MANCHESTER — An abutting landowner’s enchantment of the Act 250 allow granted for an ecotourism resort on Benson Highway focuses on whether or not it complies with three standards below the state land use allowing regulation, and whether or not state environmental permits for the proposal are legitimate.
The assertion of questions, filed on Dec. 19 within the Environmental Division of Vermont Superior Courtroom, lays out abutter Brian Benson’s considerations with the allow issued for the proposed resort by the Act 250 District 8 Fee on Oct. 21 of final 12 months. A preliminary listening to on the enchantment was held earlier this month.
Property proprietor Jeffrey O. Nyweide has proposed to construct Inexperienced Mountain Reserve, a 46-bed (92-person), four-season eco-retreat, wedding ceremony and occasion venue, and company convention heart on his 69 acres at 507 Benson Highway.
The mission additionally contains 43 four-season visitor shelters with utilities, a transformed farmhouse with three visitor rooms, a lodge with a 60-seat restaurant, two 30-seat eating places, a 20-seat convention space, onsite worker housing, a comfort retailer with a deli, a sauna hut, parking and extra upkeep buildings.
Beneath the Act 250 enchantment course of, appeals are restricted to particular questions relating to the Act 250 allow. Appeals are heard by the Environmental Division of Vermont Superior Courtroom, and hearings are de novo – a authorized time period that means the details have to be re-established.
The questions posed by Benson are as follows:
• Does it adjust to Criterion 8 of Act 250, which addresses undue opposed results on the scenic or pure great thing about the realm;
• Does it adjust to Criterion 9(L) , which offers with historic settlement patterns;
• Does it adjust to Criterion 10, which offers with conformance with “any duly adopted native or regional plan;” and
• “Can a Division of Environmental Conservation allow that was issued for a growth based mostly on a website plan or survey of the property that doesn’t pretty and precisely signify the land and water on the property as they at present exist, create a presumption below Rule 19 of the Act 250 Guidelines?”
Rule 19 states that allows, approvals or certifications by different companies “shall create a rebuttable presumption” that the allow “shouldn’t be detrimental to the general public well being and welfare with respect to the factors laid out in these guidelines.” It permits these appeals to be challenged, and locations the burden of proof on the applicant.
Benson Highway neighbors have opposed the plan because it was first proposed in 2020, elevating considerations about elevated visitors, the potential impact on Manchester’s water provide, and the influence on pure sources. The proposed resort is throughout the city’s aquifer safety zone — the zoning overlay that protects the city’s consuming water supply.
An enchantment of the Manchester Improvement Assessment Board’s allow for the mission continues to be being thought-about by an Environmental Courtroom choose.
The Act 250 allow set quite a few situations to handle these considerations, together with decreasing the variety of permitted parking areas, setting time and decibel degree restrictions on occasions, and prohibiting standalone concert events, amongst others.