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Court affirms Fortress Bible decision...Greenburgh business named best in the world
Release Date: September 24, 2012

In a decision dated September 24, 2012, the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an August 12, 2010 decision by Federal District Court Judge Stephen Robinson that the Town impermissibly prevented the Fortress Bible Church from building a place of worship and school in the Orchard Hill section of the Town. In short, the three judge panel concluded that the Town’s environmental review of the Church’s site plan and related applications were within the purview of RLUIPA, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, such that the Town was barred from implementing land use regulations in a manner that imposed a ¨substantial burden¨ on an institution’s free exercise of its religion. The court found that, in reviewing the Church’s applications for site plan approval, a waiver from the Town’s landscaped parking requirement and a variance to allow the proposed Church building to be closer to one side of its property, in the context of the State environmental review process (SEQR), the Town impermissibly delayed the applications in a manner that burdened the Church’s exercise of its religion. The Town had argued that the principal reasons for delaying the Church’s applications related to a recently enacted ¨steep slopes¨ zoning ordinance, potential police and fire impacts of the project and issues pertaining to retaining walls, traffic and parking problems. The Town had required the Church to resolve those outstanding issues before their development applications were approved.
In a related decision dated September 19, 2012 George Yanthis, a Federal Magistrate Judge in White Plains, denied the Town’s motion to dismiss the Church’s claims for compensatory damages and has scheduled a conference for October 10, 2012 to discuss a timetable for the Church’s submission of documentation regarding entitlement to damages. The Town Attorney’s Office and retained outside counsel are continuing to review these decisions and will provide further recommendations to the Town Board
The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling this morning that upheld a Trial Judge’s August 2010 decision that the town had violated Fortress Bible Church’s land use rights and constitutional rights in a decision. The United States Congress approved a federal law (religious land use and institutionalized persons act) that makes it difficult for local governments to apply the same standards used for commercial and residential property owners when it comes to applications made by religious institutions.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: REGN) today announced that Science magazine has ranked Regeneron as the #1 employer in the global biopharmaceutical industry in the journal's annual Top Employers Survey.
"This recognition by Science as the most respected company to work for in the biopharmaceutical industry is very satisfying for all of us at Regeneron," said Leonard S. Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and President, Regeneron Laboratories. "Since we opened our first lab in 1989, we have believed that innovative science could be harnessed to deliver important new medicines for serious conditions. As we have grown from a handful of people to nearly 1,900 employees today, we have worked hard to maintain a culture that values rigorous science, creative thinking, and collegiality. We are fortunate to have such talented employees who are dedicated to discovering and developing new treatments for patients in need."
This is the first year that Regeneron has captured the #1 position and the first time a New York based company has topped the survey. Last year Regeneron was ranked #2.
The 2012 survey sought to identify the companies with the best reputations as employers, based on 4,276 survey responses from readers of Science and other survey invitees. Survey participants came from North America (78%), Europe (14%), and Asia/Pacific Rim (5%); 93% worked in private industry. Details of the rankings and survey results can be found in the September 21 online edition of Science and will be featured in the October 19, 2012 print issue.
County Exec Rob Astorino submitted a proposal to the Board of Legislators on Monday that will allow Greenburgh to lease WestHelp to Ferncliff Manor, an organization that serves the developmentally disabled population. The town believes that Ferncliff would provide us with substantially more rental income than any other affordable housing developer. The extra revenue we could receive from Ferncliff would be used to reduce your taxes. The WESTHELP campus would also provide the developmentally disabled with a nice quality of life. It's my hope that the Legislators will support the County Executive's initiative.
Visit our web site at www.greenburghny.com and view archived Supervisors Reports.
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