Rockland County, NY – The recent debate about the implications of a recently installed eruv in several towns in northern New Jersey has created a firestorm of buzz, with area residents finding themselves faced with accusations of anti-Semitism as they attempt to navigate uncharted waters.
Packed town hall meetings have had residents voicing a maelstrom of opinions, with some concerned about maintaining the quality of life that they have become accustomed to, while others have explicitly stated that they don’t want to become “the next East Ramapo.” But according to an editorial in Sunday’s Rockland Journal News, it is not the eruv that caused the problems that now plague Ramapo but rather a lack of leadership and overdevelopment.
Protecting the townships that straddle the New York/New Jersey border, including Mahwah, Upper Saddle River and just to the south, Ramsey, is relatively straightforward, according to The Journal News: make sure that zoning regulations prevent overdevelopment and strictly enforce building codes so that “it isn’t worth the price of seeking forgiveness rather than asking permission,” a common practice in the Town of Ramapo.
While The Journal News faults the Orthodox and Chasidic communities for not doing enough to foster “community spirit and understanding” among its neighbors, it notes that it is developers, not the average resident who have profited most from overdevelopment.
Elected and town officials who misused their position to further their own agendas also bear responsibility for the many problems that plague Ramapo, not the eruv which was constructed several decades ago, explains The Journal News.
The editorial advises concerned North Jersey residents not to be concerned that the eruv will bring with it waves of residents who will wreak havoc in their suburban lifestyle but rather a different entity subpar leaders who neglect their responsibilities to the electorate by allowing overbuilding that taxes the local infrastructure.
“That’s what creates a Ramapo,” concludes The Journal News. “Not some piping and some wire on utility poles.”