Waiting for Goshen

An an update on the Town of Palm Tree and the continued growth in Kiryas Joel


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  • This two-page ad appeared last month in several Yiddish-speaking newspapers describing the status of Hasidic home buying in South Blooming Grove in and around Route 208 and and Merriewold Lane. The ad claims that 237 homes have been sold, 28 more are under contact while another 37 are now for sale. There also are eight Shuls and Mikvas.



By Bob Quinn

— As Monroe awaits word from the Orange County Legislature in Goshen on whether the lawmakers will allow them to vote on the creation of a new town, events continue to unfold. Here’s an update:

KJ School District agrees to alter boundariesThe Kiryas Joel School Board has approved a resolution that alters the boundaries of the school district by an additional 220 acres in order to remain coterminous with the proposed Town of Palm Tree, which takes its name from the English translation of Teitelbaum for the Grand Rebbe Joel Teitelbaum.

The resolution, passed unanimously, states that: “the boundary alteration would be in the best educational interests of children, would support community relationships and would not have a significant fiscal effect.”

Working with officials from the Village of Kiryas Joel, the Town of Monroe, the Monroe-Woodbury School District and the County Office of Real Property, the Kiryas Joel School District established a Boundary Alteration Committee to gather data and research the potential impacts.

“The committee worked hard to obtain accurate information to assist the board in making its decision,” Kiryas Joel School Superintendent Joel Petlin said.

Petlin also praised the parties that worked together on a settlement to end pending litigation, by the creation of a new Town of Palm Tree.

“Through dialogue and compromise, an agreement was forged to protect the interest of the citizens of Monroe and Kiryas Joel,” Petlin added. “The Kiryas Joel School District is proud to have participated in this important process, protecting students and parents in both communities.

The KJ resolution, along with one passed by the Monroe-Woodbury School District earlier last week, will be delivered to the Orange-Ulster BOCES District Superintendent William J. Hecht, as required under the law.

The effective date of the boundary alteration will be the July 1 following the establishment of the Town of Palm Tree.

The Orange County Legislature is scheduled to vote Sept. 7 on whether to allow the residents of Monroe to vote on the creation of the Town of Palm Tree.

The new municipality would include all of the Village of Kiryas Joel, plus an additional 220 acres.

The legislation that created the Kiryas Joel School District specified that the district would share the same boundaries with the Village of Kiryas Joel.

The actions by both the Kiryas Joel and Monroe-Woodbury school boards would restore that coterminous designation.

605-9-11Jean Ramppen, the clerk of the Orange County Legislature, has released an accounting of the comments made at the Legislature’s pubic hearings in August on whether to allow the people of Monroe to vote on creating the Town of Palm Tree.

The Legislature received 269 emails, 5 letters and a box containing 525 letters signed by Orange County for a total of 799 comments. Of those:

605 said yes to the referendum

9 said no to the referendum

11 asked the Legislature to hold off

174 asked the Legislature to protect the Highland Trails and Long Path.

There were 83 speakers over the course of the two-evening hearing. That included 10 elected officials representing the Village and Town of Monroe and the Villages of Kiryas Joel, Harriman and Cornwall-on-Hudson.

Officials from the Monroe-Woodbury and Kiryas Joel school districts as well as from Bais Rachel School, also commented.

Real estate in South Blooming GroveMeanwhile, a two-page ad appeared last month in several Yiddish-speaking newspapers describing the status of Hasidic home buying in South Blooming Grove in and around Route 208 and Merriewold Lane.

The ad claims that 237 homes have been sold, 28 more are under contact while another 37 are now for sale. There also are eight Shuls and Mikvas.

As described by village officials, the KJ Overflow started in 2015 at about the time the annexation talks between the Town of Monroe and the Village of Kiryas Joel started heating up. Many Hasidic families sought to start their lives in nearby communities rather than wait for the outcome of the annexation battles and lawsuits. The outgrowth can be seen in areas of the towns of Monroe and Woodbury as well as Blooming Grove.

“ If the housing market in KJ is stabilized,” one observer noted, “this overflow will greatly diminish.”

A day in SeptemberThe Legislature is scheduled to vote on Thursday, Sept. 7. A super majority - or 14 of the 21 legislators - is needed to pass the law allowing the referendum, which would be held Election Day, Nov. 7.

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