CUPON Hamlets of Orangetown

For decades, the Palisades community has fought the good fight together on countless issues that would have changed the character of Palisades forever. In 1986, Dossie and Reggie Thayer organized to create the “forever green” triangle (Rt 9W and Oak Tree Road), saving its future from becoming a gas station, a NYNEX substation or a commuter parking lot. Thanks to the Palisades Civic Association, a plan to build 118 town houses on the corner of Oak Tree Road and Rt 340 was blocked. Fighting zoning and land issues is usually quite complicated and exhausting.

To deal with complicated zoning, land and code enforcement issues, fifteen communities across Rockland County have created organizations called CUPON: Communities United to Protect our Neighborhoods. Rockland CUPON, founded in 2014, was formed to take on illegal housing and zoning compliance. Chestnut Ridge, Nanuet, Airmont, Hillcrest, Ramapo, Nyack created affiliates in defense of their own zoning/land use situations.

CUPON is an all-volunteer non-profit community-based organization with the goal to support and lead the town and county to ensure that all land-use decisions and code enforcement actions fully follow the law and are applied evenly.

The six hamlets of Orangetown, Blauvelt, Orangeburg, Palisades, Pearl River, Sparkill and Tappan each have unique issues: spot zoning, pollution produced by a plastic factory, truck rigs throughout residential areas, a new Amazon warehouse on Rt 303, etc. Although we are separated by distance, and you may never visit them, each hamlet is joined together by the same Orangetown Town board and building department. So, a multi-family development requesting spot zoning in Pearl River sets a precedent on what happens in a similar situation in Palisades. This summer, to support and inform each other, the six hamlets joined forces to create CUPON Hamlets of Orangetown.

The purpose of CUPON is to raise community awareness, keep an eye on land use and raise funds in the event a lawyer is needed as a last resort. In addition, access to the expertise, knowledge and experience of other CUPONs is invaluable. Palisades will continue to fight the good fight but with the strength of all the hamlets behind us and, if we need legal services, the resources will be there thanks to community donations, especially now as we face the uncertain future of HNA.

To learn more, visit Donations are gratefully appreciated; lend your financial support at Feel free to reach out to any of the Palisades representatives: Barbara Meyer, Brenda Josephs, Carol Baxter and Susan Nemesdy. Carol Baxter

HNA Update:
Once again, the future of the HNA property on 9W is blurry. On Sunday, August 23, 2020, meetings were held (at the Triangle, the PCC and on ZOOM) to update the community on the latest HNA news and to continue the dialogue about what our vision is for HNA. Thank you to the 100 people who turned out.

This emergency meeting was predicated by unexpected information learned at the August Town Board meetings: The hiring of an outside lawyer to review possible zone changes at HNA which could allow multi-housing and a planner to come up with Request for Purchase (RFPs) for the property. Community members consequently attended Town Board meetings and met with Supervisor Kenny, requesting to be included in the process of the sale. Our mantra: We can and want to help.

We also asked for a commitment for a conservation easement along Rt 9W and Rt 340 to preserve the natural privacy landscape that IBM created 40 years ago. Thank you to those who have come forward with investor connections. This is the best pro-active step we can take. If you have a connection in the hotel/resort/wellness, technology or film studio world, please contact us at immediately. We believe these are all appropriate uses for its current zoning.