Chestnut Ridge NY is being changed by illegal construction and over-building. We're fighting to save the character of our neighborhood and hold gov't officials accountable for enforcing our building codes & zoning laws.
Chestnut Ridge is a diverse and lovely community located in lower Hudson Valley, NY. Our village has welcomed all people since its inception regardless of race, ethnicity or faith. We are also a village of laws, and our community has always placed its trust in local government to enforce these laws to protect the safety of our residents and character of our neighborhood. Sadly, our elected officials have failed us by allowing Chestnut Ridge's beauty and harmony to be significantly altered by over-development and illegal building activity. We established CUPON (Citizens United to Protect Our Neighborhoods) to hold our local government accountable for enforcing village building codes and zoning laws, and we are seeking your financial support to continue our efforts.
In the past year alone, Chestnut Ridge has experienced a rapid rise in residential construction and renovations that are substantially out of step with the standards and traditions of our bedroom community. Many of these structures have been illegally converted to houses of worship, multifamily dwellings or rental properties, circumventing village building codes and zoning laws. Worse, we have seen instances of arbitrary and capricious approvals of building projects and issuances of permits outside of Zoning, Planning and Architectural Review Board oversight. By bucking the process in this manner, village officials have denied residents the right to engage in public debate on matters that have the ability to cause irreparable damage not only to the character of our neighborhood but also our property values.
Despite repeated attempts by our residents to make their voices heard, it appears that Chestnut Ridge village officials are ignoring our concerns and turning a blind eye towards outright misrepresentations in building permit applications, violation of zoning laws and illegal changes to use occupancies. We find the current local government's selective enforcement of village statutes to be inconsistent and contrary to precedent.
Recently, we learned of a proposed amendment to our zoning laws regarding neighborhood places of worship. It is being considered by our village board with input from representatives of a religious group that is seeking to revise Chestnut Ridge's codes to accommodate its own needs. While we believe that all who wish to practice their faith in our community should be free to do so without being subject to undue restrictions or acts of discrimination, the proposed changes that are being considered by our village violate the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment which specifically prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another - "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." It is imperative that our elected officials enforce and preserve the integrity of our village laws and apply them equally to all.
CUPON of Chestnut Ridge has been actively engaged in identifying questionable building activities and instrumental in stopping them in many cases; however we need to keep the pressure on our local government and ensure that village residents remain informed. For this reason, we are raising funds to cover expenses related to civic outreach, advisory and legal initiatives to promote our mission and challenge government decisions that have allowed for excessive over-development and the spreading of illegal building activity in our village.
Please support CUPON of Chestnut Ridge by donating what you can today.
Below are links to articles highlighting some of the issues we are fighting for:
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