A report Friday updates the status of the controversial Patrick Farm development plan in Ramapo (‘Patrick Farm gets final Ramapo approval,’ on LoHud.com)
Although the town’s Planning Board gave its approval, the plan still faces myriad hurdles, including several lawsuits.
The Editorial Board has weighed in, several times over several years, on the Patrick Farm development. Here are some past comments from our editorials:
In a Jan. 9, 2013 editorial, ‘DEC, take time on Patrick Farm’:
”… The Town of Ramapo should have been as circumspect in gauging the impact of the development, planned amid now-wild acreage, before granting approvals. The town, after all, has ignored red flags — raised by Rockland County, local volunteer firefighters, environmentalists and even its own past land-use plans. … The Patrick Farm development would bring nearly 500 housing units to a 208-acre site off routes 202 and 306. The large homes — both single-family and multifamily — would fill the need of a growing Orthodox Jewish community, whose members, understandably, want to live in proximity to family and friends. But so much development in such a small space would strain town and county resources — like roads, sewers and, of course, water. … Ramapo’s propensity to open the gates to unbridled development — even as its town supervisor leads preservation and open-space efforts — must be checked, and checked again.
In a Jan. 6, 2012, editorial, ‘Patrick Farm plan untenable’:
“The density of Patrick Farm will likely fuel United Water’s efforts to build a water treatment plant to tap the Hudson. Critics say the energy needed to desalinate the brackish water near Haverstraw Bay will drive up Rocklanders’ water bills. Another contradiction: (Ramapo) Supervisor (Christopher) St. Lawrence, who has called Patrick Farm’s plans ‘beautiful,’ has fought the treatment plant. In Ramapo, this kind of disconnect on land use is too familiar.”
In a January, 2010, editorial, ‘Patrick Farm project raises concerns’:
“Ramapo’s often contradictory views on development and land preservation meet at the intersection of Routes 202 and 306. That’s where developers want to place a whole new housing community — almost 500 residences on a lush 208-acre property known as Patrick Farm. Owner Scenic Development is seeking a zoning code change to accommodate the project. The Ramapo Town Board unanimously accepted the developer’s environmental impact report, and will vote on requested zone changes Monday.
The board will likely allow this mammoth growth in what is now open space. This is the peculiarity of Ramapo. Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence often touts the town’s open-space purchases and blasts United Water for wanting to tap the Hudson in order to meet Rockland’s future water needs.
At the same time, however, St. Lawrence and his board have downzoned dense areas in Monsey, paving the way for more growth, and have signaled their support for this plan. Ramapo has diverse communities in need of adequate housing stock. But development still must fit within the parameters of what an area can bear; there is scant evidence that Ramapo is positioned to properly accommodate the growth the board is all but certain to OK.”
Above: The Patrick Farm property in Ramapo, photographed Feb. 14, 2012. (Photo by Seth Harrison / The Journal News)