The Mountain Times

°F Fri, April 18, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Altered Act 250 resort parking project premit issued


An Act 250 permit was issued by the District # 1 Environmental Commission on Oct. 7, 2013 to Killington/Pico Ski Resort Partners (KPSRP) for a Resort Parking Project which includes approvals for a new day-skier parking lot for 1,276 vehicles; realignment of a portion of Killington Road; reconfiguration of the Grand Hotel Parking Lot; a stormwater detention pond, and associated utilities.
On Oct. 22, 2013, KPSRP's attorney filed a Motion to Alter the permit with the Commission. Other parties were notified as required, and on Nov. 1 a reply to the motion was filed by Pinnacle Condominium Association, Inc.
No other motions or replies were filed.
Both the motion and the reply were timely, filed pursuant to Act 250 Rules, according to the Commission. In its Nov. 21 issuance of an altered permit, the Commission granted most requests and denied three others.
Killington/Pico Ski Resort Partners filed the Motion to Alter to request changes due to their need to clarify some of the language and correct a few errors. For the most part those requested alterations concerned changes in language to various findings of fact (FOF), conclusions of law (COL), and conditions in an effort to clarify the meaning and prevent any future confusion.
In these cases, a suggested rewording was given and requests were granted. The revised permit reflects those changes.
The most significant change in language clarifies the dates of commencement and substantial completion of the project, as well as a final completion date for the project. Condition #27 now reads: "All site work and construction shall be completed in accordance with the approved plans by October 7, 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 hearing."
Denials
While a request to delete Conditions #21 - #25 in their entirety for reasons of being substantially redundant with Conditions #4 - #8 and unnecessarily confusing was granted, a few requests to delete a finding of fact or condition were denied.
This included the request to "delete finding of fact #45 in its entirety." This was based on the argument that "neither petitioner Durkee or his expert Mr. Raphael submitted the referenced testimony in Application #1R0981 and therefore FOF and COL #45 has no factual or evidentiary basis under the Resort Parking Project Land Use Permit."
In denying this request, the Commission wrote that it "consolidated the reviews of both the Village (1R0980) project and the Parking Lot (1R0981) project. The Commission expressly incorporated our findings from the proceedings on 1R0980 under criterion 9K into our findings for 1R0980 with respect to criterion 9K. During portions of the testimony, Mr. Durkee's expert testified that the Phase 1 project, including the relocated parking facilities, would involve undue impacts under Criterion 9K. The Commission's finding will remain unchanged."
A request to modify FOF #47 for similar reasons was denied by the Commission for "reasons cited" in finding #45.
Opponents request upheld, condition 19 request denied
The request for deletion that elicited the objection being filed was in regard to a condition imposed on the resort that "The Permittee shall at all times manage the parking facility in a manner sufficient to prevent intrusion of visitors parking onto adjoining or neighboring condominium owners property."
In support of its request to delete this condition, KPSRP argued that there was "no evidentiary basis for the condition in the record or under the Resort Parking Project Land Use Permit's FOF and COL;" that "Land Use Permit conditions must have a reasonable basis for a condition under one or more of the Act 250 criteria;" that there "is no reasonable basis for a condition preventing the intrusion of visitors parking onto adjoining or neighboring condominium owners property under Act 250 criterion 5" (Traffic Congestion and Safety); and that the "condition as written is vague, ambiguous and unenforceable."
Jon S. Readnour, Esq. who filed a Response in Opposition to Applicant's Motion to Alter on behalf of his client the Pinnacle Condominium Association, wrote that the deletion would upset "the balance contemplated" by the permit, and the Association was therefore opposed to the request.
He argued that "management of the facility to preclude creation of a trespass or nuisance arising from cars from the parking lot intruding onto the land of others" was a reasonable expectation and therefore a basis to deny the Motion's request to delete the condition.
The Commission agreed and denied KPSRP request for removal. In part they noted the issue of potential encroachment on neighboring parking lots was raised by the condominium parties in the consolidated Act 250 proceedings that included Killington Village application.
The Commission added that "Undue encroachment can lead to undue congestion or parking deficiencies in those condominium developments. The Commission concludes, as suggested by the reply, that the condition is sufficiently specific to obligate the permittee to prevent such encroachment utilizing such measures as the permittee deems reasonable, and which achieve the required result: prevention of encroachment by Killington visiting skiers upon the parking lots owned by the neighboring condominium associations.
Any appeal of the Commission's decision must be filed with the Superior Court, Environmental Division within 30 days of the date the decision was issued.
It was not known at press time if there would be an appeal.