Attorney General Letitia James has filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit against the town of Chester and Orange County that alleged the localities engaged in discriminatory practices to prevent Hasidic Jewish families from moving into the area.
The lawsuit was filed in July by the developers of The Greens at Chester, a proposed housing development on 117 acres in Chester that would be marketed to Hasidic Jewish households. The land was bought in October 2017, but the developers accused the town and the county of conspiring to block the construction by passing a law that would restrict the size of the new houses in a manner that would make them uninhabitable.
The developers also accused the town and county proposing extra taxes on the property, limiting the hours of construction at the site and providing personal information on the managing partners behind the project. The developers stated they met several extra requirements from the town and county, including the rerouting of a new sewer waste line and moving the main road by 10 feet, but were denied building permits.
“Blocking the construction of homes to prevent a religious group from living in a community is flat out discriminatory,” James said. “This campaign to deny housing to members of the Jewish community is not only a clear violation of our laws, but is antithetical to our basic values and blatantly anti-Semitic. New York has a longstanding commitment to ensure equal housing opportunities for all residents – regardless of race, gender, or religious identity – and we will ensure this commitment is upheld.”