Abandoning Skytop Road section goes to public hearing next week

It’s not the Skytop Road people drive cars on, but an undeveloped, unpaved pathway — a roadway that legally exists on paper and extends into the woods — that town officials want voters to disown.

The proposal to abandon an unbuilt portion of Skytop Road is scheduled for a public hearing next Wednesday, Oct. 10, as part of a Board of Selectmen’s meeting scheduled to begin at 7:30 in the lower level conference room of town hall.

A town meeting on the proposal is planned for Oct. 24.

Skytop Road is in Ridgebury, leading off Bennetts Farm Road through a neighborhood developed with houses back in the 1950s and into the Hemlock Hills track open space area. It’s part of an 18th Century highway, known back then as Bogus Road.

The town Conservation Commission asked the Board of Selectmen to advance abandonment of the undeveloped portion or roadway. People use the remains of the old roadway as a path to drive all-terrain vehicles — ATVs — into the open space and then roar around the woods on them. The Conservation Commission is uncomfortable with that type of use of open space.

The town closed off the entranceway to the unbuilt portion of the road with a lock and chain, but this gets periodically cut, and then has to be replaced.

If the road were officially abandoned by voters at a town meeting, town officials figure, the entranceway could then be closed off more definitively.