TONIGHTS (11/28/23) PUBLIC HEARING FOR ROCKLAND CIDER WORKS HAS BEEN POSTPONED!
Due to an 11th hour slimy move by the attorney representing the neighbors who are fighting to shut down Van Houten Farms, our long-awaited public hearing scheduled for tonight at the Town of Orangetown Town Board Meeting has been postponed until January 23rd.
The motion filed is baseless and frivolous and was entirely intended to undermine all the hard work done by the town, us, and our supporters. It was purposely filed at the very last minute so we would not have time to respond to the judge before the public hearing was torpedoed and the damage was done.
There should be no doubt now that the neighbors’ arguments hold no water and that there is overwhelming community support for Rockland Cider Works and Van Houten Farms. The zoning amendment addresses every litigate issue concerning the operation of our farm cidery. This backhanded legal move is a desperate attempt to derail our attempts to save Van Houten Farms and preserve its place in the Orangetown community.
Our lawyers will be in court this week to clear this matter up. We’ll post more details as soon as we have them.
Thank you so much for all your support. We’re so very sorry we must try to hold back all this momentum and good vibes. We will continue to fight.
Thanks so much,
After 3 years of setbacks, we finally have some good news. The Orangetown Town Board has voted to hold a public hearing on our zoning text amendment proposal. This is the first big step towards the town adopting zoning legislation that will allow for farm cideries and pave the way for Rockland Cider Works to reopen! But, in order for this to happen, WE NEED YOUR HELP! We need as many supporters as possible of Van Houten Farms and Rockland Cider Works to attend the Orangetown Town Board Meeting on Tuesday, November 28th at 7:00 pm. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking, just your presence will help show the town board how much support there is for the farm and cidery. Even better, for any who are willing to speak, please come and share how much you value Van Houten Farms and Rockland Cider Works and that you wish to see the farm continue to be a cherished part of the Pearl River community. If you can’t attend in person but would still like to help, please email your support to the Orangetown Town Board members at the link below. All customers and supporters of Van Houten Farms are welcome and encouraged to attend and email, but Orangetown residents specifically, your positive words mean the most.
The farm needs to grow, evolve, and diversify in order to survive, there’s no other way around it. The cidery provides opportunities for us to do all those things, while at the same time providing customers with more opportunities to interact with and enjoy the farm. The only way farms like ours remain sustainable all throughout the country, but especially in New York State, is through agritourism. The bottom line is that we need people coming to the farm to purchase the agricultural products we produce, that’s simple economics. However, from June of this year, over 3000 less customers have come to the farm than in the same period last year when the cidery was still open. We need more customers coming to the farm throughout more times of the year if there’s any hope for the farm to continue to be here. We fully understand and appreciate the challenges this may present. That’s why, going back to the very first days of the cidery, we have been continuously recognizing and mitigating all opportunities for problems. And now, this proposed zoning text amendment officially provides legal parameters in which we can operate the cidery that address any reasonable concerns and are mutually agreeable to both us and the town.
This has been a very long and taxing journey. We would like to recognize and express our gratitude and appreciation for the hard work done and compromises offered by the Orangetown Town Board in order to keep this process moving forward and bring us to this point. We would like to thank Councilman Paul Valentine for leading this effort. Again, we ask all who support us to please plan on attending the November 28th Orangetown Town Board meeting. And whether you are able to come in person or send in your comments via email, please remember to keep your words positive and constructive.
Thanks so much for the overwhelming support and kind words you have given us over the last 3 years. There is finally some light at the end of the tunnel. Please keep the good vibes and support coming while we see this through to its hopefully fruitful end.
Orangetown Town Board Meeting
Tuesday, November 28th, 7:00 pm
Orangetown Town Hall
26 W Orangeburg Rd
Orangeburg, NY 10962
Follow this link below for contact information for the Town of Orangetown Town Board.
Town Board | Town of Orangetown
In your email or letter to the Board, please be sure to note in the subject or memo:
“My comment to the public hearing regarding Van Houten Farms zoning text amendment 11/28/23.” This ensures that your email or letter to the Town will be officially ‘of record.’