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Art Omi withdraws its application to expand

Mar 29, 2021 5:45 am

Art Omi announced March 25, it has withdrawn its application to expand the Charles B. Benenson Visitors Center that is currently pending before the Ghent Planning Board. The proposal was originally presented to the planning board in 2019, and would have improved the art center's facilities for educational programming, added dedicated year-round space for children’s art programs, and offered additional gallery space for its exhibition offerings, according to a press release. The decision to withdraw the application was made after Art Omi failed to come to an agreement with the planning board about visitor numbers and traffic levels. The restrictions as proposed would have negatively impacted Omi’s future sustainability and the organization’s ability to carry out its community-based programs, according to the release. “Art Omi has officially withdrawn its application to improve and expand the Sculpture and Architecture Park facilities. It does this because of the lack of support shown by the Ghent Planning Board, despite overwhelming support from the community,” said Francis Greenburger, founder and Chair of Art Omi Inc. “We regret this decision but have decided to pursue alternative plans.” More than 100 local community members commented in support of Art Omi’s proposal at public hearings and during the planning board comment periods. The Planning Board closed the public hearing on the site plan in May and the center presented the board with adjusted attendance numbers, as requested. The state Environmental Quality Review resulted in a negative declaration, which means it would not have a major impact on the environment. Read more at artomi [dot] org.