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Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim – case adjournment


The developer of a yeshiva with adult-student housing will be in Ramapo Justice Court in May to answer a violation for using a construction trailer for a preschool program. An attorney or a representative for Mosdos Chofetz Chaim did not appear before Town Justice Sam Colman yesterday when he granted the adjournment until May 8. The developer submitted an appeal to the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals March 6 that under town law halts any judicial process, said Deputy Town Attorney Meryl Troodler, who is prosecuting the case. Troodler said the town would try to get the developer on the land-use board’s May 4 agenda. Ramapo inspectors saw children in the trailer Feb. 17. The violation, which was issued Feb. 22, cites that the trailer had been occupied by children without a certificate of occupancy. Dennis Lynch, a Nyack attorney representing Mosdos Chofetz Chaim, said the appeal would “act like a freeze” on any judicial decision until the zoning board makes a determination. “The only endangerment to children is not providing a good religious education,” Lynch said. “My client should be rewarded for providing religious education, not punished.” In the letter to the zoning board, Rabbi Aryeh Zaks argued that a certificate of occupancy was not needed for the site. “We are grandfathered for use at the site as an educational center and we have an approved site plan for our ongoing development project,” Zaks wrote. “We are utilizing a mobile classroom on a temporary basis and this does/should not require a certificate of occupancy. Many other temporary mobile classrooms are used at schools around the town and no such requirement is made.” Troodler said if the developer was found guilty of the violation, it could face a $5,000 fine for each of the six counts. The 4.7-acre site on Grandview Avenue, a quarter mile west of New Hempstead Road, is one of four locations for adult-student housing in Ramapo, a controversial addition to the town’s master plan for development. The town’s planning and zoning boards approved the project in 2004. Besides a yeshiva, there will be 28 four-bedroom and 32 two-bedroom apartments…..

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