Adjoining neighborhood making zoning appeal.
As if cancellation of the 2020 Somers Four Town Fair wasn’t enough of a disappointment, the return of the annual event is in jeopardy again.
But it’s not COVID-19 threatening the fair this time. It’s an adjoining neighborhood — the Sunshine Farms subdivisions — that is looking to appeal a July decision made by the Somers Zoning Enforcement Officer which ruled that the use of 56 Egypt Road (the fair location) is a legal and non-conforming use, thus allowing events to continue to be held there.
George Van Tasel, a Four Town Fair director, said, “Our event has been held there since 1960.” He could not speculate what would happen to the Four Town Fair if the appeal is granted. “I can’t predict the future.”
Greg Hazleton, owner of the Copper Hill Farm that sponsors the Copper Hill Farm Fest on the same property, also serves on the Somers Four Town Fair Grounds Board. On a recent post on the Somers Town Forum Facebook Page, Hazleton wrote, “Since 1960 The Four Town Fair society has been hosting the Four Town Fair annually in addition to renting the grounds out for other events. The abutting properties on Sunshine Farms Drive are attempting to put a stop to any/all other events on the fairgrounds which, if successful would put an inevitable end to the Four Town Fair.”
Hazleton also noted the Sunshine Farm subdivision property owners had testified at the zoning hearing that they knew they were buying homes next to a fairgrounds. According to Van Tasel, the first house in the neighborhood was sold over 30 years ago.
The Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting is scheduled for Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Live streaming may also be available. The public should check the town government internet site and Somers Forum pages on Facebook for meeting ID and password. The agenda will be posted on the town government page as the meeting date approaches. According to Zoning Enforcement Officer Jennifer Roy, “Until the meeting takes place and the public hearing opened, there is no record of those speaking in favor or opposition.”