Friday, October 24, 2014

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Hudson Valley

Bloomingburg residents speak out against housing development

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Albany/HV: Bloomingburg residents speak out against housing development
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A high density housing unit is causing controversy in the village of Bloomingburg. Several residents are calling for a federal investigation into allegations of corruption by Village Officials. YNN's Alexandra Weishaupt has details on the development.

BLOOMINGBURG, N.Y. -- “We are highly opposed to it changing our overall way of life,” said Lesleigh Weinstein.

For those familiar with the Bloomingburg area, you’ve probably seen this familiar face along Main Street. Lesleigh Weinstein and others have been gathering at this spot every weekend for about a year, in protest of the high density housing development under construction just down the way.

“This is a town with one light as you can see and it has 350 odd residents now,” said Weinstein. “The amount of housing that is going in will quadruple the amount of residents in the village and this infrastructure just can’t handle that.”

This group is just one of many opposed to the 396 unit town house development they feel is being geared towards the Hasidic community, but they say that’s not where their problem lies. According to them, they feel the plan was originally given the okay through a misleading and inaccurate portrayal of circumstances surrounding the project.

“Our officials lied to us, the developer lied to us. This was initially presented as going to be 125 luxury homes geared towards retirement community with a golf course and with backdoor deals it morphed overnight into what it is now,” said Jean Schmidlein.

Though Holly Roache from the Rural Community Coalition isn't pleased with the signage being used by the protestors, her views on the project are similar as she says the deception, corruption and criminality in the approval of the development needs to be addressed.

“My hopes are that through either agency investigations or potential lawsuits that the development, the corruption will be addressed and dealt with, and those that broke the law would end up fighting, there would be justice,” said Roache.

In the meantime, Weinstein she says she's hoping all can come together as a community to hault the project before it proceeds.

“It was never supposed to be this. It shouldn’t be this and I think that we need to stop it before it destroys our community entirely,” said Weinstein.

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