- Associated Press - Friday, September 8, 2017

KIRYAS JOEL, N.Y. (AP) - A proposal that will let voters decide whether a fast-growing Hasidic village in upstate New York can expand into a more independent town has been approved by county lawmakers.

Orange County legislators voted 18-3 Thursday night to put a referendum before town voters on Nov. 7 about the fate of Kiryas Joel (KEER’-yuhs johl).

Town of Monroe voters will decide whether the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in the Hudson Valley can add 56 acres (22 hectares) and become the town of Palm Tree.

Proponents believe creation of the new town would reduce long-standing tensions between the insular, densely populated village and surrounding residents of the suburban area about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of New York City.

The 1.1-square mile village has about 23,000 residents.

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