New Scotland farm stand future in flux

NEW SCOTLAND — A New Scotland resident is at odds with the town over its shutdown of her farm stand. 

Ann Neander’s stand at the corner of Normanskill and Krumkill roads was closed down by the town in May for four violations of New Scotland’s zoning code. 

On May 11, Neander was cited and shut down by the town for placing a shed on the property without the required building permit; housing chickens on the site; processing firewood and selling firewood at the stand; and selling retail garden plants on site as well as using the shed as a commercial sales building.

Neander has since reopened her stand, telling The Enterprise it’s her only means of income, and that an off-the-farm job is not possible because she takes care of her elderly mother, who has low-mobility, and a brother, who is handicapped.

Neander went before the town’s planning board in November 2018, seeking a special-use permit that would have brought two of the four violations into compliance but she says the board neither approved nor denied the permit; it just said it would get back in touch with her about it — a claim the town disputes.

In November 2018, Neander had been before the planning board, seeking a special-use permit for “farming activity personal,” according to the meeting minutes. Neander told The Enterprise that the town said she needed a special-use permit for the chickens on the property and for the firewood that was being sold there.

Jeremy Cramer, New Scotland’s building inspector, said this week that, after the November 2018 planning board meeting, the town “gave [Neander] some things we needed back and we never heard back from [her].”

Neander strongly disputes this claim, stating, “[The planning board] said they were going to discuss it and get back to us,” which the board never did, according to Neander. 

Neander had thought she was on the planning board’s July 7 agenda with a new special-use permit application. Neander has had farm-stand customers sign a petition to keep her stand open; the petition says her family has lived in town since the 1930s and that Neander has used her farm stand to support local veterans and the New Scotland Food Pantry.

But Cramer told The Enterprise on Wednesday that he had not received information he had requested from her lawyer on Thursday, June 25, so Neander’s application wouldn’t be included on Tuesday’s agenda. ​

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