Hanover Farms is headed back to the planning board

By Jay Braman Jr.
Hanover Farms representatives are expected to return before the Shandaken Planning Board this Wednesday, March 12 at 7 p.m.
The farm-stand business, which is currently in violation of town zoning law at its Route 28 location in Mount Tremper, has submitted a site plan and application to the planning board.
The application has been submitted in order for “the farm stand to comply to zoning regulations and fix any standing violations,” according to planning board records.
On November 27, 2013 State Supreme Court Justice Mary Work gave the owners of Hanover Farms 60 days to take down their farm stand.
That gave Al Higley, and his son Alfie, until January 25 to remove the structure, but the Higley’s have filed an appeal of the ruling. The structure still remains standing.
The legal battle between Hanover Farms and the Town of Shandaken began when the Higley’s filed a lawsuit against the town and former Shandaken Code Enforcement officer Richard Stokes in 2012.
The judge’s decision in that case states that after being granted approval to build a 100-square- foot farm stand, Higley gradually expanded the business to over 2,000 square feet despite receiving stop work orders from the town’s former code officer, Richard Stokes.
In response to Higley’s lawsuit, the town claimed that Hanover Farms had ignored more than one stop work order and undertook a vast expansion without building permits or site plan approval and did it all too close to Route 28.
When all was said and done, according to the town, Hanover Farms created a retail space 26 times larger than the area authorized in the permit issued in 2004 to build 100 square feet.
At a planning board workshop session on March 5, Hanover representatives were told, unofficially, that their application was missing some information and that it appeared that the farm stand may require a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals before the Planning Board can proceed.