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August 18, 2018 - 10:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in the ridge, frostridge, news, Le Roy.

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It was Firefighters Fun Day at The Ridge in Le Roy today, with the families and volunteers from Le Roy and Caledonia participating along with other guests of Frostridge Campground in games, auctions, a concert, and a cookout.

We were there during the waterslide fun.

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March 5, 2018 - 11:42pm

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The Ridge NY (Frostridge) has announced its 2018 concert lineup, which includes a return of Blackjack Billy (file photo), along with the American Warrior Concert, Quiet Riot, Little River Band, the Outlaws and Travis Tritt to close out the season.

Friday and Saturday, June 1st and 2nd
- American Warrior Concert (A benefit for WNY Heroes, a veterans' organization)
  2 Days, 30 Bands, Vendors of all kinds, Amazing Food, Great Cause.

Friday, June 15th
- JASON MICHAEL CARROLL w/ special guest Rebels Posse

Saturday, June 16th
- RODNEY ATKINS w/ special guests Steven Cali and Branded

Friday, July 27th
- QUIET RIOT w/ special guests Savage Cabbage and

Saturday, July 28th
- LITTLE RIVER BAND w/ special guests The Coupe' De Villes and Boneshakers Blues Band

Friday, Aug. 3rd
- BLACKJACK BILLY w/ special guest Gunner and The Grizzly Boys

Saturday, Aug. 4th
- THE OUTLAWS w/ special guest Bishop Gunn

Friday, Aug. 24th
- Zac Brown Tribute Band

Saturday, Aug. 25th
- TRAVIS TRITT with special guests James Wesley and Savannah Harmon

For concert and camping information, visit theridgeny.com

February 11, 2018 - 11:39am

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Invictra, arguably the best local band right now (they are, after all, (the reigning champs of the only local battle of the bands showcase in the area), will be among the more than dozen local and nationally known acts to take the stage at The Ridge in Le Roy in the first days of June for the annual American Warriors Concert.

The concert honors veterans and raises money to assist them. All veterans and active military can attend for free.

Also on the bill, Madison Rising, James Wesley, JB Aaron, Alyssa Trahan, BC Psychos, Pete Griffith, Jon Dretto, Jack West, Dylan Desmit, Kenny Drury, and Vinyl Orange Ottoman.

The two-day concert event is June 1 and June 2.

Campers, click here.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Here's a press release about the event:

AWC is known for its "Celebration of our Troops, Veterans and American Way of Life." We pride ourselves on offering free admission to veterans and active/reserve military personnel.
This event also donates to a nonprofit veterans' organization of its choice. This year's beneficiary is WNY, Heroes Inc. It's an organization that provides veterans, members of the armed services, and the widows and children of deceased veterans with access to essential services, financial assistance and resources that support their lives and sustain their dignity.

The American Warrior Concert is possible by partnering with The Ridge NY, and sponsorship from by local businesses including Red Osier Landmark Restaurant, TJV Mechanical, CAM Construction, Oliver’s Candies, Livingston Associates, Batavia Legal Printing, Ken Barrett Cadillac Chevrolet, Stan's Harley Davidson, Genesee County SCOPE, Watson Guitars, Leroy Hardware, Orcon Industries and Genesee Valley Penny Saver to name a few.

We will have many bands from many genres of music, many local vendors and other organizations aimed at servicing the needs of our veterans.

We will also be featuring an Honor Wall with local submissions made by people wanting to honor their military friend/family hero.

We hope to make this year's event bigger and better and would love to see more veterans come and enjoy our concert for free.
 

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James Wesley

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Madison Rising

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Alyssa Trahan

November 17, 2017 - 10:24pm

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A three-year legal battle for the owners of The Ridge (aka Frost Ridge Campground) appears to have come to a close with a state appeals court upholding prior court decisions allowing the campground to host live music concerts, rent campsites and run a restaurant.

The ruling was handed down today by the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department.

David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell haven't missed a concert season since 2010, even though the legal challenges to their concert series -- Jam at the Ridge -- started in 2014 when the Town of Le Roy, and David and Mary Cleere, and Scott and Besty Collins, first brought legal action to stop live music at the campground.

They were able to continue after winning motions in 2014 to allow an already-booked season to go forward, and as they continued to win court decisions -- including a Sept. 2016 decision by Judge Emilio Colaiacovo, presiding at the time over Genesee County Supreme Court, that ruled in favor of the owners.

The Town of Le Roy had dropped out of the lawsuits after losing a prior decision.

At the heart of the defense of Luetticke-Archbell's use of the property is that Frost Ridge -- going back to the ownership of David Frost, father of Mary Cleere and Betsy Collins --and its campground long hosted live music, rented campsites and served food, and that these uses fit within the meaning of a recreational area. The property was used in this fashion, they argued, before the Town of Le Roy changed the area's zoning to residential-agriculture in the 1990s.

In ruling in favor of Luetticke-Archbell, the appellate division concluded that contrary to the plaintiffs' contention, the Zoning Board of Appeals did not reach an arbitrary and capricious decision when the board ruled that the owners' use of Frost Ridge was a prior, non-conforming use. The plaintiffs contended that the ZBA failed to follow its own precedent and did not explain their reasoning. 

"We reject that contention," the court ruled. "In 1998, the ZBA interpreted the Code to provide that a preexisting nonconforming use of land as a campsite runs with the land pursuant to section 165-13, notwithstanding section 165-39 (B), which requires that an existing campsite of record be brought into compliance with the Code upon being sold. Contrary to petitioners’ contention, the ZBA’s determination is consistent with that precedent."

The court ruled that there was substantial evidence for the prior, non-conforming use.

"That evidence included the affidavit of a former employee of Frost Ridge’s predecessor, who averred that the Property had been used for skiing and other recreational purposes since the 1950s," the court wrote. "He averred that he began working there in the 1960s and observed numerous recreational activities on the Property, including winter sports, live music, and campsite rentals."

It's common sense, the court concluded that the term "campsite" includes recreational activities, which might include live music, and this definition complies with the Town's own codes.

"The ordinance does, however, require that any large campsite “provide a common open area suitable for recreation and play purposes” (§ 165-39 [C] [8]), and thus expressly contemplates that a campsite is a place for recreation," the court ruled.

"Although the kind of recreation is open to interpretation, it is rational in our view to conclude that live music, along with swimming and other outdoor activities, is the kind of recreation to be enjoyed at a campsite."

The court also cited evidence of witnesses who said live, amplified bands played every summer at the campground in the 1970s and 1980s, and the plaintiffs failed to prove that use ever stopped for an extended period of time to constitute a break in the prior, non-conforming use.

"Here, it is undisputed that the Property functioned continuously as a recreational facility and campsite since the 1950s," the judges wrote. "To the extent that petitioners contend that use of the Property to host live music was abandoned in 2008 and 2009, we note that there is evidence in the record that live concerts were hosted on the Property during those years."

Photo: File photo of David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell

September 1, 2016 - 10:17am

The latest legal challenges to live, amplified music at Frost Ridge Campground in Le Roy have been dismissed by Judge Emilio Colaiacovo, meaning owners David and Greg Lueticke-Archbell will be able to continue their concert series, Jam at the Ridge.

Colaiacovo ruled that the Zoning Board of Appeals acted with appropriate consideration and diligence when deciding live, amplified music was a prior non-conforming use and that there was no substantive violation of the state's open meetings law when it reached that decision in February.

Attorneys for David and Amy Cleere and Scott and Betsy Collins challenged the ZBA's decision on both of those counts.

The decision seemingly concludes two years of legal fights initiated by the Cleeres and Collins and initially backed by the Town of Le Roy.

The plaintiffs maintained all along that Frost Ridge violated the town's zoning laws, because it is in an agricultural-residential district, by hosting music concerts at the campground.

The owners and their supporters countered that both live music and amplified music had been part of the operations of the campground since the 1960s, which means those uses were grandfathered in, or prior, non-conforming uses, before the R-A district was created.

The ZBA met at least twice prior to the lawsuits being filed and sided with David and Greg Lueticke-Archbell, but Judge Robert C. Noonan, who retired earlier this year, ruled that the ZBA meetings where these decisions were made were not properly noticed (a violation of the state's open meetings law), so he ordered the ZBA to hold a new public hearing.

The town board then tried to disband the ZBA -- which at the time was a joint board of the town and the village -- but Noonan barred dissolution of the ZBA until after it conducted a new hearing and issued a decision. 

The ZBA met in December and collected documents and testimony at the time, but never publicly deliberated the issue and issued its decision without a public vote in February. 

Colaiacovo ruled that even if these actions were a technical violation of the open meeting law, the record is clear that the ZBA members had ample information about the issue without the need for public deliberation and there was no evidence presented that the matter was discussed in a closed meeting by the board. 

"The Court finds that the alleged failure to vote on its decision in public is a de minimis technical violation that, in light of the exhaustive record and consistency of the ZBA's determination that there exists a prior, non-conforming use, injunctive relief is not warranted," Colaiacovo wrote in his decision.

Colaiacovo said it was not the court's place, based on case law, to decide whether the ZBA reached the correct decision, only that the decision was reasonable and not arbitrary and capricious.

The mere fact that the plaintiffs disagree with the decision is not evidence that it is arbitrary and capricious, he said.

Courts must be careful, according to case law, not to overturn local decisions that are based on substantial evidence and are rational, he said.

The record shows the ZBA had a substantial amount of testimony and evidence to consider that seemed to back the conclusion of a prior, non-conforming use, he said. 

"The ZBA held that these activities occurred to varying degrees prior to the adoption of the Town Zoning Code," Colaiacovo wrote. "The ZBA referenced Mr. (Eugene) Sinclair's testimony, which established that the defendants' actions were 'consistent with the essential character of the property as a prior, non-conforming use.' Accordingly, the ZBA, after exhausting its reasons for its determination, found that the use of the property as a campground, which permitted live and recorded music, limited food service, and allowed the use of recreational vehicles, was a prior, non-conforming use as permitted by the Town of Le Roy Zoning Code.

"Based on the foregoing," he continued, "the Court finds that the determination of the ZBA is based on substantial evidence that was made part of an extensive record. As such, because the ZBA had a rational basis to reach its decision, this Court will not disturb it."

He added, "Nothing in the record demonstrates that the ZBA reached its determination haphazardly."

August 28, 2016 - 10:42am

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In five years of covering concerts at Frostridge, there are four shows I'm sure I'll always remember: Marty Stuart in 2011, which was my introduction to Jam at the Ridge, The Farm, featuring Alexander native Krista Marie, the time Blackjack Billy upstaged the night's headliner, Blackberry Smoke, that same year, and finally, Blackjack Billy's return to Le Roy last night.

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May 25, 2016 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in frostridge, Le Roy, news, business.

After the alleged name calling, a key issue in the latest legal filing from the attorney representing the Cleere and Collins families against Frost Ridge is the alleged violation of the state's open meeting law by Le Roy's Zoning Board of Appeals.

The plaintiffs allege:

  • Neighbors within 250 feet of the Frost Ridge property were not mailed notice of the Dec. 17 public hearing held by the ZBA on the interpretation of the zoning law and prior, non-conforming use at Frost Ridge;
  • That the ZBA did not deliberate its decision in public;
  • That no noticed public meetings were held between Dec. 17 and Feb. 17; 
  • That a decision was reached without the public present sometime between Dec. 17 and Feb. 17.

These complaints are mirrored by the filing for the Feb. 17 meeting where the ZBA announced its decision; the meeting wasn't even four minutes long.

James Wujcik represents the ZBA in these proceedings and he filed a memorandum of law in opposition to the plaintiffs' complaint.

He also submitted an affidavit by Debbi Jackett, chairwoman at the time of the ZBA, which has since been disbanded by the Town of Le Roy.

She states the hearing of Dec. 17, at the order of Judge Mark Grisanti, was held after a legal notice was published. She does not address the complaint, nor does Wujcik in his memorandum, whether notice was sent to neighbors by postal mail.  

A source familiar with the case told The Batavian today that notice was mailed.

Jackett argues that proper notice was clearly given because all of the interested parties were at the hearing.

"It is common sense that one's attendance at the public hearing acknowledges notice of that very hearing," Jackett wrote. "Any insinuation that plaintiffs could not be in attendance is another attempt to delay the ZBA from acting pursuant to the order of Judge Grisanti."

Jackett also accused the Town of Le Roy of trying to obstruct the ZBA from holding the hearing. She said the code enforcement officer was informed in October that the ZBA would no longer be able to conduct meetings at the Town Hall.

As for the hearing itself, Jackett said the ZBA board took a short break and then resumed its meeting in the regular board meeting room "regarding the merits of the case."

This was apparently considered a continuation of the prior noticed meeting, though it's not clear if any members of the public were invited into that meeting.

Mindy Zoghlin, attorney for the plaintiffs, clearly did not know about this meeting continuance based on the statements in her filing.

The Batavian's reporter at the meeting that night was Ray Coniglio and he said today that he wasn't informed that the meeting would be continuing in another room. He left the Town Hall and wrote a story published the next day that said the meeting concluded without any discussion by the ZBA and that no vote was taken that night. Nobody from the ZBA ever contacted The Batavian following this news report to inform us that this information was incorrect and ask for a correction.

Jackett further argues that the Town's ongoing obstruction of the ZBA, such as not filling vacant positions, contributed to any confusion about compliance with the open meeting law.

"Even if a skeptic held merit with any claim against the ZBA for violations of the Open Meetings Law, the behavior can be traced directly to the Town's illegal, obstructionist behavior with the ZBA," Jackett wrote. 

In his memo, Wujcik argues that it is certainly within the ZBA's right to continue its meeting upon closing the public hearing, but he doesn't address the fact that the meeting was moved to another room without notification of the public in attendance.

"The ZBA correctly deliberated during its Dec. 17 meeting," Wujcik states, adding, "It should be duly noted the ZBA rendered its decision at an open public meeting on Feb. 17."

He also accused the Town of deliberating trying to disrupt ZBA proceedings and called on the court to find the Town of Le Roy in contempt of court, pursuit to the order of Grisanti.

It's unclear what will happen if Acting Superior Court Judge Emilio Colaiacovo rules in favor of the plaintiffs on the open meetings law issue. The ZBA that has been at the center of this issue for the past several years not longer exists. It was a ZBA comprised of representatives from the town and the village, and now the town and the village each have their own ZBA.

One last note about the open meeting law: The law also requires public bodies to notify all local media of its public meetings, and with the exception of the City, County and GCEDC, this practice is largely ignored by every other local public agency and government.

August 1, 2015 - 8:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy Fire Department, Le Roy, frostridge.

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Nancy Burke (left) shows off a firefighting-themed quilt she made during a fundraising event at Frostridge Campground for the Le Roy Volunteer Fire Department. The event included the waterslide (later in the afternoon) and appearance by the department's trucks, a chance auction and food. David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell have hosted an event honoring the fire department volunteers annually for the past several years. Also holding the quilt is Michelle Dries.

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May 30, 2012 - 1:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, Country music, aaron tippin, frostridge.

Singer Aaron Tippin comes to Frost Ridge Campround on Saturday, June 9.

This hitmaker is more than that. He's also a pilot, farmer, winemaker, outdoorsman, competitive body builder and devoted family man. "Hillbilly Hercules" hails from South Carolina and came into the country music spotlight in 1990 with such hits as "You've got to Stand for Something" and "There Ain't Nothin' Wrong with the Radio."

His latest album, his 13th, is called "In Overdrive" and it's full of fresh takes on truck drivin' classics like "Six Days on the Road," "Prisoner of the Highway," and "East Bound and Down."

Before "The Hardest Working Man in Country Music" takes the stage, some of the best local bands will perform. Mayberry After Midnight, Bush Hogs, Double Cross and Closing Time will get the crowd moving and ready for Aaron Tippin.

If you want to camp with the bands or meet Aaron in person reserve early or get your VIP Tickets with a private meet-and-greet before they're all gone. Tickets start at $15 and this fundraising event will support the Veterans Administration in Batavia as well as a drop box for Toys For Tots (one of Aaron Tippin's charities). The Toys For Tots drop box will be manned by our Marine(s) whether folks stay for the concert or not.

Purchasing tickets with the PROMO CODE "TBVA" will provide a donation to the Batavia VA, give the purchaser the pre-sale discount price for tickets and enter
them in a drawing for a free upgrade to VIP passes for two.

Try out Frost Ridge's new professional dance floor and see the stage expansion that has even the artists talking. Only tent, overflow and offsite dry camping available remain for this jam. These, too, will sell out, so reserve before they're gone.

The campground and concert venue is located at 8101 Conlon Road in Le Roy. Phone is 768-4883. Email is [email protected]

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