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Le Roy officials, residents debate legality of concerts at campground

Le ROY – Despite months of court proceedings over the issue of live concerts at Frost Ridge Campground, the joint town-village LeRoy Zoning Board of Appeals insists that only now has it received an official request for a special use permit from the campsite’s owners.

“I want to be clear that this is the first time we have seen a written application from Frost Ridge,” said Chairwoman Debbi Jackett as she opened a public hearing Thursday night at the Town Hall courtroom.

More than 60 people attended the 90-minute session, which was ordered by State Supreme Court Judge Mark J. Grisanti last week.

Jackett made her comments to contradict the Town Board’s contention that the zoning board made procedural errors in a previous ruling that Frost Ridge could conduct concerts.

Last month, the Town Board voted to dissolve the joint zoning board and form its own committee, but Grisanti ruled against that action and called for the joint zoning board to schedule a public hearing before Dec. 18.

On Thursday, the board heard arguments from a lawyer representing Frost Ridge owners David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell on one side, and from lawyers representing the Town Board and the Cleeres and Collins families who live near the Conlon Road campground on the other side.

The Luetticke-Archbells’ application asks the zoning board for an interpretation of the zoning code to determine whether holding summer concerts is a pre-existing nonconforming use; in other words, whether they are permitted because they were part of the campsite’s entertainment package before the zoning code was established.

David M. Roach of Warsaw, attorney for Frost Ridge, said since the “essential character” of the camping and recreational area has not changed over the years, the owners are well within their rights to continue providing musical entertainment. “They have had live or recorded music since the 1960s for skiers and campers,” he said.

Rochester attorney Mindy L. Zoghlin claimed concerts featuring national acts on a professional stage with a powerful sound system were not held at the campground until 2010, and she submitted at least 10 letters from residents living near the campground backing that assertion.

Seven residents said they had no problem with the concerts at Frost Ridge, calling the campground a “family-friendly” place that provides recreation for all ages.

“In the 1970s they did have music there,” said David Offen, who lives nearby. “I say if they can bring in more people and make a dime, it’s better for the community. Maybe you could (compromise and) allow six to 10 concerts and shut them down at 11 o’clock.”

Nancy Palmer, another neighbor, had a different view.

“It’s very disturbing. You can hear the bass pounding through my house and windows,” she said. “I have a horse and he becomes startled. It used to be quiet and I moved there for that reason. That has not been the practice over the past few years.”

Jackett said the zoning board will accept new information from the respective parties until Dec. 27, and will deliver a written decision within 62 days as prescribed by law.