A moratorium on building was unanimously passed last week by the Village of Monroe Board of Trustees at a well attended meeting, and the decision was met with applause. The pause in building will allow time for work on the Village comprehensive plan that will determine what buildings should be allowed where.
During public comment, several people voiced concerns about the direction of Village development. One man, describing himself as a lifelong resident, said the Village had changed so much, he no longer recognized it. Other speakers decried clear cutting of trees, , overdevelopment, traffic gridlock, changing aesthetics, loss of wildlife and demolishing old homes to build structures that house more people, increasing congestion and resource strain. Some said they had planned to retire in Monroe but are reconsidering because of these issues.
However, after the vote, Associate Attorney Charles Gottleib, of Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna, expressed dismay. He represents the 208 Business Center LLC, a project in the process of fulfilling planning board requirements to begin construction, which would also necessitate a demolition.
At the previous meeting, his firm had submitted a letter explaining why the 208 project should not be included in the the moratorium. The company he represents has been attempting to get approval for years and has not completed every requirement. He had hoped his client’s project would be exempted, but it will not.
“Proceed at your own risk,” he warned Village officials about the moratorium.
Some exemptions will be made for hardships and those with fully completed traffic studies, environmental impact statements and State Environmental Quality Reviews, but other projects in the pipeline can receive no development approval during the moratorium, including subdivisions, site plans, special permits and variance applications proposing development. The approved moratorium is for six months, but it can be extended an additional three months, and then once again for three months.