By Bob Quinn MONROE — It is a common belief that the annexation of land from the Town of Monroe into the Village of Kiryas Joel will be tied up in court for years.But that notion fails to acknowledge the drive to expand, to house, to give birth to a community determined to grow, whether within the village or outside its borders. Or what one official called “the KJ overflow.”The KJ overflow is described in a “Home Buyers Info-Guide” distributed in Kiryas Joel and in Brooklyn by a real estate firm that caters to Hasidic families. It recommends that prospective buyers look outside Kiryas Joel to nearby communities where they will find large houses “for much lower prices.”The KJ overflow can also be seen in advertisements and articles in newspapers published in Kiryas Joel for at least the last two months. The advertisements tout the purchases of homes in Woodbury and Blooming Grove, reporting how many have been purchased, how many are in contract and how many remain on the market.And just last week, an article in the Sept. 2 edition of “Der Blatt,” a publication that describes itself as the “Voice of Worldwide Orthodox Jewry,” reported plans to build as many 1,500 housing units on the last undeveloped parcel in Kiryas Joel off Nininger Road, across from the State Police Barracks in Monroe.Throw into this mix the five developments in the Town of Monroe that are temporarily held at bay because of the town’s building moratorium. And then there’s the proposed 566-home subdivision at the Lake Anne Country Club in Blooming Grove, just east of where Clove Road merges with Route 208. The numbers grow. Concerns, too. What about water? What about sewer? What about traffic? What about politics? And what about the school districts?What has become clear now in the year since the Monroe Town Board voted 4-1 to support the annexation of 164 acres into Kiryas Joel is that this is no longer just a Monroe issue. It is now changing the character of southern Orange County.At its most basic, the issue is about people wanting to live the American Dream. But when you add textures and the hues between black and white, this is about defining community - one that sees itself to be separate and homogeneous and others that see neighborhoods of many colors, voices and religions.
Why are we here?
The sales pitch