The settlements continue

Assemblyman Skoufis announces withdrawal of KJ lawsuit versus Woodbury

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— Pursuant to the concessions Assemblyman James Skoufis secured from Kiryas Joel in August, the village has formally dropped its six-year lawsuit challenging Woodbury’s comprehensive plan.

Kiryas Joel filed the withdrawal on Thursday, November 30.

“This is a major win for Woodbury residents,” Skoufis said in his press release announcing the move. “Our zoning is now protected, the character of our community is maintained, and taxpayer dollars are saved from continued legal expenses.”

In its lawsuit, Kiryas Joel accused Woodbury’s comprehensive plan of “exclusionary” zoning. If Kiryas Joel wound up successful in its long-standing challenge, the effect would have been crippling to Woodbury’s quality of life, Skoufis noted.

“Protecting Woodbury has and will always be my and the village board’s top priority,” said Woodbury Village Mayor Michael Queenan. “We are pleased to have this issue behind us and we’re truly grateful for Assemblyman Skoufis’ continued collaboration as well as his help securing this legal victory.”

Added Town of Woodbury Supervisor-elect Frank Palermo: “Woodbury is a beautiful, suburban community – and we need to keep it that way. This is just the latest example of Assemblyman Skoufis looking out for our residents as he continues to be a champion for our interests. The town is proud of its unwavering partnership with him.”

Kiryas Joel officials were unavailable for comment.

In addition to the lawsuit’s withdrawal, Skoufis secured commitments to create a buffer between the towns of Palm Tree and Blooming Grove, establish a new route for the Long Path, and make any legislative acceleration of Palm Tree’s timetable contingent on special state aid for Monroe-Woodbury schools.

Earlier in November, attorneys for the Village of Kiryas Joel, Preserve Hudson Valley and United Monroe appeared in state Supreme Court to ask Justice Gretchen Walsh to set aside the lawsuits filed against one another and to pave the way for the new Town of Palm Tree.

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