by Andrew Martin
The Town of Hyde Park is moving forward with enforcing violations that occurred during the music festival Hick Jam at Common Acres in the late summer and fall of 2012. At their March 14 meeting the Hyde Park Selectboard voted to authorize the town attorney to pursue enforcement of the Hick Jam zoning violations.
The Hick Jam violations center on the fact that the music festival was an unpermitted public gathering. Common Acres Campground does not currently have the necessary permits for such an event, and several noise complaints were also made during the music festival. Along with the violations regarding Hick Jam a second zoning violation occurred at Common Acres during the same time period.
After Common Acres was served with notice of the zoning violations an appeal was submitted by owner Eugene Leon. However, several attempts by Leon to have the $100 appeal fee waived were denied by the Hyde Park Selectboard and the hearing process regarding the violations moved forward late in 2012. At that time the Hyde Park Development Review Board determined that a complete appeal application was never submitted and the appeal fee was never paid.
The lack of a complete appeal application meant that the case regarding Hick Jam could not proceed to a public hearing. Leon had the opportunity to appeal the decision that the application was not complete to the Environmental Court but did not do so. Once the time period for appeals passed in mid-January the town attorney reviewed all files associated with the case. The Hyde Park Selectboard then made the decision at their March meeting to move forward with seeking enforcement of the zoning violations committed at Common Acres through the Vermont Environmental Court.
The town attorney should be updating the board on the progress of the case at the scheduled April 11 meeting and the board could potentially vote to take further action at that time.