As a local real estate attorney and Deputy Town Attorney in Orangetown for the last twenty-three years, I have seen firsthand the challenges we face and worked with the Town Board to implement common sense strategies to protect taxpayers, stop overdevelopment, and preserve our quality of life in Orangetown.
During my time in the Deputy Town Attorney’s office, I have worked closely with the Town Board to craft and implement critical laws designed to address these concerns.
Over the last decade, the town has made significant progress under the Republican Majority by passing laws and taking action:
– An LLC Disclosure Law, that requires all LLC’s to reveal their members whenever they apply for a permit or an action before the land use boards;
– A law to regulate the placement of places of worship and schools by addressing deficiencies in the Town code regarding lot and bulk controls, which resulted in a larger minimum lot size requirement;
– A law to implement the town’s “Do Not Knock” registry;
– A law to establish a landlord registry;
– A law to improve the public notification to neighbors of land use projects and zone change requests;Establishing non-residents fees for use of our parks and recreational facilities;
– Increasing fines for violators of our town code; and
– Hiring additional code enforcement officers.
However, these laws and actions are not enough. With the continued efforts of Ramapo developers to change the character of our suburban communities in Rockland (see the proposed Pascack Ridge Development), more must be done to strengthen and protect our zoning laws and enforce our town code.
– In order to preserve our suburban community and our single-family residential neighborhoods, we must move forward on these additional laws and initiatives:
– Update the Town’s woefully outdated comprehensive plan, which hasn’t been updated since 2003 and review and strengthen our zoning laws and town code;
– Establish a land trust to purchase “under threat” properties to avoid fire sales and market the properties to proper buyers or repurpose for use by town residents;
– Work with environmentally friendly businesses to commercially develop RPC, fill the IRG property, improve the Route 303 corridor and protect large properties such as Nyack College and HNA;
– Grow our economy, with prosperous businesses – new and existing – and vibrant downtown business districts, to help produce clean tax ratables and reduce the property tax burden on town residents; and
– Judiciously use PAC (Planned Adult Community) zones to allow seniors to stay in our town and consider market rate “Millennial Housing” in and around our downtown business districts for our young residents to move to until they are ready to buy a single-family home in the town.
The future of Orangetown depends on strong leadership and a vision for the future. We cannot afford to go backwards.
As Supervisor, I will continue the good work of the current board and tackle these issues head on in a bipartisan way, as I have done for the last 23 years in the Town Attorney’s office.