PS/21 seeks to make tent permanent


Fran Heaney of the Chatham Courier reports that PS/21 requested Special Use Permit for permanent use of their temporary tent at a Jan. 28 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, as they do not have the $11 million needed to construct a sound proof structure. Located on Route 66, the cultural center has hosted classical music and other events since 2005 at a 50 decibel sound level at the property line, well below the town building code sound level of 90 decibels, and much quieter than the lawnmowers run by the neighbors who are complaining about the sound. Those neighbors filed an Article 78 lawsuit against Chatham after the town approved PS/21’s plans in 2005, and a judge dismissed it later that year. The ZBA meets next Thursday, Feb. 25 for another public hearing about PS/21’s Special Use Permit.

UPDATE: The comments now include two anonymous statements from people claiming to be neighbors of the facility that include information not in the Chatham Courier story, specifically: “When the ability to rent to third parties was granted in 2008 to aid the financially failing tent, the project completely changed in focus. There is nothing arts focused about the electric slide and chicken dance.”

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Tom

    Some of the other events are to include weddings with DJs. As one of the concerned neighblours I would like to point out that we are forced to listen to the in & out sound similar to an out of frequency radio station every day & evening of the summer. There is never any down time to enjoy a quiet evening outside having dinner with our family & friends. Given that this is part of why we moved here this has been a serious intrusion. We were falsely lead along by PS21 to believe that this was a temporary arrangement untill they recieved funding for a permanent sound proof structure. I would take a random lawn mower any day which by the way we don’t get to hear.

  2. The neighbors are asking that PS21 stick to the original proposal, nothing more. It’s a concern that a town board has allowed a proposal for a “permanent performing arts facility” to turn into an open air party tent on an agricultural zoned piece of land in a residential area. We are supporters of the arts and local initiatives, but ask yourself would you want a permanent party tent on your neighbor’s land? When the ability to rent to third parties was granted in 2008 to aid the financially failing tent, the project completely changed in focus. There is nothing arts focused about the electric slide and chicken dance. It should also be noted that PS21 NEVER attempted any fundraising, leaning only on “economic downturn.” Not a SINGLE fundraiser in five years. We invite anyone to our home to listen to the performances. We think you’d agree that 26 days/nights per month is intrusive. As citizens of Chatham, we should be offered protections from ill focused and executed proposals. PS/21 never had a business plan. Another cause for concern that a town board would put through a project of this size without a formal plan. We are now left with a party tent. Simply put, an ill focused plan and poor execution leaves neighbors to bear the burden.

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