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Westchester Judge Upholds Kiryas Joel Expansion, Environmental Study

A Westchester judge has cleared the way for Kiryas Joel, an orthodox Jewish community in the Orange County town of Monroe, to annex 164 acres of land.
A Westchester judge has cleared the way for Kiryas Joel, an orthodox Jewish community in the Orange County town of Monroe, to annex 164 acres of land. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

MONROE, N.Y. – A Westchester judge has cleared the way for an Hasidic Jewish enclave’s annexation of a large amount of land from the town of Monroe, according to a report by The Times Herald-Record.

Supreme Court Justice Gretchen Walsh last week tossed legal challenges brought by Orange County, a local nonprofit group, and eight municipalities against the village of Kiryas Joel, The Times Herald-Record reported.

Walsh serves in the 9th Judicial District.

In a 96-page ruling, the judge said she saw no reason to invalidate the annexation of 164 acres, or an environmental review conducted by Kiryas Joel itself, The Times Herald-Record reported.

The Monroe Town Board approved the border change a year ago, according to The Times Herald-Record report.

A spokesman for the nonprofit challenging the annexation, Preserve Hudson Valley, said it is exploring its options for an appeal.

The Times Herald-Record also reported that Kiryas Joel leaders could not be reached for comment last week because of the religious holidays.

In a post on its Facebook page, Preserve Hudson Valley slammed the ruling as “beyond irresponsible.”

According to its mission statement, the nonprofit aims to protect the county’s environment from “overdevelopment that threatens to contaminate natural resources” and to defend “the constitutional and historic separation of religion from governmental institutions.”

To read The Times Herald-Record story, click here.

For more details about Preserve Hudson Valley and its environmental concerns relating to Kiryas Joel, click here and here.

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