CRAWFORD — Farmhood Fields has pleaded not guilty to violating the town code by building a barn on its Crans Mills Road property without a permit.
A stop work order and a violation were issued Aug. 30 during construction of a 120-foot by 18-foot barn that will be used for hay and feed as part of a luxury farm-to-table living community being developed. Construction of the barn that sits on the edge of the property, owned by Zeke Alenick, is complete, said Ron Kossar, an attorney representing Alenick and Farmhood Fields.
A trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 26, Crawford Court Clerk Valerie Phillips confirmed Wednesday, but Kossar said he anticipates the trial will be delayed, pending an appeal through the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals.
That appeal would put a stay on the charges until the ZBA takes action, Crawford Supervisor Charles Carnes confirmed Wednesday.
“How can you proceed to prosecute somebody if the charges are stayed? It’s on hold,” Kossar said.
Carnes said the barn was built without a proper building permit, and per the town attorney's opinion, the appeal "does not have merit." But it will be up to the ZBA to make that final decision.
If Farmhood Fields were to be found guilty of violating the town's building code, the LLC could be fined up to $500 for "each and every day he's been in violation," Carnes said.
"We hope that the farm community and the proposal he’s made comes to fruition, but each and everybody has to follow the same set of rules," Carnes said.
A public hearing regarding a scenic review of the barn’s aesthetics — because the property overlooks the Shawangunk Mountains along Route 302 — is scheduled for Oct. 9.
The Crans Mills Road property of about 660 acres is expected to be developed as a farm-to-table living community, with between 30 and 35 luxury homes, and is expected to primarily be used in the summer.