Rhinebeck fairgrounds, events codes up for public airing

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The Rhinebeck Village board has scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 25 at 7pm to discuss re-zoning of the fairgrounds and a proposed events code.

The Rhinebeck Fairgrounds currently operate as a non-conforming use, which was established in the 1960s. The new zoning of the space will allow for the grounds to expand their activities and resources as needed.

The current draft of the new code lists the principal uses of the fairgrounds, including concerts, auctions, and day camps. It also defines the permitted accessory uses, signage, screening, and the buffer zone as depicted in the Village Zoning Map.

The drafted article also gives a clear definition of what the fairground’s intended purpose is within the village. “The Fairground District is created for the purpose of promoting agricultural, horticultural, mechanical, and domestic arts, fine arts, and allied sciences consistent with the mission of the Dutchess County Agricultural Society, which operates the Dutchess County Fairground, including but not limited to temporary and seasonal educational, exhibition and entertainment events, and to ensure that new construction and activities on the Fairgrounds are undertaken in a manner that are harmonious with the residential and commercial development patterns of adjacent and nearby property,” it reads.

The proposed events code would be a separate local law.

The proposed code states, “It is the purpose of this ordinance to preserve the public peace and maintain good order within the Village of Rhinebeck thereby insuring the safety, health, welfare, and well-being of persons or property by regulating assemblies and other gatherings of persons for events held in public places within the Village consistent with the rights and privileges of its residents.”

The ordinance defines an event to be any non-routine activity within the village that will assemble or gather at least 250 people.

According to the proposed law, a non-routine event would require the village’s approval via a short, basic application to be filled out no more than 180 days before the event. A non-routine event, however, does not include activities like the Rhinebeck farmers market, a church event, or any event that is contingent with the building code of a site.

The two documents outlining the proposals are available on the village website, www.rhinebecknyvillage.org.

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