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Ateres Backers
Withdraw Petition

By Nathan Mayberg
KIAMESHA LAKE — August 26, 2005 – An agreement has been reached between the Town of Thompson Board and members of the Hasidic Viznitz sect, which will result in them dropping their petition to form the Village of Ateres next week.
Chayim Fried, the group’s liaison, said the community negotiated with the town and was successful in receiving assurances that they will be able to build at a higher density than is currently allowed. He said they want to bring an additional “couple hundred families” from their current home of Monsey.
The community owns approximately 377 acres off Gibber Road near Kiamesha Lake. There is currently a year-round Yeshiva with approximately 200-300 students. In addition, 53 families live there full-time. The Viznitz sect originated in Hungary at the turn of the 20th century.
The town and community leaders will meet again Monday to finalize the deal and sign the withdrawal papers.
Town of Supervisor Anthony Cellini did not return a call seeking comment but said in a press release that he had been talking daily with the village’s backers to work out a mutually agreeable solution.
The Town Board had previously expressed concerns about the community’s attempts to circumvent town zoning by building at such a high density.

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