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Art Omi before Ghent Planning Board

Mar 19, 2020 12:05 am
Marianne Schmidt reports for the Columbia Paper that Art Omi in Ghent wants to expand its Benenson Center to include more office and gallery space as well as a service entrance, but some on the town planning board want more regulation at the park. Art Omi wants to expand from one art gallery to three, and there could be 10-to-30 additional participants per week in workshops at the sculpture park. Some local residents said they did not like the type of people that visit the park. Lorraine Massey of Connacher Road said that, "The problem that we are seeing is that a lot of traffic is not local people…. This is a rural farm community, and as such people who are not familiar with it don’t understand the impact they have on the residents there." Others disagreed. Town Councilperson Mallory Mort said, “I’ve lived here 40 years. I have a really difficult time placing a whole lot of the responsibility on Art Omi. The increase in traffic in this county has been tremendous since it has become a hub of agritourism. People have always driven too fast on 22.” Art Omi has increased from around 14,000 visitors in 2015 to about 30,000 in 2019. The public hearing on the matter was supposed to be taken back up April 1, but anyone interested may be better off now sending comments to the Town of Ghent Planning Board, at P.O. Box 98, Ghent NY 12075, or emailing Board Chair Geoffrey French at gfrench@townofghent.org. Read more about this story in the Columbia Paper.