Shalom Lamm and Manamaking – Wall Street Journal

shalom lamm

*** BREAKING ***

Shalom Lamm Development Makes National Headlines


Battle Over Upstate Housing Project Enters New Phase


Town of Mamakating alleges it was misled on number of new residents; developer accuses town of religious discrimination

An upstate New York town has threatened to rescind approvals for a housing project marketed to Hasidic Jews, the latest chapter in a yearslong conflict between local residents and the developers.

The planning board for the Town of Mamakating, about 75 miles northwest of New York City, alleged in a resolution last week that the developer misled…


See also:

Overturning That Which Has Been Overturned Already
Bloomingburg Mess Gets Ever Messier…
By Chris Rowley

August 27, 2015

BLOOMINGBURG – The legal tussles over Shalom Lamm’s Chestnut Ridge development went through another loop this past week, while the little town of Bloomingburg found national fame again, this time in the pages of the Sunday Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile the surrounding Town of Mamakating is looking to shift its voting future by shifting, if approved, to a new ward voting system.

In the August 23 WSJ, reporter Joseph De Avila, covered the development’s history with some attention to its messy origins, the role of former Mamakating supervisor and local developer Duane Roe, misunderstandings involving a once-mentioned 125 unit golf community, and finally the reaction, years later, when 396 townhomes had long since been approved but the area learned that Mr. Lamm might be selling homes to Hasidic families. Dueling quotes from Lamm and Mamakating supervisor Bill Hermann cast everything in a stark duality. Hermann was quoted saying the way the project was sold to the village planning board and overall community was a “betrayal.” Lamm dismissed this concept saying, “It’s only in dispute in the mythology.”

While the WSJ appeared to lean in Lamm’s favor, lamenting that it’s now almost ten years since he began the quest to build in Bloomingburg, in court the Town of Mamakating again sought a temporary restraining order to halt the 24 certificates of occupancy that had been released by the Village of Bloomingburg just the week before. State Supreme Court justice Stephan Schick granted that request on August 20 and set a September 8 hearing date. However, on Monday morning, August 24, Lamm’s lawyers were able to persuade Appellate Division judge Michael Lynch to hear their appeal, after which Judge Lynch overruled Schick and lifted the restraining order.

The 24 certificates of occupancy are again valid and Lamm announced that he will continue to press for more certificates since families have since contracted to buy homes in the Chestnut Ridge development and are applying for mortgages. However, the lawsuit against the COs by the Town of Mamakating will continue, with the September 8 hearing in Justice Schick’s court still in effect.

Lamm has completed construction on fifty-one of the 396 homes approved by the Bloomingburg planning board back in 2008.

Meanwhile, many observers wonder what may happen next in the civil rights lawsuit filed by Lamm against the town and village, as well as a countering lawsuit filed by the town against Lamm on civil racketeering charges. At the same time, it appears that the FBI investigation into events leading up to the village board and mayoral election in the spring of 2013 is continuing.

Finally, petitions started circulating in Mamakating this week for a November referendum vote to establish future voting wards for the purposes of electing town councilpersons and increase the size of the town council from four to six persons. Petition signing efforts were being set up at town hall this past week, on Thursday evening at a Mamakating Library BBQ, and on Saturday morning in Mamakating Park.


8 thoughts on “Shalom Lamm and Manamaking – Wall Street Journal

  1. Josef Rosenfeld 2 hours ago

    I find this article very interesting, and the conclusions that people may draw from it, even more so.

    Here you have a guy, and associates, who uses local population data to make a proposal in such a fashion to get it approved, while he knows all along that the population numbers, given his target market, are materially understated.

    Once this deceit is discovered, he cloaks it under the veil of discrimination against Hasidim, and claims that this town, where he essentially wishes to establish a ghetto, is full of bigots.

    I expect that if he went to the planning commission and said “we want to build a community of 4,000 people inside your town of 400, and expect the town will provide and support the infrastructure and resources necessary to make it all work,” he would have been politely shown the door.

    So, instead he uses deceit and the presumption of discrimination, not for a noble purpose, just to make a buck, oh yes, and essentially to create a ghetto, a suburban one, but still a ghetto.

    • Exactly! Yet he keeps getting away with it because he either claims anti semetism or he has so much money he bankrupt whoever tries to fight him

  2. Here is the entire WSJ article for those who cannot access the link:

    June 1, 2016 9:01 p.m. ET

    An upstate New York town has threatened to rescind approvals for a housing project marketed to Hasidic Jews, the latest chapter in a yearslong conflict between local residents and the developers.

    The planning board for the Town of Mamakating, about 75 miles northwest of New York City, alleged in a resolution last week that the developer misled residents about the number of people who would live in the homes, known as the Villages of Chestnut Ridge.

    The developer denies the allegations and in a lawsuit accuses the town of religious discrimination. The town denies any discrimination.

    The Chestnut Ridge project had been approved for 396 homes, with an estimate that its population would be about 800. The planning board says confidential town documents from the developer ordered to be made public by a judge now indicate the population, driven by large Hasidic families, could be almost 4,000.

    A spokesman for the developer said the planning board’s assumption on the number of future occupants was unrealistic. The board has scheduled a hearing for June 16 to decide whether to rescind its approval.

    The environmental-impact statements submitted by the developer contain “material false statements and material misrepresentations” and “may directly affect the integrity and lawful validity of the Planning Board’s grant of approvals,” the resolution said.

    “Mamakating’s continued effort to oppose Chestnut Ridge rests upon blatant hostility to Hasidic Jews,” said the developer’s spokesman.

    The new phase in the conflict stems from court documents that have recently been made public in federal litigation initiated in 2014 by real-estate developer Shalom Lamm and other parties against Mamakating and the village of Bloomingburg, which has a population of about 400 and is part of the town.

    The suit alleges the town and village engaged in a scheme to keep Hasidic Jews from buying homes in the community. Both the village and the town have denied those allegations.

    In April, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest ordered that confidential documents involving Chestnut Ridge be made public. One project-overview document dated December 2011 prepared by the developer states the prospective clients are Hasidic Jews and “have large families, averaging eight children.” The other documents include emails between the developer and business associates and marketing materials.

    According to the environmental-impact statements submitted by Mr. Lamm, the estimated occupancy at the fully built-out Chestnut Ridge wouldn’t exceed 810 and school-age children wouldn’t exceed 110.


    A Development Fight in the Catskills (Aug. 23)
    Discrimination Lawsuit Against New York Village Can Proceed (June 9)
    “Now it appears the developer knew at that time that the total occupancy and school-age child occupancy would be much greater than those numbers,” said J. Benjamin Gailey, an attorney for the town.

    The spokesman for Mr. Lamm said the original 810 figure is an estimate based on the customary practice of using nearby residential developments as a comparison and that estimate didn’t constitute a “material false statement” as alleged by the planning board.

    The planning board’s resolution said the actual number of occupants could reach 3,960 with 3,168 children based on the newly unsealed documents that said the families would average eight children. The environmental-impact statements, which led in part to the town approval, didn’t take into consideration the impact on water, sewer or school services for a community that size, the resolution said.

    Under the state’s land-use review process, “municipalities must be provided with accurate and complete information about environmental impact for a land-use decision,” said Brian Sokoloff, an attorney representing Mamakating in the discrimination lawsuit filed by Mr. Lamm. “The law intends people to be honest and accurate.”


    Have something to say about an article in Greater New York? Email us, along with your contact information, at Letters will be edited for brevity and clarity. Please include your city and state.

    Mr. Lamm has already built 51 units at Chestnut Ridge. Of those, 12 are occupied, and 30 are under contract.

    The 2011 project-overview document prepared by the developer also states that the 396 units approved for Chestnut Ridge “will be insufficient to satisfy the community growth needs” and would need up to 5,000 total units to be built over 10 to 15 years.

    “Apparently the developer knew at that time that Chestnut Ridge was just the beginning of a plan to build thousands of additional dwelling units and did not reveal that to the planning board either,” Mr. Gailey said.

    The spokesman for Mr. Lamm said the unsealed documents were internal drafts that contained some inaccuracies. If Mr. Lamm wanted to pursue a larger project in the future, he would have submit that proposal for review and approval like any other real-estate project, the spokesman said.

    Opponents say the new documents support their case.

    “The developers acknowledged what we have been saying from the get-go is true,” said Holly Roche, a Mamakating resident, about the statements in the unsealed documents. She is also president of the Rural Community Coalition, an organization that opposes the development that has also been involved in legal disputes with Mr. Lamm and his associates.

    Bloomingburg and Mamakating also sued Mr. Lamm and his partner, Kenneth Nakdimen, accusing them of racketeering and of working covertly to bribe public officials who could help get the project approved. Mr. Lamm and Mr. Nakdimen denied the allegations, and that lawsuit was dismissed. The town and the village are appealing and will be in court for oral arguments Friday.

    Write to Joseph De Avila at

    • Idiot – could you POSSIBLY be any more OFF TOPIC?! LM please move or delete this post from an obvious moron.

      • Stop calling people idiots and morons. If you have an issue with a comment there are nicer ways of saying it. In the meantime if you dont like the conments ,there are are plenty of other sites you can visit where im sure you would be alot happier at

      • We are a bit lost. Why would you want this deleted? Simply because the link is there doesn’t mean that we are going to look into it; but why does it bother you that it is there?

        • It doesn’t and you’re right it was an overreaction. Sorry to the poster, but it does help if all of us keep the comments relevant to the story being posted.

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