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Pound Ridge OKs Photo-Shoot Permit With Conditions

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – The Pound Ridge Town Board issued a permit to a production company for a still-photo shoot at its meeting Thursday night – but the permit came with some stipulations.

The request for the permit comes on the heels of a controversial film-shoot last month that took place on Trinity Pass Road. Residents complained that the production company worked long hours, used intrusive lighting, and caused parking and traffic issues throughout the neighborhood. Neighbors also complained they were not consulted about that shoot and that there was little town oversight once the permit was granted. The complaints prompted the board to begin rewriting the local code on permits for film-shoots.

The job of rewriting the code has yet to be finished. So when Tamara Gallegous, a location scout for 2D Photo Productions in Brooklyn, came before the board Thursday night to ask for a permit, board members expressed some initial reservations. Gallegous said she was aware of the recent controversy, but noted that this job would be a still-photo shoot, not a film shoot, and it would be less invasive.

The shoot, which is for a Mother’s Day coupon book for Proctor & Gamble, would include 16 vehicles and 36 people. Gallegous said all the vehicles would be able to fit on the Old Pound Road property and that there would be no outside food tents or toilet facilities required and the crew would only use natural lighting. The job would begin on July 25 and end July 27. The actual photography would take place on July 26.

“It’s a big property,” Gallegous said. “The impact on the neighborhood would be pretty minimal.”

However, board members remained cautious.

“We us went through a situation that made us rethink this whole process,” said Supervisor Gary Warshauer. “We are concerned about the impact on the neighborhood.”

Board members said they would be amenable to issuing the permit on the condition that Gallegous notify the property’s surrounding neighbors and get their consent. Board members also want work limited to between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

“If you already had the neighbors on board, we could issue this permit tonight,” Deputy Supervisor John Powers said.

Gallegous said she was willing to meet whatever stipulations the board laid down.

“We love this location and would be happy to work with you – including the 8 to 7 [stipulation],” she said. “I’ve worked on film shoots and I understand their impact – but this is quite different. We did a photo shoot there last year for AT&T and there were no problems. This is pretty contained – there’s no high traffic. But I am more than happy to contact the neighbors and have them sign off.”

Board members pointed out that some neighbors may be absent and unable to give their consent.

“If an absent neighbor returns and objects, police will have the authority to either shut down the shoot or make the necessary adjustments,” said Town Board member Dan Paschkes. “If it gets shut down, it would cost your company a lot of money. It’s important that you understand that.”

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