Hundreds attend public hearing over Chestnut Ridge zoning law proposalPosted: Updated:
Hundreds of Rockland County residents turned out to a public hearing on Thursday over a proposed change in zoning laws to allow more private homes to be used as places of worship.
Residents, village officials and members of the Orthodox Jewish community are at odds over the proposal.
According to officials, a three car garage on Spring Hill Terrace has been used as a synagogue for months without legal permission.
Upset neighbors say that it has increased traffic and congestion, as well as changed the character of the area.
But village administrators want to change the zoning laws so that potentially more houses of worship can exist on fewer acres in similar neighborhoods.
Chestnut Ridge Mayor Rosario Presti Jr. says the zoning change is necessary, according to village attorneys, to remain compliant with state and federal law.
The planning board has already opposed the proposed zoning amendment. Members say that if it passed, it could significantly alter up to 90 percent of the geographic area of the village.