The Look of Overdevelopment
In Rockland, we often hear people talking about “overdevelopment,” especially in the Town of Ramapo. But what does that overdevelopment look like, and what does it mean for the quality of life of residents.
Unless you recently drove through the streets of Ramapo in the vicinity of Monsey and Spring Valley, you probably have no idea as to the extent of building. Large-scale projects are being constructed seemingly everywhere. To get a flavor for what is going on, gaze at the following photographs taken on December 17, 2014.
At every turn new multifamily homes are being built on land formerly reserved for single-family homes. Downzoning, routinely approved by the powers that be in town government, has led to large, multi-family homes being erected adjacent of smaller homes.
Did any official approving the downzoning care about the quality of life of the single homeowner in the neighborhood? What about the declining property values of those homes?
What about the stress being placed on the roads, sewers and water supply? There is no way the existing infrastructure can handle the influx of new building and additional residents.
How are police, fire, medical and other services going to be supplied to a burgeoning population? Are there any limits to this growth, or is Ramapo destined to become Brooklyn North. Clearly, the bucolic suburban setting of just a few decades ago is long gone.
Unfortunately, these few photos cannot capture the true extent of the overdevelopment and cannot predict the consequences of excessive downzoning and construction. However, a citizen does not have to possess a doctorate in economics to know that this growth is unsustainable, both financially and practically.
The unintended consequences of over-development and communities competing for limited school resources lead to the confrontations witnessed here by a tax payer funded East Ramapo School Board attorney attacking parents in the parking lot of East Ramapo School after a School Board meeting. This was aired on national news and did nothing to improve community relations nor attract home-buyers to the Town of Ramapo.
The plan is exposed by the Town of Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence; where he promises one segment of the community, unfettered down-zoning and free license to build high density housing. He made it clear in his statements that no other constituency in the Town of Ramapo mattered. As a result, the path was set in 2007 for the Town of Ramapo to be transformed into the City of Ramapo. Here it is in his own words: