While the Village of Pomona awaits a court decision in their case against the proposed Route 202 Wal-Mart on the border of Pomona and Mt. Ivy, Haverstraw Owners and Professional Entrepreneurs (HOPE) has scored an initial victory of their own.
According to a recent court decision, HOPE, comprised of many personages, including former Village of Haverstraw Deputy Mayor Ricky Sanchez, is eligible to challenge the Town of Ramapo and Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence’s process approving the Wal-Mart Project.
Sanchez contends that Ramapo did not follow open meeting laws in the approval process for Wal-Mart. The case will likely be appealed by Ramapo, as their attorneys continue to argue that Haverstraw entrepreneurs have no standing in the Town of Ramapo.
Sanchez said if he and his group win the actual case, “Any decisions they have made and any resolutions are no good. It could be a big set back for them.”
Pomona Trustee Rita Louie, who ran against Howard Phillips for town supervisor of Haverstraw in 2013, said, “Having standing is huge on this. He was suing regarding private meetings having to do with the Wal-Mart. If deals were made behind closed doors, this could go big.”
The proposed Wal-Mart straddles the towns of Haverstraw and Ramapo. Haverstraw is not involved in the HOPE lawsuit. The Village of Pomona’s lawsuit does involve both towns, as the village claims the towns did not have a right to approve the project without their consent.
A small, but growing citizens resistance movement to the Wal-Mart project exists, led by members of the “Eastern Lights Project,” which use an adjacent 25-acre wooded lot for cultural events, organic farming and sustainability research.
Though Haverstraw Town is the lead development agency for the project, Sanchez believes his suit can effectively stall the process by targeting Ramapo.
Sanchez is being represented by his favorite lawyer, Dennis Lynch of Feerick, Lynch and MacCartney. Lynch is coming off a win representing Vilair Fonvil, a trustee in Spring Valley that Mayor Demezza Delhomme attempted to oust from the board. The judge ruled Fonvil was the legal occupant of the seat.