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US town stops Syro-Malankara Church plan 

Clarkstown: A town in the United States has bought land on a rural stretch to stop a controversial plan to build a Syro-Malabar church.

Clarkstown, a town on the eastern border of Rockland County, New York, has spent $235,000 to buy the land in Valley Cottage.

The purchase ended St. Peter’s Syro-Malankara Catholic Church’s request to build a two-story, 10,925-square-foot building and a 55-space parking lot on the property.

The Church’s proposal earlier this year was met by fierce opposition from residents, who said it was not suited for the residential neighborhood, would increase traffic and have a negative impact on wetlands.

Clarkstown in 2008 became one of 600 municipalities in the US to sign the United States Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 7 percent below the 1990 levels by 2012.

The town now plans to turn the 4.3 acres off Mountainview Avenue into nature trails that connect to the Long Path and integrated into Mountainview Nature Park, Supervisor George Hoehmann announced on November 2.

Phone and email messages left for church representatives were not returned on November 2, reports

The town’s purchase will protect 2.357 acres of wetlands, according to a press release issued on November 2.

The church also was facing a new town law that limits requests for non-residential uses and developments to state and county roads.

“Today’s agreement is another bold step in protecting Clarkstown from overdeveloping in residential neighborhoods while protecting the quality of life our residents demand and deserve.” Hoehmann, a Republican seeking re-election on Nov. 7, said in a statement.

Dan Caprara said his fellow Town Council members supported the purchase.

“One of the biggest parts of the comprehensive plan is to preserve the suburban and semi-rural character of the town, and purchasing this property accomplishes that,” said Caprara, a Democrat running to represent Ward 2, which includes Valley Cottage.

“A two-story, 11,000-square-foot structure is just not suitable for Mountainview Avenue, period,” he said.

Tina Traster, founding member of the Mountainview Avenue Preservation Group, called it “a special road that should be protected from the impacts of future development and our members could not be more excited about the open space we have to look forward to.”

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One Response to US town stops Syro-Malankara Church plan

  1. A. S. Mathew

    Different Kerala denominations in the U.S. are working double hard to expand their empire. Can we anticipate an instruction from the Bishops for the believers of different denominations, if the believers of the denominations are staying miles away, attend a local Church of identical doctrines?

    There are some mega Churches in the U.S. with thousands of members. But the Indian Churches have taken a different strategy to have different Churches of the same denomination in the same city, thus more Priests can be delegated from Kerala, costing around $ 100000.00/year expenditure for the Churches. I have attended some mega charismatic Churches in the U.S. But the surprising culture of the Pentecostal Kerala Churches is to see the ” splitting ” theology, thus the same Pentecostal denomination in a city in the U.S. has many Churches like No 1-2-3 with a few members, the relatives Church.

    When we keenly observe the hidden agenda of the religious hierarchy which is hidden to the laymen is to expand the religious corporation far and wide. But the religious hierarchy is not seeing the writing on the wall, that starting with the 3rd generation, they will not be happy to continue in their family denominations of mere repeated worship service and money collection enterprise.

    Two years back my college friend from India now living in a northern city of the U.S. told me that his son and daughter of law are worshiping in an American Church. His son’s closest friend influenced him, and that friend is the nephew of one of the Orthodox Church Bishops of Kerala. The Kerala Episcopal Churches will be faced with a real challenge of empty seats in the coming days, like the empty seats seen in the European countries. The empty seats of the European Churches are being filled with the converted refuges from Iraq-Iran and Afganistan; whereas in the Indian Churches, there is no way to fill the empty seats.

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