C.U.P.O.N. of Chestnut Ridge is an inclusive group of concerned residents allied in our shared commitment to keep our community safe and preserve the character of our neighborhood by stopping overdevelopment and illegal building activity in the Village of Chestnut Ridge.
1) Hold Chestnut Ridge elected officials and Village Administrators accountable for the consistent enforcement of all building codes, zoning laws and permit approval processes
2) Inform and educate Village Residents about issues that affect our neighborhood.
3) Keep Residents engaged and mobilized for positive change and action when decisions are made
4) Ensure all Residents have a seat at the table and that our voices are heard before the Village.
Please remember that CUPON does its best to appear at all meetings and offer comments on development based upon your feedback. The more individuals that we have show up to speak at these meetings, the more likely it is that our comments will be taken into consideration. This is your opportunity to have your voices heard.
We have filed 2 cases against the Village in the NYS courts stemming from the House of Worship (HOW) law (Note: this does not include the federal cases). The reason we have 2 cases is as follows: We filed an action alleging that the Village did not comply with the environmental statute (SEQRA) as well as alleging that the Village failed to do some other things that do not pertain to environmental issues (e.g., that they didn’t receive a “petition” to make a change to the zoning code, as required by the local law, that they made false, derogatory, and misleading statements in the text of the law, etc.). The first claims (re: the environment) are brought as an Article 78. The second set of claims are brought by means of a “declaratory judgment action.” I crafted the suit as a “hybrid Art. 78/declaratory judgment action” to incorporate both sets of claims. In the Second Department (where the Village is located), a “notice of claim” must be filed and you have to wait a period of time before you file an action regarding claims like declaratory judgment claims. No notice of claim must be filed for the first claims (re: the Article 78 claims pertaining to the environment). The trial judge denied the Village’s motion to dismiss our environmental claims (e.g., the Article 78 claims), and the Village appealed (“First Appeal”). The Court dismissed our declaratory judgment claims because we did not wait the necessary amount of time to file the action after filing the notice of claim. However when a case is dismissed for such a reason the law allows us to refile, so we filed a second action for just the non-environmental issues. The Village moved to dismiss this second action, saying that we waited too long to file. I pointed out that the law explicitly allows us to refile and the Village instead, in its reply papers, raised an entirely new argument, saying we didn’t file the notice of claim correctly. A reply is the last document that goes to the Judge and it cannot include any new arguments. In issuing his decision, the judge agreed with us, saying that the Village never raised this argument before and cannot raise a new argument in a reply. The judge allowed the second case to proceed. The Village appealed this decision as well (“Second Appeal”). Oral arguments for both appeals were heard before a panel of judges from the Second Department, Appellate Division on December 13, 2022. The Village did not appear before the Court for the oral arguments. If you watch some of the arguments in the other cases that day, you will see that the judges often argue or have insightful/detailed questions for the presenting attorneys. With regard to the First Appeal, I had prepared a lengthy argument about “standing” (i.e., who is allowed to bring the case in the first place), as the Village argued that our petitioners/plaintiffs had not shown that they were allowed to challenge the passage of the HOW law (despite a long and clear line of cases throughout NYS that hold otherwise). The presiding judge shut down my argument almost immediately and asked me to move on, saying that the Court was very aware of their own caselaw. They had no questions or comments regarding the issue of standing, which I strongly feel indicates that they agreed with our position. The oral argument upon the Second Appeal was even briefer, as there were only 2 arguments made by the other side on appeal, both of which were really meritless. The judges did not have a single question or comment upon the Second Appeal. As for why the Village didn’t show up to the oral arguments, it is plausible that the Village simply did not know that the matter had been scheduled. The Second Department schedules their arguments with little advance notice. However, I believe the more likely reason is that the Village’s arguments on each and every issue in both appeals called for the Court to either ignore extremely well-established and non-controversial precedent or to adopt a position that does not align with basic common sense. For example with regard to standing, if the Court adopted the Village’s argument, no one on earth would have standing to bring an action challenging the passage of the HOW law. I believe the Village knew that the Court would ask questions that the Village’s attorneys could never answer satisfactorily, and which I would point out make no sense at all.
Hello CUPON of Chestnut Ridge members and supporters:
First I want to take a moment a Happy and Healthy and Peaceful 2023. 2022 was a tough year for all an I am hoping that we get the issue with COVID and other challenging health matters under control to some degree.
I apologize for taking so long to get this message to you but over the XMAS break I had the flu!!
But I am back in the box now.
I have had two important items posted for all from CUPON of Chestnut Ridge to bring you up to date on the 2 law suits we filed way back when the House of Worship proposal became law in Chestnut Ridge in March, 2018.
As you may recall ,with the support of so many here in Chestnut Ridge, our legal representatives filed an Article 78 which attacked the House of Worship Law because the issue of the Environmental Impact /SEQRA was not considered when the law which radically changed the requirements for the construction of a House of Worship, was enacted by our Village Board in February, 2018. This matter languished in NYS Supreme Court for a good long time with no satisfactory resolution by the Court. It was subsequently referred to the Appellate Division in Brooklyn for the panel to hear arguments supporting the law and against the law. I have provided a summary of our attorney's argument before the Appellate Division. Steve Mogel was the sole presenter on that date as you can see. There is no real way to determine when the Court will render its decision but you can be certain we will continue to monitor this matter.
The Second legal action CUPON of Chestnut Ridge filed after the HOW was passed was in US District Court in the Southern District of New York. This matter was assigned to the White Plains Site of the SDNY. This matter, based on the Establishment Clause among other aspects of Federal Law, was finally decided after many filings by the Village of Chestnut Ridge and the other organizations who vigorously supported the community who most benefitted from the HOW law to file such an action. The Court's finding was that CUPON of CHESTNUT RIDGE and the 3 signers( I am one) had NO Standing to file the action. BAH HUMBUG!! we said. The challenge to this decision was filed in mid December before the Second Circuit of the US Court of Appeals. I have provided this filing for you all to review. Again, no idea when a determination will be rendered but clearly we do have Standing! This matter will be referred back to the SDNY if found in our favor!
Additionally, we have filed another Article 78 regarding the Village's adoption of a Comprehensive Plan ( remember way back when the Mayor said wee would NEVER have a Comp Plan because it cost too much money to develop!!!) which again fails to really consider Environmental issues-/SEQRA..
I want to remind all that if you see illegal construction, illegal contractors you should call the Rockland County Department of Consumer Protection at 845-364-3901.
And, of course, I hope you will continue to support CUPON of CR by going to our PAYPAL site or sending donations to our Cupon of Chestnut Ridge, PO Box 394, Nanuet,NY 10954.
My goal is to have a CUPON meeting in Feb or March at the Ambulance Corp building. I will say that if such a meeting is held, all who attend should be masked!
Thanks, Hilda Kogut/ Chair of Cupon of Chestnut Ridge
Message December 12, 222
I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with a website to use to follow the ORAL arguments that will be presented before the Appellate Court in Brooklyn on Tuesday, December 13th in defense of our Article 78 which was filed in April 2019 after the HOW law was passed by the Village Board.
Just letting you know that anyone who does not want to shlep to 45 Monroe Place in Brooklyn to hear the arguments in person can go to the nycourts.gov website and watch oral arguments live. You just need to right-click the following and click on “Oral Argument Live – Brooklyn”: Appellate Division - Second Judicial Department (nycourts.gov)
Oral arguments are expected between 12 and 1 PM approximately.
Keep your fingers crossed and most importantly, thank you for continuing to support CUPON of CR in our efforts.
Hilda Kogut/ CUPON CR Chair
By now you are all aware of the fact the the US District Court/Southern District of New York in White Plains ,NY dismissed our Federal Complaint as the Judge found that CUPON and those named in the complaint had no standing to file such an action. We are all scratching our collective heads about this decision!
We have carefully considered the matter and have filed a Notice of Appeal which will be submitted to the 2nd Circuit for its consideration. The same team that drafted the original complaint will be drafting the Appeal!!
Should the Appeal be accepted and found to have merit the matter will be returned the District Court in White Plains for the Judge's consideration! This matter will not be resolved overnight but we are determined as we believe our issues have merit!
ADDITIONALLY, the Article 78 will soon be heard in the Appellate Court in Brooklyn where our attorney, Steve Mogel will argue about the issue of the Village's failure to consider issues of the environment when the law was passed 4 + years ago.
It is interesting that the law was passed over 4 years ago and still we have not seen a significant amount of permit requests for building Houses of Worship!
I am going to try to secure the Ambulance Building for meeting of CUPON in the near future!
Until that meeting, I remind all that we welcome donations either on PAYPAL on our website www.cuponchetsnutridge.org or via our mail - Cupon of Chestnut Ridge, PO Box 394, Nanuet,NY 10954.
Thanks everyone, Hilda
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We urgently ask for your monetary contribution to continue our mission. Due to rising expenses together with several legal challenges your generous donation is needed.
You can now use our PayPal account or mail your contribution check to P.O.Box 394 Nanuet NY 10954 attention CUPON Chestnut Ridge.
Disclaimer: until we obtain our 501c3 tax status your contributions are not tax deductible.
Thank you for your understanding.
Email or Write us to the address below about Chestnut Ridge
P.O. Box 394 Nanuet, New York, 10954
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