Editor's note: This is the second article in a series on the new
Act 250 permits issued Oct. 7. Last week, we reviewed the permit
issued to SP Lands for Phase One of Killington Village; this week
we focus on the permit for the Killington Resort Parking
In addition to issuing a permit for Phase One of the Killington
Village, the District #1 Environmental Commission (the Commission)
issued a permit for a new Resort Parking Project on October 7.
That permit was issued to Killington/Pico Ski Resort Partners,
LLC (the "Permittee") regarding their application #1RO981 for
construction of a new parking lot for 1,276 vehicles for day-skier
parking, realignment of a portion of Killington Road,
reconfiguration of the Grand Hotel Parking Lot, the construction of
a stormwater detention pond, and associated utilities (all of which
were subsequently referred to as "the parking project").
The conditions attached to this project were mostly
accommodations made by the Applicant during the Act 250 process.
That process officially began with the application submitted Feb.
28, 2012 and concluded with the decision issued October 7.
One agreed upon accommodation concerned the modification of the
daily time period for construction activities, which was changed
from the original request of 6 a.m. to between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00
p.m. on weekdays and between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays.
Work crew assembly and project meetings may begin at 6:00 a.m.
Perhaps the most interesting condition concerns the construction
of the stormwater basin, which could impact an historic period
site. The Commission noted that the limits and significance of this
historic period site have not yet been fully investigated. The
Vermont Division for Historic Preservation ("DHP") requested, and
the applicant agreed, that further study would be conducted.
This site is an area where a sawdust pile exists from the early
1900s logging on the mountain by the mountain's previous owner the
Vermont Marble Company, which had purchased 3,022 acres of
"Killington" lands in 1901. From 1901 to 1918 the company lumbered
this acreage and ran a sawmill near the present Basin Ski Shop
Condition 16 stipulates that prior to starting construction of
the parking facility, "the Permittee shall identify VT-RU-568 as
the "archaeologically sensitive area not-to-be disturbed until
further investigation has been completed" on the overall site plan
and all other relevant site plans. Copies of the revised site plans
shall be submitted to the Commission and the Division for Historic
Preservation ("DHP")." It goes on to prohibit any type of ground
disturbance within the VT-RU- 568 buffer zone prior to written
approval of DHP or the Commission. It also requires archeological
investigations in the affected portion of VT-RU-568 by a qualified
archeological consultant prior to commencement of construction and
further stipulates that the "VT-RU-568 and any other archeological
sites shall not be disturbed until any necessary mitigation
measures have been deemed sufficient by DHP."
Most interestingly, the Applicant proposed these and other
measures, including "All archeological investigations including but
not limited to mapping, evaluation, and data recovery shall be
carried out in the affected portion of VT-RU-568 by a qualified
archeological consultant. All studies will be scheduled accordingly
so that mitigation measures that may be necessary can be
satisfactorily planned and accomplished prior to construction
within the study area specified above."
The Commission also addressed in its findings objections to the
parking project presented by Killington resident and businessman
Steve Durkee. Through his representative David Raphael, an
architect, he contended that there would be an unduly adverse
impact because "the developments would be shocking or offensive to
the average person and the applicant had not taken reasonably
available mitigation steps to reduce the visual and aesthetic
impacts. Mr. Raphael asserted that the Resort Parking Project
insufficiently protected or preserved the natural landscape, and
thus would have irreversible detrimental impacts on the aesthetics
of the area," the findings note.
Based upon their review of the evidence, the Commission found
that the parking lot has the potential for some additional adverse
aesthetic impacts, "but that, given the context of the existing
resort setting, those impacts are not 'shocking or offensive to the
average person,' nor would they violate a 'clearly written
community standard' (none was identified)." The Commission also
noted that, "the applicant is taking reasonably available measures
to mitigate adverse aesthetic impacts." The Commission concluded
that as conditioned in the permit, "the Resort Parking Project will
not have an undue adverse effect on the scenic or natural beauty of
the area, aesthetics, historic sites or rare and irreplaceable
Another issue raised by Durkee through his representative
concerned traffic and safety and the need for more details on the
proposed shuttle bus transit plan. In response, the Commission
required the Applicant to provide more details of the proposed
shuttle bus parking lot transit plan, which was then done by
Resource Systems Group, engineers for the Applicant. The Commission
concluded that the Resort Parking Project "will not cause
unreasonable congestion or unsafe conditions with respect to use of
the highways, waterways, railways, airports and airways, and other
means of transportation existing or proposed."
Also of significance, the Applicant originally sought a ten-year
construction period, however, a permit condition stipulates that,
"The permit shall expire five years from the date of issuance if
the Permittee has not commenced construction and made substantial
progress toward completion within the five year period."
But the permit also notes that: "All site work and construction
shall be completed in accordance with the approved plans by October
15, 2020, unless an extension of this date is approved in writing
by the Commission. Such requests to extend must be filed prior to
the deadline and approval may be granted without public
Any party may file a motion to alter with the District
Commission within 15 days from the date of the decision.
Additionally, any appeal of this decision must be filed with the
Superior Court, Environmental Division within 30 days of the date
the decision was issued.
These time frames also apply to the Killington Village Master
Plan and Phase One permit, granted to SP LANDS. Stay tuned for