Pagan Spirit Gathering still has its festival location – but according to the DeKalb County Board, they (and any other people attending festivals at the park) better behave.
“The DeKalb County Board voted Wednesday to keep Stonehouse Park open with a “short leash” attached.
County Board members voted, 13-8, in favor of the permit, but they warned owners that even a single violation could lead to revocation. Paul Miller, director of DeKalb County Planning and Zoning, said the board never has revoked a special-use permit in his 16 years, but if complaints from county law enforcement or neighbors warrant revocation, the board can take action.“
While the owners of Stonehouse Park had hoped to increase the number of people allowed in the park to 4000, a petition circulated by 200 DeKalb county residents asking the park be shut down ended that possibility.
Sharon Stewart, a Pagan who attended the zoning hearing, says that the permit passed in part thanks to local Pagan Spirit Gathering attendees speaking out. “During the meetings I attended it became abundantly clear we needed local Pagans involved. So, John Dickerman, our Sacred Fire Keeper, Barbara Andree and Ana Bledschmidt with the Crone Temple of Wisdom, and Jim Bledschmidt who will be working with the Sages at PSG this summer came on board and their work was invaluable in this. Then at the meeting last night, my assistant Brian Sather and another local PSG’ers Shawn Skau and John’s wife Caroline were there in support.”
Along with attending meetings, Pagan stakeholders in the zoning hearing wrote letters, met face to face with board members, and worked with the Northern Illinois University Pagan student group to coordinate action through yet more letter writing and email campaigns.