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Overcrowding causes officials to cancel public meeting in Bloomingburg

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Albany/HV: Overcrowding causes officials to cancel public meeting in Bloomingburg
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Bloomingburgh residents came out in full force to speak out against a local housing development. But Christian Farrell tells us things didn't exactly go as planned. As it turns out, those same residents wound up speaking out against something else.


BLOOMINGBURGH, N.Y. -- It was scheduled to be a public meeting. It turned out to be what some might call a circus.

Thursday evening, an overflow crowd crammed inside tiny Bloomingburgh Village Hall. A room with a posted capacity of no more than 85 people. Not on this night.

The reason for the large turnout was that local residents wanted to hear from the developer behind the Chestnut Ridge housing project. It's a project residents are not at all happy about.

"It looks like we got scammed here," said Town of Mamakating resident Gregory Ercolino.

The 200 acre site on Winterton Road, residents say, is turning into a high density housing development of some 400 units that this small village isn't suitable for.

"Apparently the developer who promised us the world, pulled a switch on us and took the carrot away and dangled an onion instead," said Bloomingburgh Deputy Mayor Cliff Teich.

But back inside village hall, on this night, developer Shalom Lamm actually turned out to be a friend and not a foe. With some people forced to remain in the parking lot, residents were outraged with village officials for failing to change the meeting's location, knowing a large turnout was expected.

Lamm agreed with them.

"I sided essentially with a fairly hostile crowd, and said no, I think they're right. And the meeting was adjourned and will re-assigned to a place with a larger venue. And I'll make my presentation then," said developer Shalom Lamm.

"Honestly, it's the Village of Bloomingburgh, the reality show. They don't respond, they don't care, they do whatever they choose to do. And this is an example," said Holly Roche of the Rural Community Coalition.

The date of the re-scheduled public meeting has been set for Wednesday, August 22nd. The site has still yet to be determined. But local residents say it better be a big venue because they expect an even larger crowd to show up.

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