Woodstock Village approves ordinance regulating use of public spaces

By LIZ SAUCHELLI

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 06-12-2024 6:30 PM

WOODSTOCK VILLAGE — Residents voted to uphold a new ordinance that governs use of public spaces in Woodstock Village, including the Village Green, during a Special Town Meeting Tuesday night.

There were 62 residents who voted against getting rid of the ordinance, while 13 voted to overturn it during a floor meeting, according to results provided by Woodstock Village Clerk Don Wheeler. There are 881 voters on Woodstock Village’s checklist. Only those who live in Woodstock Village could vote during the meeting.

As a result of the vote, the new policy goes into effect immediately, according to a Wednesday morning announcement from the town. 

The ordinance calls for limiting the number of private parties on the Village Green, located in the center of downtown Woodstock, to 12 times a year. It also provides a framework for renting out the Gore, a grassy lawn located in front of nearby Norman Williams Public Library, to Woodstock nonprofit organizations.

Prior to the new ordinance, the Village Trustees could allow private events on the Green at their discretion and there were no limits to how many such events they could approve per year. All organizations and people who wish to use the Green or the Gore must still apply for a permit that the Village Trustees could approve or deny.

The Village Trustees — which govern Woodstock Village — unanimously approved the ordinance in March. 

After the trustees’ approval, Village resident Elisa Tarlow led a petition drive to collect enough signatures to force a Special Town Meeting. In a previous interview, Tarlow said that she wanted private events banned from the Green.

More information about the ordinance is online at: townofwoodstock.org/government/village-ordinances

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Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.