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Le Roy zoning board gives go-ahead to concerts at campground

Le ROY – In less than four minutes on Wednesday, the Le Roy joint Zoning Board of Appeals, citing “ambiguity” with the town’s zoning code, settled a nearly three-year tug-of-war dispute, ruling that live concerts can be held at Frost Ridge Campground on Conlon Road.

The board, which represents both the town and village, issued a brief statement – prohibiting any questions from the public or media afterwards – in favor of Frost Ridge and its owners, David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell.

Debbi Jackett, chair of the board, said the zoning code was ambiguous regarding what activities could be allowed on the property.

“We therefore interpret the zoning code of the Town of Le Roy does allow for camping and attendant recreational activities, including live and recorded amplified music, concerts and limited food service at the property, and is a prior nonconforming use under the aforementioned sections.”

Moments later, Jackett closed the board’s meeting by telling the 20 or so people in attendance at Town Hall that the panel’s complete written interpretation would be filed with the town clerk within five business days.

At that point, applause filled the room and David Luetticke-Archbell received congratulatory hugs from friends and supporters.

“I’m so relieved,” Luetticke-Archbell said, thanking the zoning board for its diligence in formulating its decision.

“Everybody here did what was necessary to get through this process. I’m so thankful they took the proper time – it was tough to hold on this long – to really research it and come up with the decision that fit with what was legally right.

“Now, we’ll have to see how we implement that. I’ll be talking to my attorney to do everything by the book. We don’t want to upset any apples.”

The zoning board, as instructed by State Supreme Court Judge Mark J. Grisanti, held a public hearing on the matter on Dec. 17, after which it had 62 days to issue its decision.

At that time, the board heard arguments from a lawyer representing Frost Ridge and from lawyers representing the Town Board and two families who live near the campground, as well as comments from residents on both sides of the fence.

The Luetticke-Archbells have owned the campground since 2008 and started holding outdoor concerts in 2012.

The Town Board and the families had taken the position that Frost Ridge violated existing codes by holding live concerts and also contended that procedural errors were made by the joint zoning board during a previous examination of the situation.

Prior to the public hearing, the Town Board voted to dissolve the joint zoning board and form its own zoning board, but Grisanti ruled against that action.

With this latest action, Town Supervisor Stephen R. Barbeau said the Town Board is “seeking legal advice to decide whether to proceed” with forming a town-only zoning board of appeals.