Nitty Gritty of Code Definitions and Measuring Ridgeline Protection in Blooming Grove
By Edie Johnson
While waiting to hear from County Planning about its Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Addendum which are near approval pending any comments from county and a public hearing this coming Tuesday, June 18th, Blooming Grove Town Board members discussed a thorny issue about some Ridgeline and Scenic Byway protections that currently have confusing and untenable restrictions. Along with a host of other criteria, regulations adopted in 2006 read that ANY construction in those areas MUST be presented to and approved by the town’s Planning Board. With the Rieger properties at the corner of Route 208 and Old Mansion Rd., Route 208 Grill, Sleep Inn and Metro Sound Pro being a protected scenic byway strip, it came to the attention of the Building Department and Supervisor Jeroloman that requests that have come in for simple repairs such as window replacement, porch repair and the like would be forced to go through a cumbersome process, due to the word “construction” never having been carefully defined. This will have to be corrected going forward to prevent unnecessary delays and unneeded expenses, with the definition likely including a list of what constitutes “construction” vs. “Repair”. Along with that addition of clarity, board members agreed to take another look, as additional open space and Ridgeline protections move forward, of the best way to measure them. Some towns measure the protected space beginning at a number of feet above sea level (BG is 500 ft. above sea level, with terrain possibly impacting the resultant line) while others measure protection for a number of feet below the top of a protected ridge. Board members and the Town Planner will be looking at how other towns address it and what pitfalls they find from each kind of measuring.