Kiryas Joel Sues Neighbor Over Zoning
To ease the population crush, Kiryas Joel hasidim want to expand to neighboring Woodbury. Allegedly to prevent this, Woodbury adopted zoning regulations that forbid the type of dense housing that Kiryas Joel has, favoring instead single family homes spaced on wide lots. So Kiryas Joel is suing Woodbury, claiming the zoning changes were motivated by antisemitism.
The Village of Kiryas Joel in upstate New York, started by Satmar hasidim in 1977, is now the poorest community in the United States. It also has extremely high population growth and is very densely populated. There are now more than 20,000 people living in the 1.1 square miles that make up Kiryas Joel, all but a handful of them Satmar hasidim.
To ease the population crush, hasidim want to expand to neighboring Woodbury. Allegedly to prevent this, Woodbury adopted zoning regulations that forbid the type of dense housing that Kiryas Joel has, favoring instead single family homes spaced on wide lots.
In response, the NY Post reports that Kiryas Joel has now sued Woodbury, claiming the zoning changes are antisemitic:
…Woodbury intentionally ignored the needs of area Orthodox Jews when it adopted rules this summer that limit dense building in favor of smaller, spread-out neighborhoods, a Kiryas Joel lawsuit against its neighbor contends.
The Orthodox families “need compact, walkable communities” and affordable housing, and Woodbury’s restrictions are “a concerted effort by the Village to exclude Hasidic Jews,” the lawsuit argues.
The new zoning means Woodbury isn’t doing “its fair share” to relieve the regional housing shortage, according to papers filed in the case, which Woodbury’s lawyers recently had moved to Manhattan federal court.
Woodbury is unfairly shifting the “burden on Kiryas Joel’s housing stock, infrastructure, community services and community character,” the suit says.
Each year, 150 new households are added in Kiryas Joel, where 70 percent of the residents live below the poverty line. Woodbury has half the population.…
Woodbury's mayor deny's Kiryas Joel's charges and likens his town to the biblical David fighting Goliath – Kiryas Joel, which is very politically connected because it bloc votes.
That said, the suit was filed a month ago, and you can see a much more detailed and much better written report on it by the Times Herald-Record.