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Art Omi expansion plan moves forward

Jun 18, 2020 1:00 pm
Emilia Teasdale is reporting for The Columbia Paper the Ghent Planning Board, during a June 3 Zoom meeting, discussed Art Omi’s application to expand the Benenson Visitors Center. The board seemed happier with the attendance numbers presented by Omi at this meeting, but indicated that before voting on whether to approve the plans, it wanted to discuss conditions. The art center, located on county Route 22, in 2019 submitted a plan to increase the size of its visitors center. The existing center houses a gallery, a cafe and the administrative offices. The expansion plan more than doubles the size of the building to include an educational center, a second art gallery and more office space for existing employees. The application submitted to the planning boar seeks permission to modify the organization’s special use permit, which was granted by the town in 2005. The Planning Board closed the public hearing on the site plan in May and the center has now presented the board with adjusted attendance numbers, as requested. Board member Dan Barufaldi said the new numbers and the documents were very clear. The board reviewed the state Environmental Quality Review and gave the project a negative declaration, which means it does not have a major impact on the environment. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.