For First Time, Frum Monsey Residents File Lawsuit Against Frum Developer

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In the first action of its kind in Rockland County, New York, a group of frum residents in Monsey have brought a lawsuit against a frum developer with the approval of daas Torah, seeking a stop work order, an injunction against further building and other relief, Matzav.com has learned. 

The action was brought in New York Supreme Court in Putnam County against Town of Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, Chief Building Inspector Anthony Mallia and the owner/developer of the property, Viola Gardens, LLC.

The suit alleges that the owner, builder and other professionals behind Viola Gardens are intentionally constructing the condominium project, named Viola Estates and situated on Viola Road across from Ramapo High School, in violation of local zoning, building and other laws.
The alleged violations include exceeding the maximum density allowed by law and illegally building double or triple the number of apartments approved by the town.
Plaintiffs, three neighbors of the project, reluctantly brought suit after trying unsuccessfully to resolve these issues directly with the developer, who refused to build in compliance with the downzoning he already received from the town, and after the town and building inspector failed to act to enforce the laws.
A complaint was also filed with the NY Attorney General, who oversees all condominium projects in the state.
{CB Frommer-Matzav.com}

47 COMMENTS

  1. there are many other frum people in Monsey who have had enough of all this construction and reckless expansion. Most are afraid to speak up. Vocal opponents are just haters so the frum aren’t comfortable joining forces.
    We want to live without it feeling like Brooklyn.
    Enough is enough!

    • lakewood already feel & looks like brooklyn every time i visit there. from the squashed homes to the fancy stores and restaurants etc….

    • The sad and unfortunate fact of the matter is that their developers, and The Town Supervisor and zoning board, are all committing sins here on a grand scale

  2. Can you please provide some names or documents of daas torah to substantiate that these neighbors are doing the proper thing and not making a chill Hashem? Otherwise what would stop anybody from claiming they are backed by daas torah?

    • Old man….
      I feel sorry for you.
      Anyone who is learned in Seder Nezikin, knows the clear Halacha. If one builds or wishes to build something which harms his neighbors or neighborhood , he can be stopped.
      And as far as Chilul Hashem…..
      What is the chilul hashem.? The buider/developer is the one making a chilul hashem.

  3. I’m a neighbor to this project and with the peiole who filed. The project is built exactly to plan, this lawsuit is a disgrace and filed by people with other agendas.

    • 1)You mean the plan approved by the zoning board? If so, then the developers have nothing to do about!!!
      2) And what would the neighbors’ agenda be, given that they’re investing all this money in a lawsuit that, according to you, they are surely lose??

    • same here
      i dont love the way our town looks but hapens to be this development is quit nice and build to plan this people have other agendas and making a chillol hashem which is the only part that bothers me

  4. I’m also curious who the “daas torah” is…… nowhere does it state that besides for speaking directly with the developer that they tried din torah first. I can’t imagine that daas torah; whoever that is would agree with such actions. I do though agree with the fact that the zoning situation in monsey is completely out of hand; I believe someone in the local city council or working for the local govt is doing a lot of illegalities approving such developements over the past few yrs.. But that also means that by going to higher court they too can get into trouble… this is going to cause a huge chillul hashem and is unacceptable if theres no normal heter for it.

  5. Self hating jews no not antisemitism as long u have where to live keep on blocking others, until it will be a Compagnie for our heimisha homeless families shame on you!

  6. even if the lawsuit is allowed by Rabbonim, does not mean that the lawsuit needs to be public, and inflated by media attention.

  7. is there a toelese in telling us that a frum man is suing another i court?

    In addition, the previous comments indicate that this artilce is opening the door to people who want to bash entire kehilos- for instance ” without it feeling like Brooklyn.” and the bitterness- “it’s about time”. as examples. We do not need to air our dirty laundry on a website avaialbalbe for the world to see.

  8. What about is it daas torah for developers to build as they please… The last thing the torah wants is to allow developers to disregard the will of the neighborhood. So start by asking if the developers are following daas torah…

  9. why are we opening a door to frum on frum bashing? This article airs the anger we hold toward each other r”l. In addition, it is irresponsible to quote the lawsuit’s allegations as though they are fact before the case is heard at court.

  10. Lakewood is turning into a sardine can too. The builders seem to be vying with each other to see who can fahrshtup the most people in the smallest space.

  11. The whole appeal of Monsey is (or used to be) that it was rustic and country-like. It has now become so congested and almost city-like. I live in Monsey for 22 years now and the change is really astounding. I completely understand the frustration.

  12. The adjoining parcel, the other half of the Reform Temple property. is up for auction this week.
    The publicity puts bidders on notice.
    Now they know, before sinking in millions and expecting business as usual, that neighbors will be expecting them to comply with building codes and zoning laws.

  13. I live in Lakewood and in some ways the development in Monsey is worse than here. At least here they build with sechel, townhouses with parking and playgrounds. I’ve seen huge edifices going up in Monsey with no space between the properties and no place for children to play. It is truly horrible.

  14. I’m very familiar with this project. These developers haven’t violated any state and local zoning laws. This development will not impact these neighbors what’s so ever. The development access is from Viola road verses the neighbors live in the Crestview and Langeries area which are accessed from Route 306. They have tried numerous times to place stop work orders and constantly failed because no wrongs have been done.
    Furthermore, who is this Daas Torah? They aren’t naming any Rabbanim who allowed them to do this. If you have any complaints on this development they haven’t tried Bes Din yet!

  15. I’m very familiar with this project. These developers haven’t violated any state and local zoning laws. This development will not impact these neighbors what’s so ever. The development access is from Viola road verses the neighbors live in the Crestview and Langeries area which are accessed from Route 306. They have tried numerous times to place stop work orders and constantly failed because no wrongs have been done.
    Furthermore, who is this Daas Torah? They aren’t naming any Rabbanim who allowed them to do this. If you have any complaints on this development they haven’t tried Bes Din yet!

  16. YAIR is a troll or just a common lying shill for the developer and his mafia: How could Yair have seen the plans and compared them to the condos that are built? He is clearly in on the development — could be he is the one neighbor who did not come to the meeting: the development’s builder (who, by the way has sold his house and is moving elsewhere)!
    The fact is that the violations of code and the dishonesty underlying the marketing of this development are obvious, egregious, and shamelessly inconsiderate of impact on neighbors and neighborhood. Worse, the Town is complicit and not an address to turn to.
    The neighbors of this unwieldy development are honest, good Jews who never, ever could have imagined taking such steps against another Jew. The developers and their cronies in the Town have taken unholy advantage of others’ ehrlichkeit and commitment to darchei shalom. Now the ENTIRE Monsey is shaking its collective head at the clumsy hodgepodge of buildings that is our town today. It’s horrible. No one likes it, and whomever you speak to says “You can’t win – they will retaliate.” Yep and they will plant their lies all around, like YAir just did. Well, there are laws in this country, even in Monsey. All we ask is that they be honored.

  17. Whoever cares can come to Town Hall tomorrow night Tuesday — June 7 — at 8 PM to fight those trying to destroy our neighborhood in the process. The sheer over-development butters only their own bread. Anyone who buys these houses will have no where for their children to play — and the roads are UNSAFE. For Heaven’s sake: can’t they have mercy on our children or is all about the millions they make on our backs?! Build — but build responsibly!

  18. Sweet story twisting. This story is so one sided… did the writer even try to speak or hear the other side? The developer went through all necessary town zoning procedures and is building exactly what he was approved. Some ‘not in my backyard’ neighbors (most of who rhemselves moved out from Brooklyn) are upset they lost the legal process and being sore losers…

  19. Sweet story twisting. This story is so one sided… did the writer even try to speak or hear the other side? The developer went through all necessary town zoning procedures and is building exactly what he was approved. Some ‘not in my backyard’ neighbors (most of who rhemselves moved out from Brooklyn) are upset they lost the legal process and being sore losers…

  20. I relocated to monsey a few years ago, and even in these short time, monsey/sv changed so much.

    Can someone explain to me why muti family houses have to be build almost on the whole property without enough parking spaces or space around the house to put a tree or two and nice grass?

    And why do they build sooooo ugly?

    We as a community have to stand up and do something about it before its too late

  21. Reply to Tova Meod:
    I’m not a troll and actually I’m your neighbor and I DID join the meeting and there is where I got all the details plus discussing this matter with numerous neighbors and I’m not the Chosid you like to hate…
    FYI, the majority of the neighborhood is not on board with the 5 of you it’s just that you have the money and portray yourselves as Nice guys and no one is in the mood of fighting you…
    No one on the block is in with you on the 3 recent other mesiras you sent to the town recently hurting decent people for nothing.. you will have to give din v’cheshbon on this, don’t think for a second that we are all with you even though we don’t speak up.
    It’s a shame that people like you went this low I don’t want to write in public what I think the real reason behind this is.
    to all the other ignorant posters, I bet you haven’t seen this project it’s actually vet different than any other recently built development in Monsey it’s semi attached houses with plenty parking on a secluded culdi sac accessed from a public road that is not congested at all, the people who filed this have other agendas so do some research before commenting, just FYI at the meeting Tova is mentioning no violations of any law was even discussed I don’t want to spell out their arguments bc unlike them I’m not in the business of hanging our dirty laundry in the public. It’s painful enough.

  22. I’m a neighbor on the block with the people who filed.
    I don’t want to be so dirty and evil to anyone as some of the commentators here so I won’t get into the details, however, I just wanted to inform all the uninformed readers jumping on the story and commenting, you are not aware of the real story here and the people who filed have personal agendas here (I’m not saying if they’re right or wrong it’s irrelevant) so please don’t comment as if this is a typical zoning violation story- it’s not.
    I have been at the neighborhood meetings and it is a shame what has transpired, after discussing this with a few (quiet) neighbors we all feel that we were being told wrong info and mislead so I really hope they pull out and avoid the tremendous chilul Hashem.

  23. Why are the editors not writing the names of the plaintiffs? Does anyone know who these people are? Does anyone know which Rabbonim are backing them as stated in the article?

  24. David is Yair and also a shill for the developer and his henchmen. Their clumsy English and all the misstatements give them away. And he was definitely not at any meeting. A troll The “real story”! “Personal agendas” ! “Dirty and evil” !
    Oh please — tell it to the judge, as they say. Trying to stop people from by crying chillul HAshem (chas veshalom) will not work anymore. And it’s motzie shem ra. The facts are on paper — in black and white. Why don’t these so-called people on the block (it is 4 blocks!) speak to their neighbors and tell them they don’t agree if they are in fact neighbors?

  25. The big picture that is coming to light from this lawsuit is the fact that the overwhelming majority of families that moved to Rockland County was because it was a better way to raise a family with single family homes on near one acre plots. We work, happily pay our property taxes for this lifestyle. Unfortunalty, there has been an explosion of multi family homes that have been built legally, but only after the Town granted down zoning to accommodate the builders. Although this particular lawsuit may have alterior motives, the vast majority of Monsey residents live by the law of the land and expect developers and builders to be held to the same standard. We have no issue with land development, but would it be so bad to maintain the single family model? This towns infrastructure was not designed and can not adaquetly absorb high density housing. Traffic on 306 is a nightmare!! It has to stop.

  26. Tova- Don’t be so confident and don’t push me to publicize names on this public forum, you’ll be surprised.
    The truth is that a lot of us (from all 4 streets..) do not agree with you and are of the opinion that the matter could’ve been settled if only there wouldn’t be any personal chesbonos involved.
    Thanks for criticizing my English I know I can improve but your derogatory and hateful way of writing just speaks volumes to your personal character, talking down to anyone that disagrees with your opinion (“crying Chilul Hashem” “shil” “Troll” “So-called people”) This tells you how come no one has the courage to speak up publicly.
    Many neighbors feel very uncomfortable with the fact that you made it into a neighborhood matter and dragged us all into the mud.
    What a shame.

  27. As a Conservative Jew, I applaud you. Please purchase security lights and alarm systems so you are protected.
    Stay safe and join CUPON with the rest of the community. Citizens United for the Preservation of our Neighborhoods.

  28. How come you are all complaining now? The rest of us have been active against overdevelopment for years now. Is it because it’s now in YOUR neighborhood?

  29. Response to Tzippy (and in the process a response to those who have tried to divert the discussion towards discussing personalities and motives, rather than facts):

    The following is what I understand the facts to be:

    While lots of people have been “active” about complaining, this time the “complaining” is being done through a lawsuit and the courts, meaning that the “complainers” cannot simply be ignored with a wave of the hand and a smile. Rather, they and the County will have to respond in a serious fashion.

    The goal is that the developer and the county comply with the law. This means that the Viola Estates Development must be built according to the plan presented to the zoning board and approved by that board. That plan, as far as I can tell from the developer attorney’s website, calls for 42 families living in 42 semi-detached dwellings.

    The claimants, as far as I understand, maintain that the 42 semi-detached dwellings have been subdivided and that each will contain 2,3, or even 4 families, not 1. (In other words, “Kaiser.”)

    Anyone in Monsey is welcome to visit the site and judge for themselves whether the existing structures look like they are being built in manner consistent with one family per side or 2,3,or even 4 per side.

    If you do, i believe you will understand why the neighbors have brought suit to have the county enforce its laws.

    While it may be true that opinions are divided as to whether the lawsuit should have been brought (I have no idea), that has nothing to do with the merits of the complaint, which only seeks to have the parties comply with the law.

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