NAC Advisory
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO BYLAWS
Lenox, Massachusetts

March 31, 2004

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                       NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
                               ADVISORY
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                 http://www.naturistsociety.com/NAC
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DATE: March 31, 2004
SUBJECT: Lenox, Massachusetts
TO: All Naturists

Dear Naturist,

The Naturist Action Committee is dealing with the issue of a local ordinance in the Town of Lenox, Massachusetts. NAC is NOT asking you to take action at this time, but the matter has generated interest in the naturist community, and NAC wishes to make certain you are properly informed.


THE PROPOSED BYLAW

Seeking to strengthen its ability to regulate and zone adult businesses, the Lenox planning board recently had its Town Attorney prepare a bylaw to address the situation. The Naturist Action Committee became involved when it appeared that certain definitions within that document were too broadly framed, allowing the possibility of interpretations unfavorable to naturists.

NAC offered a simple revision to the proposed bylaw. Accepted initially, the revision was later rejected when the planning board was advised by the Town Attorney that the revised language did not match applicable sections of Massachusetts General Law. In fact, the wording of the ordinance as it was originally drafted and subsequently approved by the board does not match MGL either. NAC continues to work with the Town Attorney and the planning board to reconcile the wording, while assuring that the rights of naturists are not swept away in definitions that are overly broad.

It's NAC's intent that an appropriately revised bylaw will be approved at the Lenox town meeting scheduled for May 6.


THE 2004 EASTERN NATURIST GATHERING IS NOT AT RISK

The site for the 2004 Eastern Naturist Gathering is Eastover Resort in Lenox. The yearly event, presented by The Naturist Society, has been hosted by Eastover for the past several years. This year's event takes place June 21-27, a beautiful time of the year in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.

TNS, NAC and Eastover have all been given informal oral assurances that the Town has no intent of applying the bylaw in any form to restrict naturist activities at Eastover during the Gathering. The 2004 Eastern Naturist Gathering is not at risk and never has been.


THEN WHY IS NAC PURSUING THIS ISSUE?

The Naturist Action Committee routinely monitors local ordinances, as well as state and federal legislation that could affect the rights and interests of naturists. NAC has found that in many cases, it can take care of such matters quietly and without fanfare.

The proposed Lenox bylaw has received extraordinary attention in the naturist community, because Lenox is the site of a large naturist event. Nevertheless, it's fair to say that NAC would still have been involved in the Lenox matter, even if the Gathering were not being held there.

Although we have no reason to doubt the assurances that have been offered, it is NAC's experience that personal assurances regarding enforcement frequently don't survive the tenure of the individuals who made them. There is no substitute for a properly worded statute, regulation or ordinance. Accepting informal or oral assurances on the interpretation of a poorly written law is unwise in any situation where long term stability and protection are the goal.


WHAT IS NAC DOING?

We have retained a local attorney to provide counsel and representation for NAC in achieving the small but significant bylaw revision that will protect naturist interests properly for years to come. NAC's attorney is working with the planning board and the Town Attorney to reach an appropriate resolution. After all, naturists were never the intended target. We are simply seeking a formal reflection of that in the written language of the bylaw. We are optimistic that the outcome will be favorable.


WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING?

This is an Advisory. NAC is not asking you to take any action at this time. If you have been looking forward to attending this year's Eastern Naturist Gathering, NAC encourages you to make your reservation now and plan to enjoy a wonderful time at Eastover.

The Naturist Action Committee continues to be involved with the Lenox situation and other matters of importance to naturists. Please look for NAC Action Alerts, Advisories and Updates on this and other issues.

Naturally,

Morley Schloss
Board Member
Naturist Action Committee

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Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton      - <ctnudists@aol.com>
Board Member Morley Schloss    - <morleynaturist@hotmail.com>
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick - <naturist@sunclad.com>
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