Key vote coming up on proposals that would enlarge Hasidic village in the Hudson Valley

Associated Press

Proposals that would allow a quickly growing Hasidic Jewish village in the Hudson Valley to annex up to 507 acres will be considered by local officials Tuesday night.

Leaders of the densely settled enclave of ultra-Orthodox Satmar Hasidic Jews say the village of 22,000 is bursting at the seams and needs more land to accommodate its quickly growing population. Opponents of the annexation request, which was made by out-of-village Satmar, say they fear increased congestion from more apartment buildings in the suburban area.

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Board members in the Orange County town of Monroe were scheduled to vote on two requests to allow the village of Kiryas Joel to annex town land.

The Kiryas Joel village board voted Sunday to approve separate annexation petitions for 507 and 164 acres. If the town board approves either petition on Tuesday night, it would set up a referendum among residents of the area that will be annexed.

Opponents are expected to sue if the town approves either request. They argue the village failed to follow state environmental law.

The 1.1-square-mile village of Kiryas Joel was founded within the town of Monroe in the mid-1970s by members of the Satmar sect seeking a more tranquil setting than Brooklyn, about 60 miles south.

Men wear black suits with brimmed hats and women dress modestly. Marriages come early and families are large, which has helped the population grow quickly. Two babies are born here a day on average.