On June 12, 2024
Local News

Hartland board to propose new vendors’ ordinance

By Curt Peterson

The Hartland Select Board refined a proposed new Vendors’ Ordinance to replace the original that’s been in effect since 1996.

According to Town Manager John Broker-Campbell, “There are minor changes which will hopefully help to clear up any confusion or ambiguity on the applicability of the ordinance.”  

The Select Board will next schedule a public hearing. A notice will go out through the town website and appropriate public postings.

The ordinance, which was originally enacted in 1995 at the behest of then selectwoman Pat Richardson, was intended to control use by vendors and organizations of various public areas in town. The impetus, Richardson told the Mountain Times, was haphazard parking and pedestrian traffic that posed danger to people and impediment to traffic.

One cited pre-ordinance vendor was a fishmonger who sold his wares from a truck in front of Damon Hall. The current vendors’ ordinance prohibits selling anything on land surrounding Damon Hall. As far as anyone knows, the ordinance was never enforced. In fact, the non-profit Hartland Garden Club claims to have held its successful annual plant sale on the front lawn for 25 years with no one questioning its legality.

The club had raised the plants and put hours and days of work into preparation for the sale this spring.

That is, until 2024, when Broker-Campbell, asking for town permission to hold the sale, discovered the 1995 ordinance and felt it should be enforced. This put the Select Board in a tough situation, the solution for which was suspension of the ordinance “just this once”, and a promise to “take a look” at how the ordinance could be changed to reflect current Hartland culture.

The Garden Club sale was a huge success and raised over $2,000 that will be invested in various beautification projects around town, including the pollinator garden in front of Damon Hall they created this spring.

The most important change in the ordinance is, “At the Town Manager’s discretion, a permit can be issued for the front lawn of Damon Hall for not-for-profit Hartland community groups, provided that they conduct business in a manner safe to traffic and pedestrians.”

Prohibition of vending activities on state or town highways or on town properties around Hartland still stands.

If the ordinance becomes law, following a public hearing and selectboard approval, the Hartland Garden Club can start preparations for the 2025 sale and apply for their permit.

Carol Stedman, club member and an avid advocate for the plant sale, is very pleased with the proposal.

“I think this is a reasonable amendment that will inspire the club to get to work planning and planting for next year’s sale,” she told the Mountain Times. 

“The sale provides us with the resources we need to do our projects around Hartland, enhancements that benefit the whole community,” Stedman added.

For more information visit: hartland.govoffice.com.

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