Annexation FAQs

Just one month after the Town Board election was called in favor of the Kiryas Joel backed candidates, a petition was filed to annex 507 acres of Town of Monroe land into the Village of Kiryas Joel.

The Town Supervisor, Harley Doles, following the submission of this petition to annex 507 acres, released a letter he sent to Mayor Wieder of Kiryas Joel. In this letter, Supervisor Doles attempted to confuse the public. He urged Mayor Wieder to consider forming a new Town or City in order to separate from Monroe. This letter was released to the newspapers as a publicity stunt to confuse the public. The letter had the desired result. It confused the public into believing that the 507 acre annexation meant that Kiryas Joel was becoming their own independent municipality. This is not the case.

In this same letter, Supervisor Doles claimed that he was creating a “Blue Ribbon Committee” which would consist of elected officials from the region who would discuss the separation of Kiryas Joel from the Town of Monroe.
To date, months later, this committee still does not exist.

Shortly after that, Supervisor Doles implored the State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, to get involved in the annexation proceedings. Doles claimed that the Attorney General is the only person who can assure that this process is followed to the letter. Again, smoke and mirrors. The Attorney General didn’t dignify Doles’ antics with a response.

Most recently, Supervisor Doles has invited the State Comptroller to perform a full audit to determine the fiscal impact of the annexation. In the meantime, Doles held his very own tax information session where he invited the public to hear how, according to his figures, this annexation will have no impact fiscally on the residents of Monroe.

These numbers were based on the 507 acres in question having NO change in zoning whatsoever once annexed.

Not even Kiryas Joel would say that the land in question will retain the same zoning, rural residential, were it to be annexed into the village of Kiryas Joel. Yet our own Town Supervisor had the audacity to provide numbers to the public which illustrate just that- no changes whatsoever.

Annexation is a complicated process. It requires a full environmental review. Initially, the Town Board stated that they were requesting co-lead agency status for the review process along with Kiryas Joel.

Shortly after this resolution, Kiryas Joel released a statement which explained that the Town Board was mistaken and that Kiryas Joel wishes to have sole lead agency status themselves for the environmental review of this proposed annexation.

The Town Board then switched their request and now claims to also want sole lead agency status to conduct the NY State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”).

Whenever there is a dispute over lead agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) must determine who to grant lead agency status to. At this point, the DEC is making that determination. The Monroe Woodbury Central School District also requested lead agency status but their request was rejected by the DEC.

Once the determination is made, a joint public hearing will be held for the public to voice their concerns, data, objections on the record before the Town Board of Monroe and the Village Board of Kiryas Joel.

The environmental review process will then commence. Once all of the data that the lead agency deems necessary is collected, the two boards will vote on the annexation. If both the Village of Kiryas Joel Board and the Town Board of Monroe vote “yes” then the annexation will be approved.

It’s at this point the people of Monroe can object and take legal action.

If approved, the annexation will negatively impact the community in a number of ways:

  • increased traffic
  • increased water and sewer needs which will require an expensive sewer upgrade
  • increase in taxes
  • negatively impact air quality
  • dramatic change in the rural landscape since the 507 acres will be rezoned from rural to urban zoning
  • Monroe Woodbury School District will be in jeopardy since the additional 30,000 people or more who will populate the 507 acres will be able to vote in School Board elections and it’s likely that they will have no interest in maintaining the programs our district is known for since their children will attend private yeshiva’s.
  • increase in population in the area
    (updated April 17th, 2014)

In order to protect the environment, our taxes, our school district and the rural way of life we’ve enjoyed in this region, it is important for all of us to do our part. Please donate to the legal fund over at PreserveHudsonValley.org to prevent this large annexation.

Q:   How will annexation affect zoning?

A:  The effects of annexation – if it were to be approved – will be potentially devastating to our environment, school district, and overall quality of life.  Once annexed the property will change from 1.5 to 3 acre “rural residential” zoning – to high density building.  The addition of apartments and condominiums housing large families will increase the population tremendously.

Q: What are specific examples of negative impact to the town, in the event the annexation is passed?

A:  Examples include – an explosion in building and population, which will increase traffic and pollution.  Devastation to the environment when trees are clear cut.  A huge impact on taxes in Orange County.

Q: How does the proposed annexation affect the Monroe-Woodbury school district?

A:  Currently the property located within the proposed annexation is part of the Monroe-Woodbury School District. The annexation does not change that fact.  While Satmar Hasidic residents opt to attend private school, if they are located within the M-W School District, they are still entitled to vote in School Board Elections, utilize special education services and so on.  This is why the M-W Board of Education has requested lead agency in the annexation.  The cost to educate a special education student is exorbitant, and with a population explosion on the property located within the proposed annexation – there may be a large population of special education students utilizing M-W services.

Q:  How can I participate in the process to oppose the annexation request?

A:  You can donate to the legal fund, which will be used for attorney fees to fight the annexation.  Attend our fundraisers and support the Friends of United Monroe.  Share this web page with your friends and neighbors. Remember this annexation will affect not only Monroe residents, but all residents in the Monroe-Woodbury school district as well as Orange County and beyond.