CHESTER – Town officials in Chester say the state attorney general’s office attempted to pressure the town into accepting the Greens at Chester recent settlement demand.
The attorney general has joined a federal lawsuit with the owner of the Greens property claiming the town and County of Orange have been blocking the development on anti-Semitic grounds because it is planned as a Hasidic Jewish community.
The town maintained the AG supports the housing project “without regard to its enormous impacts on local infrastructure and systems, or its divergence from code.” The town said the AG’s office is “is acting in the service of the interests of one private developer” and declined to hear from the town.
County Attorney Langdon Chapman said the litigation against the county has no merit.
He said the AG “has not identified a single permit being withheld by the county.”
Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R, New Windsor) said the attorney general’s action is “seeking to infringe on a local municipality’s home rule authority is unacceptable.” He said the AG is not representing the residents of Chester or the county by joining the lawsuit.”On the contrary, she is seeking to directly prevent the duly elected Chester town government from representing Chester residents who want to preserve the rural character of their community through longstanding zoning and planning laws.”
Orange County Legislator Michael Amo (I, Central Valley), called the AG’s action “a sad day for Orange County.”