Shalom Lamm, the developer-son of Yeshiva University’s former chancellor Rabbi Norman Lamm, is buying up the Village of Bloomingburg, New York “building by building, home by home, storefront by storefront.” And he seems to be doing it with Satmar in order to throw the upcoming village elections.
Satmar Proxy Buying Up Tiny Village In Order To Throw Elections, Opponents Claim
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Shalom Lamm, the developer-son of Yeshiva University’s former chancellor Rabbi Norman Lamm, is buying up the Village of Bloomingburg, New York “building by building, home by home, storefront by storefront,” the Times Herald-Record reported.
Lamm bought the vacant cupcake store, multi-family homes, and a senior citizen’s apartment complex – some of them at prices significantly above the properties’ assessed values. He now owns about 20% of the tiny 420 population village’s main street along with other properties scattered throughout the village.
Lamm has admittedly offered incentives for his tenants to leave immediately rather than staying to the end of their leases, but he claims he hasn’t forced anyone to leave.
No one living in Bloomingburg is known to be Orthodox or hasidic.
But a Satmar hasidic faction is reportedly offering $1,000 per month subsidies to people who are willing to move to Lamm’s 396-unit townhouse development billed as Kiryas Yated Lev, the "Satmar community in Bloomingburg.”
Three new signs on the old cupcake shop building reportedly read, "Coming Soon: Bloomingburg Pediatrics, Judaica Store, Kosher Dairy Au Main."
Opponents believe Lamm is trying to force longtime residents out of Bloomingburg while flooding the tiny village with new hasidic (or strawmen) residents before the local elections held in March who will vote his way on the new townhouse development and change zoning laws as needed.
"It's all about electoral manipulation," Michael Hassler, a member of the development opposition group, the Rural Community Coalition, said.
Lamm – who is fond of calling his opponents “haters” and who used a front man to conceal the true nature of his development – refused to answer when asked if his recent property purchases, the incentives offered to tenants to leave immediately, and the incentives offered to hasidic Jews to immediately move to Blommingburg was meant to influence the upcoming election.
"I'm not going to respond to every single charge. I've invested tens of millions of dollars in Bloomingburg, and intend to continue doing so. I believe in the future of Bloomingburg…Have we offered people incentives to move? Yes. But the haters would want you to think we're forcing people out. That's just not true,” was all Lamm would say.
But Lamm has told tenants that their leases will not be renewed and offered to return their damage deposits if they move out immediately rather than waiting until the end of their leases.
Nearby towns are taking hasty steps to prevent Lamm or someone else from doing to them what he is doing to Bloomingburg.
Crawford tightened its business park and industrial zoning and asked for a new state review of the sewer system being built for Lamm’s Satmar townhouse development, because it will discharge treated waste material into a stream that runs through Crawford.
In Mount Hope, scores of residents petitioned for a special election on the proposed sale of a former elementary school to Satmar. The school is supposed to be the boys school and yeshiva for Lamm’s Bloomingburg development.
(The now former Mount Hope town attorney denied a Freedom of Information Law request by the Times Herald-Record for correspondence from the prospective Satmar buyer.)
Last Monday, Mount Hope residents asked the new town board to write Mamakating officials to have Mount Hope named as an interested party related to another Lamm development – Seven Peaks. Mamakating is the town that encompasses Bloomingburg, Wurtsboro and several hamlets. Its new supervisor, Bill Herrmann, reportedly said the first thing the new town board will do will be to change zoning laws to prevent high density development – like Lamm’s.