Picture this: a peaceful, wooded stretch of land that offers respite from suburbia; a mixed community that lives there in harmony; good neighbors who lend a hand when needed while raising their families; extensive woodlands that supports wild animals; clear streams crisscrossing the area draining into a wetland that supports a host of creatures.
Into this picture comes some who begin to harass the long-term residents, hoping to get them to move out. Illegal blockbusting tactics mean residents are bombarded with unsolicited offers to buy their properties. Unidentified strangers park and turn around in residents’ driveways; one reverses into a parked car; one knocks over a mailbox and drives away; a headless chicken appears in the driveway of a resident who makes it clear to those who make the “offers” he intends to stay put.
OK, it’s not a horse’s head in someone’s bed and maybe the chicken just lost its head on a stroll about the neighborhood, but the message appears to be clear. The chickens want you to leave. This situation should make a local government, were it not ‘chicken’, to take immediate corrective action, right? Aren’t there laws to stop this sort of thing?
Yes, there are—but when the laws are ignored and the local politicians lack the will to enforce them, the situation continues to deteriorate and eventually you end up with Zombie houses to destroy your property values.
This is a story of a municipality that has a contract with its citizens to protect their properties and their happiness by enforcing the laws that civil society has instituted. But it has chickened out on the terms of that civil contract.
Is this happening in your neighborhood? It’s happening right now on your doorstep! Soon you too can have a zombie house in your neighborhood if you accept the mantra that your anger and resentment is really just blatant anti-Semitism and that instead of protecting your rights you need to attend seminars to control your hatred and have your children re-educated about the need to accept zombieism.
Hillside Avenue is the latest victim of Rockland County’s long list of irresponsible development projects. In the video below Heather Federico of Mahwah CUPON discusses the actions of owners and developers and indicates that there has been little resistance from the county government in Rockland County, the Town of Ramapo or the Village of Airmont. Indeed true to form the town of Ramapo refuses to turn over documentation about its own perfidy while its $400,000 compensated police chief continues to lose control over policing in a huge swath of Rockland County.
In the video we see that on December 16, 2019 CUPON addressed the Airmont Board of Trustees to ask why no action has been taken to address the numerous violations of village code and complaints made to the police about properties owned by two developers that are named by CUPON Mahwah. It appears that prima facia evidence has been obtained many laws are being flouted.
Here are a few headlines:
2, Hillside Ave, Village of Airmont
The structure at this address has had no Certificate of Occupancy since 2017. The load-bearing walls are at risk of collapse. Yet it is being used on a regular basis as a house of gathering and a weekend retreat. There is no permanent resident at the address but someone is operating a farm there which includes 2 horses, several goats and chickens — all illegal without a permanent resident. Last summer, a carnival was set up under cover of night presumably to avoid drawing the attention of local authorities.
28 and 32 Hillside Ave, Village of Airmont
This was a beautiful farmhouse; the developers allegedly converted it illegally into a 3-4 story dwelling. In 2017, work stopped and the building now stands as a giant unfinished ‘box’ — in essence it is now an abandoned zombie house.
There is trash and debris around the property. This situation has been reported to the village and the health department several times, but no action has been taken.
A circular driveway was allegedly illegally installed for which the developer was issued a $64,000 ticket which was then dismissed on a technicality. The village of Airmont has not re-issued the ticket. The driveway is still there, being used improperly by school buses and construction traffic.
44 Hillside Ave, Village of Airmont
19 acres have been notably 100 percent tax-exempt for over 20 years; the village has not pursued the taxes that should be payable on this large plot of land.
77, 79 and 85 Hillside Ave, Town of Ramapo
At this location a very large development is proposed namely a mikvah (ritual bath) with 60 parking spaces, a caretaker’s home, a large structure to hold several baths and 53 showerheads. Clear-cutting of old-growth trees has begun.
98 and 100 Hillside Ave and 99 Oratam Rd, Village of Airmont:
Another very large development is proposed: a special needs school for 100 students, with at least 60 parking spaces and a large driveway to pick up and drop off students.
This location remains 100 percent tax-exempt after an application in 2013 for a school that never materialized.
In summary, Hillside Ave is in a residential neighborhood of one-acre plots with no commercial buildings. These large, commercial projects will completely alter the character of the neighborhood and negatively affect the health and safety of local residents. Hillside Ave is an RR-50 zoning with no other commercial businesses on the block. It has no water line, no sidewalks and has a one car bridge with a 3-ton weight limit and at capacity for the traffic it can handle.
On Monday evening, February 3, 2020 CUPON Mahwah will once again raise these issues to the Village of Airmont’s elected officials. The meeting will be held at 251 Cherry Lane, Airmont, NY 10901