Dear Editor,

Last week, the Town of Orangetown, in conjunction with the Rockland County Planning Department, held an important workshop to educate professionals in a number of fields (government, planning, law) about the issues raised by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). This controversial federal law can tie the hands of local governments dealing with requests by religious groups for building permits, zone changes, and other land use decisions. It has already had a significant impact on some communities in our county, such as the Village of Airmont in Ramapo, and many of us in other towns are concerned about how RLUIPA could affect our communities. I want to thank Arlene Miller, the Principal Planner with the Rockland County Planning Department, for organizing this important workshop, and the four expert panelists who gave their time to make it an excellent and informative event. Anyone who is interested in this topic can watch a full video of the workshop on the official YouTube channel of the Town of Orangetown (just go to www.youtube.com and search for “Town of Orangetown”).

Thank you,

Andy Stewart
Supervisor of Orangetown

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