Thursday, July 22, 2010

the dreaded Vermontasaurus

From the AP's John Curran in the C-J...

Does a 25-foot-tall, 122-foot-long dinosaur need a permit to avoid extinction?

That's the unlikely dilemma posed by "Vermontasaurus," a whimsical sculpture thrown together with scrap wood by a Vermont man. The oddity now faces opposition from neighbors and regulatory challenges from government entities that he fears could force him to dismantle it.

It's art, not edifice, says Brian Boland. "They should leave me alone. It's a piece of artwork."

Boland, 61, is a former teacher, hot-air balloon designer and pilot who runs the Post Mills Airport, a 52-acre airfield.

Last month, he decided to turn a pile of broken wooden planks and other detritus on the edge of his property into something more.

... government officials are not amused. The Town of Thetford told Boland his sculpture was really a structure -- akin to a shed or a gazebo -- and he needed a $272 permit for it. The state Division of Fire Safety, meanwhile, told him if he couldn't get a structural engineer to attest to its safety, he could not allow people to congregate beneath it.


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