Clarkstown officials: New City home operating as boys school shut down over safety concerns
A New City home that Clarkstown officials say was being used as a boys school was forced to close its doors over safety and health concerns.
About two dozen students learned and lived at the home on 61 South Mountain Road. It was operating in a residential, single-family zone within Clarkstown without necessary approvals, according to officials.
"We will work with any property owner to get them into compliance, but when you have particular egregious situations where people's safety is involved, we have zero toleration for that," said Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann.
A state Supreme Court judge recently granted a temporary restraining order in the town's favor against the South Mountain Road dormitories owner, Yoel Tzvi Templer, that resulted in the school temporarily closing.
That happened after Clarkstown heard neighbors concerns about an alleged loss of water pressure in the area after the home was purchased last year.
Ultimately, Hoehmann said town code enforcers were not receiving cooperation when they were looking into the property.
Hoehmann said the town got a search warrant in order to inspect the property.
"It's a significant health and safety concern. There's no sprinkler system, no smoke alarm, smoke detectors," Hoehmann said. "Frankly, it was a danger to the students living there."
Templer's Attorney, Lee Lefkowitz, said his client has already worked to address most of the violations and that they would respond to the town in court.
He explained the house was used as a school for boys under 18 who are considered at risk and could not get into other schools.
Clarkstown and Templer are expected back in court in April.