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The Bus Question

Wednesday, March 20, 2013



The Sanctuary is going through a renewal of its Special Use Permit (“SUP”) with the town and we’re trying to get some changes passed.   The SUP controls various aspects of public access during our visiting hours — just 12 hours a week from April through October.  As mild as these changes seem, there has historically been a lot of resistance from 3 or 4 vocal neighbors.  It took over 14 months to get our last permit passed!

Here are the main issues:


A bus fits fine in our parking lot

A bus fits fine in our parking lot (click to see larger)

Currently we are restricted to having buses no larger than a school bus once a month during our closed season, and twice a month during open season, for visits by volunteers and school groups.  In 2012 we had fewer than 6 buses come, total.  

PlayVideoBusVisitThe problem is that most colleges and many other organizations don’t use school buses — they have contracts with charter bus companies or just want more comfortable transportation with a bathroom on-board.  These charter (Greyhound-style) buses are about 4 or 5 feet longer and not permitted under our current SUP.  We are requesting permission to have such longer buses used (pending the correction of any technical issues with the turn radius of our driveway).  We are not asking for more buses, just that if a longer one arrived it would not constitute a violation.  Neighbors have tried to use such violations to get our permit revoked.


There is a neighbor who is irritated when visitors seek out shade and park along the tree-lined property border.  To prevent this problem, and to allow ample spots during peak visiting hours, we are proposing a grass overflow area for up to 20 cars on the pasture adjacent to our driveway, and to rope off the shady area.


If you feel these changes ought to be passed, you can come to the public hearing on March 21 at 6:45pm at the Community Center on Rock City Road, Woodstock.  Or simply send an email of support to, and make sure to mention our organization name and your full name and mailing address.



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