Killington Village is now able to move ahead with plans
By Karen Lorentz
It’s been a super-long haul but thanks to a mediation process, ensuing discussions, and the settlement of some complex issues, including an old lawsuit, the appeals to SP Land Company’s permit for a Village have been dropped and SP Land looks forward to receiving a revised Village permit in January.
SP Land President Steven Selbo told the Mountain Times that a mediation session among several parties held “on Dec. 8 started a conversation that led to reaching a Dec. 16 Friday night verbal agreement.” Steve Durkee had previously appealed the Village Act 250 permit and site plan approvals. The parties signed an agreement on Dec. 19.
With that agreement, two further court hearings were avoided. Durkee’s appeal of the town’s approval of Phase I of the Village Site Plan to the Environmental Court, which was to have occurred Dec. 20, 21, and 22, was cancelled. Additionally, Durkee’s appeal of the Village Act 250 permit to the Vermont Supreme Court, which had not yet set a date for the appeal hearing, was also cancelled.
By resolving various issues, the Phase I design for the Killington Village Master Plan can move ahead, Selbo said, noting there were no changes needed to the plan and it was not affected by the agreement.
The terms of the agreement are confidential at this point, since there are many fine details to work out, Selbo said.
The good news is: “The resolution did not affect the town site plan approval which stands as is, and the final Environmental Court altered ruling for Act 250 from Aug. 29 stands as is,” Selbo noted. That Environmental Court ruling was remanded to the District #1 Environmental Commission for the permit to be finalized; however, that process had been put on hold subject to the Supreme Court hearing the Durkee appeal.
The next steps are for the attorney(s) for SP Land and the District #1 coordinator to review the permit in accordance with the Court’s revisions. Changes have to be made to the original permit issued by the District One Environmental Commission Oct. 7, 2013, per rulings and findings made by the Environmental Court.
Selbo said he is hoping to see the actual revised permit issued sometime in January.
Asked if he can then pursue a developer for Phase 1, he said, “Yes, this does allow us to move our discussion forward with the development community and to a minor extent that has already begun.”
As to a timeline, he noted that these permits only present the first chapter of getting the future development off the ground. He also mentioned construction of the resort parking project has to be done first based on the existing permit conditions.
While not at liberty to discuss the details, Selbo said of the resolution, “We are happy that we are moving forward.”
Background on permit and appeals
SP Land filed an Act 250 application for its Killington Village master plan in Feb. 2012. (A second application was filed by Killington Resort for a new resort parking project, realignment of part of Killington Road, reconfiguration of the hotel parking lot and associated storm water treatment.) A 61-page permit decision was handed down Oct. 7, 2013. Appeal filings and hearings followed at the Superior Court’s Environmental Division. That court rendered a June 21, 2016 merits decision andjudgment order affirming the District #1 Environmental Commission’s 2013 permit subject to conditions that SP Land could live with. However, a July 2016 motion to alter led to an Aug. 29 amended judgment order. Durkee eventually appealed the Aug. 29 Judgement Order in September of this year. With the Dec. 19 agreement, the Village development can finally move forward.