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Airmont, NY - Village's Request to Dismiss Discrimination Lawsuit Against Orthodox Jews Denied

Published on: November 17, 2008 11:24 PM
By: Journal News
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Airmont, NY - The village’s bid to dismiss a federal lawsuit charging it with discrimination against Orthodox Jews has been rejected.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Robinson denied a request to dismiss the lawsuit brought three years ago by the Department of Justice in a 1991 case, that the impetus of the village’s formation “was an animosity toward Orthodox Jews as a group.”
The federal government charges in its 3-year-old case that Airmont’s prohibition of boarding schools discriminates on the basis of religion. It also charges that the prohibition “substantially burdens the religious exercise in Airmont.”

In its 2005 lawsuit, the government charged that Airmont’s prohibition against dormitories specifically discriminated against Congregation Mischknois Lavier Yakov and its plans for a boys’ school on 19 acres off Hillside Avenue.

“Members of the congregation believe that it is essential for these boys to live, study and pray in the same place,” the Department of Justice stated, “in order to minimize outside influences and to intensify the religious learning experience.”

At about the same time that Airmont was sued by the federal government, the village and congregation reached a settlement under which the Planning Board would hear the congregation’s application.

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The case was in a “preliminary” stage, said the village’s attorney, Kevin Plunkett of White Plains, so the denial was not unexpected.

Mayor Dennis Kay said today that the village was drawing up a new master plan for development which would provide for boarding schools.
“We have included that in our plans,” Kay said of provisions for student housing, “over the last two years that we’ve worked on them.”

It was the absence of such zoning that the federal government found discriminatory.

Robinson also upheld the authority of the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, which the village is accused of violating.

In part, the law prohibits land-use regulations that impose substantial burdens on religious exercise.



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Read Comments (16)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 17, 2008 at 11:37 PM Anonymous Says:

good for them!!!! we will prevail

2

 Nov 18, 2008 at 12:58 AM Anonymous Says:

after all the years of hate directed toward us we finally came out victorious and more to come

3

 Nov 18, 2008 at 12:52 AM LAURA Says:

i live in airmont you can feel the raceism in the air

4

 Nov 18, 2008 at 12:40 AM Anonymous Says:

another Ghetto is born...in airmont!

5

 Nov 18, 2008 at 08:17 AM Anonymous Says:

Those of us that live in Airmont are screwed either way. If we win, our taxes will go up, because these "boarding houses" don't pay any taxes, and if we lose then our taxes go up to defend these lawsuits.

6

 Nov 18, 2008 at 08:27 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

another Ghetto is born...in airmont!

ppl of monsey and all over are coming to airmont because the don't wana live in the monsey or willy gheto with out any privacy out there but in airmont u get a 1 family house on 3/4 acre for 400K in monsey u pay 700K+ for a condo or townhouse

7

 Nov 18, 2008 at 10:01 AM stop the overpopulation Says:

Monsey is an overpopulated ghetto because the hasidic group keeps changing zoning laws after illegally trammeling on them, to suit their needs. Airmont reasonably does not want to become a congested geography where there are eye-sore, multi-family monstrosities all over the place. To boot, the families of these ill-zoned structures do not care for the neighborhood, instead littering it with garbage and toys that are not put away.

When you finally drop the 1800's polish mentality of huddling into the smallest areas possible, and instead spread out to let the geography absorb these overrunning numberes of people, then, maybe, airmont will invite you with open arms. Until then, don't be surprised if they don't like you- I don't like you either.

8

 Nov 18, 2008 at 11:33 AM Observant Says:

Reply to #7  
stop the overpopulation Says:

Monsey is an overpopulated ghetto because the hasidic group keeps changing zoning laws after illegally trammeling on them, to suit their needs. Airmont reasonably does not want to become a congested geography where there are eye-sore, multi-family monstrosities all over the place. To boot, the families of these ill-zoned structures do not care for the neighborhood, instead littering it with garbage and toys that are not put away.

When you finally drop the 1800's polish mentality of huddling into the smallest areas possible, and instead spread out to let the geography absorb these overrunning numberes of people, then, maybe, airmont will invite you with open arms. Until then, don't be surprised if they don't like you- I don't like you either.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with you. What is going on in Monsey with all the cramped condos being sold at a "steal" for upwards of $500,000 is crazy, crazy, crazy. But the people are not that crazy. After the bubble burst earlier this year, most of these condos are still empty - even after being on the market since June.

I feel bad for some of the builders because in one instance of these developments, a lot of care went into the design and quality of the houses, but I said it all along: Don't expect normal suburban families lining up to shell out $500,000 for a condo in Monsey. Maybe half that amount.

You reap what you sow - and all the greedy landowners that do not know how to sell something at a fair price and pander to the ever rising so-called "demand" of inexperienced and emotional home buyers...they have definitely smelled the coffee this time around. Sadly, of course.

I have rented out an apartment below what most other comparable ones were going for. I have not raked it in, but I did sleep well at night knowing that I was taking a fair price and not putting pressure on a market that is out of wack.


9

 Nov 18, 2008 at 11:30 AM Anonymous Says:

reply to #7
You write "I don't like you". Who are you referring to?
Secondly, do you not like them or do you really hate them?
Do you not like them (hate them) because they leave toys outside, of is it because you feel uncomfortable with their level of observance of the Torah.
You know what they say. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

10

 Nov 18, 2008 at 12:45 PM FVNMS Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

reply to #7
You write "I don't like you". Who are you referring to?
Secondly, do you not like them or do you really hate them?
Do you not like them (hate them) because they leave toys outside, of is it because you feel uncomfortable with their level of observance of the Torah.
You know what they say. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

You sound like a tenth grader. Nothing #7 said up until the last line is untrue or a non-issue. This is stuff we have to think about. It has nothing to do with one's observance of Torah; your comment is not the be-all end-all punch in the fight, even though you think you said the world's greatest chochma.

#7, there are so many ways to make your point; up until your last sentence you had me nodding in agreement. That last thing you said, however, betrays the blackness of your heart. Please accept the following as a reflection of yourself in the mirror of other's perceptions: you are an evil, hateful and vile cockroach.

11

 Nov 18, 2008 at 12:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
stop the overpopulation Says:

Monsey is an overpopulated ghetto because the hasidic group keeps changing zoning laws after illegally trammeling on them, to suit their needs. Airmont reasonably does not want to become a congested geography where there are eye-sore, multi-family monstrosities all over the place. To boot, the families of these ill-zoned structures do not care for the neighborhood, instead littering it with garbage and toys that are not put away.

When you finally drop the 1800's polish mentality of huddling into the smallest areas possible, and instead spread out to let the geography absorb these overrunning numberes of people, then, maybe, airmont will invite you with open arms. Until then, don't be surprised if they don't like you- I don't like you either.

I FEEL YOUR PAIN(ANGER) YOUR MOTHER SHOULD HAVE LOVED YOU MORE I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU

12

 Nov 18, 2008 at 02:52 PM Observant Says:

Reply to #10  
FVNMS Says:

You sound like a tenth grader. Nothing #7 said up until the last line is untrue or a non-issue. This is stuff we have to think about. It has nothing to do with one's observance of Torah; your comment is not the be-all end-all punch in the fight, even though you think you said the world's greatest chochma.

#7, there are so many ways to make your point; up until your last sentence you had me nodding in agreement. That last thing you said, however, betrays the blackness of your heart. Please accept the following as a reflection of yourself in the mirror of other's perceptions: you are an evil, hateful and vile cockroach.

...and I must say that I agree with you too, FVNMS ;-)

13

 Nov 18, 2008 at 04:48 PM Anonymous Says:

the Anti Semitisim in Airmont is simply because we are jewish they could use as many excuses as they want the cant stand the sight of us because we look different but dont worry in the near future the mayor of airmont will be an orthodox Jew

14

 Nov 18, 2008 at 07:42 PM Library Lover Says:

Monsey has changed from a beautiful, rural town to a MONROE-Willi lookalike. Driving down 306, or anywhere here has become a nightmare. This must be stopped before those of us who LEFT bklyn, end up living there again...we're almost there now...and even if they are empty, those ugly 'ches' buildings and townhouses block out all the light, sun, air and trees..no wonder airmont wont let us in, they are afraid we will do to them exactly what we did here...so who can blame them? Its not only an antisemitic issue, which I DO believe it is...but it is also a quality of life issue..and on that, I sorrowfully agree...

15

 Nov 18, 2008 at 07:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

the Anti Semitisim in Airmont is simply because we are jewish they could use as many excuses as they want the cant stand the sight of us because we look different but dont worry in the near future the mayor of airmont will be an orthodox Jew

Airmont has a long history of anti-semitisim. Over 15 years ago, they lost the first case brought against them and a jury concluded the Village was actually formed for the purpose of keeping Orthodox Jews from moving in. The Village paid over $1 million of the plaintiffs' legal fees and they were required to change their zoning code to allow houses of worship in residential areas, among many other requirements. They are still paying the price for that loss. Let's hope the Justice Department prevails once again and continues to teach them yet another lesson in how to accomodate the needs of their new neighbors.
Unfortunately, Airmont is spread over a 5 mile wide geographic area. It will take some time before frum Yidden populate enough of that area to be able to elect a frum Mayor or Village Trustee. In the mean time, current residents and the US Justice Department need to continue the fight and be vigilent! Jews throughout the entire country derive benefit from the original victory in this matter. The issues are much broader than local matters.

16

 Nov 19, 2008 at 11:57 PM yid Says:

Reply to #14  
Library Lover Says:

Monsey has changed from a beautiful, rural town to a MONROE-Willi lookalike. Driving down 306, or anywhere here has become a nightmare. This must be stopped before those of us who LEFT bklyn, end up living there again...we're almost there now...and even if they are empty, those ugly 'ches' buildings and townhouses block out all the light, sun, air and trees..no wonder airmont wont let us in, they are afraid we will do to them exactly what we did here...so who can blame them? Its not only an antisemitic issue, which I DO believe it is...but it is also a quality of life issue..and on that, I sorrowfully agree...

I agree hundred percent with you.monsey looks terrible.its because of these greedy builders who wants to get the most money posible and they push st lourence to down zone it

17

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