village still cannot produce an accurate agenda in advance. The board members are unfamiliar with the subjects of the public hearings. The meetings are chaotic and very long (the last ZBA meeting lasted until 12:40 AM).
  2. Almost every proposal is for a two family which has a finished basement with kitchen, full bath, and multiple bedrooms. The only thing missing to make these projects a three family is a single door. The building dept acknowledges that once built there is nothing they can do to verify that the door hasn’t been added.
  3. There are so many projects that Rockland County can’t keep up with the volume of GML reviews.

We are planning to invite elected officials to our next meeting to discuss these issues. Please set the date on your calendar to attend our June 14 meeting.

The Rockland Municipal Planning Federation offers free land use courses:

Tuesday, May 22 (Session I – Overview of the Boards), Thursday, May 31 (Session II – Update of Case Law), and Monday, June 4, 2018 (Session III – Working Group Discussions).

They will be held at the Town of Orangetown Town Hall, 26 Orangeburg Road, Orangeburg, NY  10962 from 7-10 PM.

To register contact Arlene Miller at MillerA@co.rockland.ny.us or 364-3448.