Chasidim File Land-Use Lawsuit Against S. Blooming Grove

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The following is from the Times Herald Record:

S. Blooming Grove, NY – A Hasidic group with plans to restore an old clubhouse at Lake Anne is suing the village, saying it plotted to prevent Hasidic Jews from developing in the municipality.

Sheri Torah, a religious corporation that operates out of an old warehouse on Larkin Drive in the Town of Monroe, says that the village’s refusal to consider its application to turn the clubhouse into a yeshiva is a violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.

The suit, initially filed in state Supreme Court in April, is being moved to federal court in White Plains on a judge’s order.

Sheri Torah belongs to the Satmar Hasidic community opposed to the current leadership in Kiryas Joel. It is associated with a group of Hasidic investors, who have been trying for years to develop 800-plus-acres of property, formerly the Lake Anne summer resort.

The property accounts for nearly half of all the land in the village.

Dennis Lynch, the attorney for South Blooming Grove in the matter, said too many questions surround Sheri Torah’s application to make a decision on it at this time. The group initially asked to build a shul, then applied for a special-use permit to build a yeshiva and then handed in documents that showed site plans for a 500-plus-home subdivision, Lynch said. “When we saw that, we said, ‘Hey, what are you doing? Are you going to put up a yeshiva, a shul, or a subdivision of 500 homes?’”

Scrutiny of the application also raised questions about whether the property had ever been subdivided, the attorney added.

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