The planning board of the Town of Mamakating, New York has – temporarily – blocked Modern Orthodox developer Shalom Lamm’s plan to open a Satmar hasidic girls school early next month in the neighboring Village of Bloomingburg.
Bloomingburg: Planning Board Refuses To Approve New Satmar Girls School
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The planning board of the Town of Mamakating, New York has temporarily blocked Modern Orthodox developer Shalom Lamm’s plan to open a Satmar hasidic girls school early next month in the neighboring Village of Bloomingburg.
The board needs to grant site plan approval for the school to legally open but failed to do so at Tuesday night’s meeting over concerns of insufficient parking, the Times Herald-Record reported.
Lamm’s properties in the tiny village have sometimes been illegally occupied and used, allegedly with Lamm’s tacit or open approval, despite lack of proper approvals and permits.
In one case, the second floor of an old building Lamm was renovating was used by hasidim as a synagogue and study hall despite having only one exit and lacking proper permits or a certificate of occupancy. Village officials worried that the lack of proper fire safety equipment and exits could lead to a disaster. The hasidim kept using the building anyway.
Tuesday night, Lamm’s representatives told the planning board that most of the school’s proposed students would walk to school, but the board did not accept that claim.
“You have to remember, the Planning Board isn’t approving the project subject to membership, it’s to the use,” Lawrence Paggi, the consulting engineer for the board, reportedly said.
Lamm is building a controversial high-density 396-unit townhouse development in Bloomingburg that is being marketed, likely illegally, by Satmar hasidim as a new all-Satmar hasidic village.
Lamm and Satmar tried to take over the tiny 420-person village earlier this year but failed when their votes were thrown out over allegedly false claims of residency.
Lamm himself tried to vote in Bloomingburg even though court documents he filed in December in another case state that his legal residence in in West Hempstead, New York – many miles away from the tiny rural upstate New York village. Lamm’s daughter and son-in-law, who live and work full time in Israel and who never lived in Bloomingburg also tried to vote in that Bloomingburg election as did at least 20 hasidic adults who all claimed one private Bloomingburg home as their residence. In all, approximately 100 tainted Lamm and hasidic votes were tossed.
In March, the FBI raided Lamm’s Bloomingburg office and many of his local properties and it is believed that Lamm is under criminal investigation.
Lamm allegedly used a straw man developer to deceptively pitch the tiny village a low-density summer home and retirement complex complete with a golf course.
But the development soon turned into a high-density hasidic development and then, before the village could stop it, a hasidic development that would see the tiny 420-person rural village overrun by 1,500 to 2,000 hasidim.
Lamm’s project needs, but does not yet have, approval from the state Department of Health for its water supply and various court actions and legal maneuverings by locals – some of whom are Jewish – are still taking place to try to stop Lamm’s development.
Lamm – a son of former Yeshiva University president and chancellor Rabbi Norman Lamm – has accused opponents of being anti-Semitic, despite the fact that both Jews and non-Jews are working together to oppose him.