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County planners say no to seasonal business on Ridge Road in Gaines

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2017 at 8:40 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: The former Rocking R Ranch on Ridge Road is pictured today. A proposed reuse of the building will need a variance from the Town of Gaines.

ALBION – Preston’s Lawn Care & Landscaping wants to open a seasonal business on Ridge Road at the former Rocking R Ranch, 14877 Ridge Rd.

Preston’s would sell nursery stock, garden stock, flowers and locally grown fruit and vegetables from its orchard and farm. Preston also said she would have gift shop items that were nature related, such as birdhouses. She would like to have a U-pick pumpkin patch and sell baked goods, soups, sandwiches and hamburgers.

However, the building is in a Residential/Agricultural District. That zoning doesn’t allow a “seasonal tourist business.” For that reason, the Orleans County Planning Board has recommended the Town of Gaines not approve a variance and permit for the project.

Marie Preston wants to run the business on Ridge Road. Her sons, Jim and Aaron Preston, run Preston’s Lawn Care & Landscaping, which is based on Zig Zag Road. Jim Preston told the County Planning Board last Thursday that the Ridge Road site sees more traffic than Zig Zag.

“I think it would be something nice for our county,” he said about the proposed business.

Planners, however, said they couldn’t support the project because the RA zoning doesn’t fit the use.

The County Planning Board made the same decision in 2011 when Jennifer Allchin sought a variance and permit to open the Rocking R Ranch. The Gaines Zoning Board of Appeals would approve the project.

However, the variance ended with a change in ownership.

Gaines could give a variance again but it needs a super-majority vote, at least four out of the five members, to overrule the county, which is an advisory decision.

Marie Preston, in the application, said the closing date for buying the site is Dec. 31, contingent on securing the local approvals for the project.

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