Archive for July 25th, 2012

Paddle-Less Deux: South Woodstock

A small group of paddle tennis enthusiasts who once played at the Woodstock Inn Health and Fitness Center paddle courts is still waiting to commence play again. It’s been over a year since they had courts to play on in the Woodstock area.

Now, following last night’s Town of Woodstock Development Review Board meeting, the group will have to wait for a legal opinion concerning placement of the courts on Kedron Valley Inn property.  The project, is — for the moment — “on hold” according to the Woodstock Zoning Office,  with the court planks stacked like firewood on KVI property behind the South Woodstock General Store.

When the Woodstock Inn decided to discontinue use of its paddle courts due to the extra maintenance needs and lack of income from the limited number of players, the local enthusiasts (who love to play outside on cooler fall and winter nights under lights)  asked if they could dismantle the Inn courts themselves and take the materials to re-build  elsewhere. The Inn gave them permission to do so.

The group then approached the Kedron Valley Inn to see if they might allow the courts on their property and see the benefit to having another recreational option for their guests.  After several meetings, KVI indicated they would work with the group to make their project happen as there appears to be a perfect location for the platforms. In addition to providing paddle tennis for guests, the increase in activity around the Inn might also serve to increase food and beverage activity at KVI’s Tavern and Restaurant.

However, last night, South Woodstock resident Gray Perkins, represented by Attorney Tom Hayes, presented to the Board his issues about potential nuisance that might come from bright lighting, general noise, parking and other impacts on quality of life in the South Woodstock/KVI area.

It should be noted, as the Woodstock Zoning Office reported this morning, that representatives of the Kedron Valley Inn took issue with some of those claims, noting that the Kedron Valley Inn had tennis courts on the property in the past and that parking is not an issue as there is plenty already for users of the Kedron Pond.

Another abutter to the property, Jody Loring, also raised some questions, according to Zoning minutes from the meeting. Some of those concerns are about Act 250 wetland environmental issues.

Wendy Jackson, Innkeeper of the Kedron Valley Inn, reports today the reason for the hold is the Board wants to ask for advice from the Town’s solicitor about the zoning issue since certain elements would be precedent-setting.