Ramapo holds next round of “charettes”

BY KATHY KAHN

The “charettes”—a series of discussions between planners hired by the Town of Ramapo’s Planning Department and town residents – continued this week.

The charette’s planners have a vision for the town that includes several hundred, perhaps several thousand— “affordable” senior living, multi-family condos, apartment buildings and town homes, as well as the creation of a walkable community that could be shopped with a cart rather than with a car to transport food and sundries in most places.

Some residents pointed out that they use a car to get to work and others said they happen to like things the way things are, hoping to preserve the residential communities they bought into over the last 40-plus years.

One resident said the primary reason her family moved to Rockland was, “To get away from city living, not to recreate it here.”

Among questions fielded by charette team leaders Laberge Group, Dover, Kohl & Partners and the Town of Ramapo Planning Department were what they had in mind for the development of the Miniceongo Golf Course and what was in store for the Striker property, a 75-acre parcel where its owner is proposing to build a campus for several private yeshivas.

That won’t sit well with the people who sold the Striker property to Ramapo during jailed supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence’s tenure – they were led to believe it would remain “forever green.”

“Show us the real plans for Ramapo,” Ken Finch of Pomona said. “Five years ago, I got a ballpark in my backyard I did not vote for.”

Planners have not yet tackled another part of the town, where a proposed “upscale residential development” is being built next to Auntie El’s and a second, larger-scale development of over 1,100 homes, Tuxedo Farms, straddling Sloatsburg and the Town of Tuxedo in Orange County, has roughed out the infrastructure.

The next charette is scheduled in March and should bring more information- or “disinformation,” as some residents called it—to the table. To learn more, visit www.ramapo.org and search for “Envision Ramapo.”