Special Events Ordinance & Permit

The Selectborad hereby ordain the following ordinance for the regulation of events:

Section 1. Purpose and Authority Section
This ordinance is adopted to promote the public health, safety, welfare and convenience of the inhabitants of Goshen by regulating special events within the Town of Goshen. By requiring a permit for each event, proper coordination of public services is ensured and overburdening of local infrastructure is prevented. This ordinance is adopted pursuant to authority granted to the Town by its Charter and 24 VSA Section 2291.

Section 2. Permit Requirement
No circus, carnival, fair, menagerie, exhibition, play, concert, entertainment, athletic event or similar activity for which money is received shall be conducted outdoors or in temporary structures in the Town of Goshen unless a special event permit has been obtained from the Board of Selectmen in accordance with this ordinance. Events with fewer than 75 participants (including staff, volunteers, attendees, etc.) are not required to obtain a special events permit.

Section 3. Application

  1. An application for a special event permit, which may be for a series of activities undertaken by a single permittee, under the provisions of this ordinance shall be filed with the Goshen Board of Selectmen at least twenty-one (21) days before the date set for the event. Each event will require a separate permit.
  2. Application for a special events permit shall include:
    1. the name, address and telephone number of the event sponsor;
  3. if the permittee is not the owner of the premises where the event is to take place, the name of the owner shall be given and the owner’s consent to the event must be attached to the application;
  4. a site plan indicating location, layout, state and local highways, entrances and exits, traffic flow patterns, parking and land uses of the surrounding area;
  5. the intended dates and hours of operation and the number of days that the event will be conducted;
  6. the maximum total number of people anticipated including staff, volunteer, attendees, etc. and provisions for accommodating the total;
  7. description of the event;
  8. details as to what arrangements have been made to protect the public health, safety, welfare and convenience during the event including arrangements for traffic control, crowd control and sanitation;
  9. provisions for food and beverage, if any;
  10. other information deemed necessary by the Board of Selectmen.
  11. The Board of Selectmen, at an official meeting, may approve, approve with conditions/ modifications, or deny each application upon consideration of the approval standards set forth in section 4. The Board shall render a decision within 21 days of receipt of a completed application for a special events permit. If no action is taken within twenty-one (21) days, the permit shall be deemed granted.

Section 4. Approval Standards
Prior to the issuance of any permit under this ordinance, the Board of Selectmen shall determine that the proposed activity satisfies the following standards:

  1. The proposed use is in conformance with any applicable Town-ordinances including the Goshen Zoning Regulations, the Goshen Subdivision Regulations, and the Goshen Town Plan (goals and objectives);
  2. The proposed activity will not result in undue adverse traffic congestion and unsafe conditions regarding the use of public roads.
  3. The proposed activity will not present or create a threat to the safety of persons or property because of fire, explosion or other hazard.
  4. The proposed activity will not create unhealthy conditions regarding water supply, sewage disposal or solid waste disposal.
  5. The proposed activity will not interfere with the use of neighboring property for its customary use by the creation of noise, dust, noxious odors, lighting or other activities which extend beyond the boundary of the activity.
  6. The proposed activity will not overburden the public infrastructure of the Town. Special attention shall be given to the cumulative impacts of other activities that may be occurring at the same time.
  7. The proposed activity will not have an adverse effect on public health, safety, welfare and convenience of the inhabitants of Goshen.


Section 5. Approval Conditions
When issuing a permit under this ordinance, the Board of Selectmen may attach such reasonable conditions as they ·may deem appropriate to mitigate or eliminate any impacts reviewable under the Approval Standards set forth above.

Such conditions may include but are not limited to:

  1. establishing specific hours for the proposed use;
  2. establishing noise limits;
  3. requiring the provision of traffic control personnel at no cost to the town;
  4. requiring the provision of crowd control and medical personnel at no cost to the Town;
  5. requiring the provision of fire fighting equipment and personnel at no cost to the Town;
  6. requiring the posting of security bonds or escrow accounts to ensure compliance with applicable ordinances and permit-conditions;
  7. requiring that trash and litter on public streets attributable to the proposed activity be collected and removed at no cost to the Town;
  8. restricting or prohibiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages in connection with any regulated activity;
  9. prohibiting the sale of admission or seating tickets in excess of the established capacity of the event area.

Section 6. Permit Fee
The fee for the granting of any permit shall be $25.00 for each day of operation for any single event.

 The fee for a permit shall be paid at the time of filing the application. In the event that the application is rejected, the fee shall be refunded to the applicant. 

Section 7. Exemptions
Activities conducted by schools licensed by the State Department of Education and/or churches, on school or church grounds, are exempt from the requirements to obtain a permit and pay a permit fee.

 Section 8. Applicability of other Laws and Ordinances
The permit required under this ordinance shall not replace or eliminate any requirement to obtain approval under any other applicable laws or ordinances.

Section 9. Enforcement
The Board of Selectmen may revoke a permit issued under this ordinance for failure to comply with any conditions contained in such permit, or for any disturbance of the public peace or for occurrences detrimental to the public health.

Violation of this ordinance shall constitute a misdemeanor and may be punishable by a fine of $750.00 per week, or part thereof, that the violation continues or imprisonment for a term not to exceed one year.

In addition to enforcement as provided above, the Board of Selectmen may institute an action in the name of the Town to obtain injunctive or other appropriate relief. 

Section 10. Severability
If any section, subsection, or any part thereof of this ordinance, is for any reason held to be invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity or effectiveness of the remaining portions of this ordinance or any part hereof.



*The button above links to the Special Events Permit Application. It is printable or you can fill in the form electronically and email it to the selectboard or town clerk.