The Village of Mamaroneck has agreed to pay the Westchester Day School $4.75 million after continually losing legal efforts to prevent expansion of the Orthodox yeshiva.
The settlement comes just weeks before the start of a trial at which the yeshiva was set to seek damages against the village, which spent $900,000 in its losing legal effort.
Joel Haims, one of the yeshiva’s pro bono lawyers, told The Jewish Week that the school had “desperately tried to settle this case” without asking for any monetary damages. But the village rebuffed those efforts and continued appealing until the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in October that the village had violated the school’s rights.
Haims said the school’s $12 million expansion project involves construction of a new building and renovation of the two existing buildings, parts of which date from the founding of the yeshiva 60 years ago.
He noted that the legal fight has hurt enrollment at the pre-K through 8th grade school. When the zoning variance was first requested in 2001, the school had more than 500 students; it now has only 380. And Haims noted that the court attributed the enrollment decline to the village’s actions.