Village’s Strict NO KNOCK Law
To Get A Realty Group Test
By Edie Johnson
The Village of South Blooming Grove has come a long way since major blockbusting disruptions it saw about 3 years ago with “overflow” from Kiryas Joel’s growing population. Then, residents were barraged with offers of purchases of their homes, sometimes intrusively and followed by harassment. It included cars passing by and yelling “You wanna sell?”, knocking on doors, coming up remote private entrances, phone calls and mailbox stuffing, offering 50% to 70% over market prices and threats of what will happen to the neighborhood if they don’t sell. When harassment like that reaches a certain level it’s called “Blockbusting”. It’s illegal whenever it reaches intimidation.
Jump ahead 3 years, and while there are still a handful of regular complaints about poor property maintenance, and a case in the County Supreme Court on a shuttle bus that still operates despite a Stop Work Order because conditions of temporary licensing conditions that were violated, home sales and purchases have somewhat stabilized and things in the Village are not only peaceful, some of the new neighbors are loving the country life and there is a growing congeniality, or at least dialogue between the old and new neighbors.
At least some of the improvement is due to a new and very strict Solicitation Permitting Process, often called a “NO KNOCK LAW” that the Village adopted about 2 years ago whereby residents can sign up, and a salesperson is given a list of residents they must not solicit. There are steep fines for violating that privacy. Residents can also post a visible NO SOLICITING sign, that carries the same legal weight.
But what will happen now, with an individual from EXIT Realty, with its main office at the border of Monroe and Kiryas Joel who is seeking a Solicitation Permit that would allow him to knock on doors? One resident warned “If we open that door, they will knock it right down. And all the other realtors will come back for permits too.”
Officials advised that the solution is actually quite simple. Anyone has a right to apply for a Peddler’s Permit, Fair is Fair, but IF you do not want to be solicited, POST A NO SOLICITING SIGN AT YOUR ENTRANCE AND CALL THE VILLAGE OFFICE TO BE ON THEIR NO SOLICITATION LIST. Signs can be bought for a few dollars at Lowes, or if you want one that is more visible, there are numerous signs that vary in visibility online.
“Just Google it”. And if your wish for no solicitation is not honored, get a card or name from the individual and report them to the village. Tell them “Do you know that soliciting here is illegal and you could lose your realty license?” They are at risk of very steep fines and punishment. Meanwhile the Village Board and Attorney are taking a closer look at the law. They will likely restrict the permit to a particular driver and particular vehicle, and if Blockbusting becomes a problem again there would be the option to request to New York State for a “Cease and Desist” order that would prohibit realty in a certain area for a certain length of time.
In Other Business: A homeowner on Route 208 near the Clove Rd. intersection has asked for a change of zoning from Rural Residential to Rural Crossroads. The small piece is surrounded by other RRC zoned property. Residents were concerned that a change to commercial use at a time when there is an existing water crisis and that it could set a precedent for other applicants when existing water sources are already stretched nearly to their limit.
Mayor Jim LoFranco said the Village has been advised to ad a Sequestering Agent to help mitigate the mineral deposit issue, and they are also looking into the possibility of digging a new well or deepening an existing one while continuing to seek more grant money for the new filtration system.
The Blue Shuttle Bus that has been challenged in the courts had its last week hearing postponed and a new date was set for May 29, at the Orange County Courthouse at 10 am.
Proposed Clovewood/Lake Anne Project is continuing to be shelved pending $45,322,77 in delinquent application and professional fees. The boards will not look at it again until the late fees have been paid.