Believe it or not, Rockland County is finding ways to curb overdevelopment. One of the tools we are using is General Municipal Law (GML) and while GML doesn’t sound that exciting, it is important.
Under the State mandated General Municipal Law (GML) application process the Land Use Division of the County Planning Department is allowed to review site plans, subdivisions, variances, zone changes, zoning code amendments, special permits and other land use, zoning or environmental actions.
When I first took office, I challenged my commissioners and department heads to find a way they could to fight back against what was rampant overdevelopment and the inevitable destruction of the quality of life in Rockland County. As a home rule State that grants most powers to Towns and Villages, the difficulty was obvious.
We find ways however. A current example and thanks to the hard work of County Attorney Tom Humbach and Assistant County Attorney Larraine Feiden, we have brought a lawsuit against the Town of Ramapo, the Town of Ramapo Zoning Board of Appeals, Bluefield Extension, LLC and numerous other parties who owned portions of this site.
This lawsuit contends the Defendants purposely bypassed New York General Municipal Law to change the zoning of 1.05 acres of land in the Town of Ramapo. They then sought and obtained variances which allowed more development than was legally permissible. We are asking the judge to declare these properties, known as the Bluefield Extension and located on 126-130 Union Road, invalid and unlawful from its inception.
The maneuvering of the land owners to avoid the oversight of Rockland’s Land Use Division clearly shows they knew what they were doing was wrong. I will not get into the details and intricacies of the lawsuit in these pages but suffice it to say, Rockland County is fighting back against illegal overdevelopment.
I must credit Legislator Charles Falciglia and CUPON Rockland for drawing our attention to this illegal and impermissible overdevelopment.
I pledged during my first campaign and during my re-election that I would preserve Rockland for generations to come and together we are doing just that. We are fighting overdevelopment, turning slumlords into landlords with our Rockland Codes Initiative and cracking down on anyone who thinks they can ignore the laws and regulations of Rockland County and New York State.
Take this to the bank. If you ignore the laws and compromise life, safety, health and our environment, know that unlike previous administrations, we are coming after you in every legal way imaginable.