School Board Opposes HowardCenter Motion to Dismiss

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Thursday January 01, 1970

The Howard Center and the South Burlington School District are still at odds with the location of a methadone clinic at 364 Dorset Street.  Three courses of action have been taken since the city’s Administrative Officer, Ray Belair, approved the zoning permit on August 24.

The first move came from the District. The appeal was filed within the 15-day appeal period on the basis of the clinic’s proximity to school premises. The two issues raised were safety of students and traffic safety.

The next move was made in mid-September when HowardCenter  filed a Motion to Dismiss the District’s appeal. The motion states that the District would not pass as an ‘interested person’ with the issues raised since the space is already approved for medical use. The HowardCenter also raised an additional claim related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Motion to Dismiss quickly prompted the District to file an opposition to HowardCenter’s motion. On September 28, the law firm of Lynn, Lynn & Blackman filed the opposition on the District’s behalf. At the October 3 School Board meeting, attorney Sean Toohey, Esq. provided a brief overview of the memorandum of law describing how the District is deemed an interested person with the issues raised.

Regarding the traffic safety concern, the opposition states that since the property is on Dorset Street north of I-89, it lies in the Traffic Overlay Zone 3. According to the memorandum, this would trigger the need for a traffic generation analysis under the Land Development Regulations 10.02(F) and (G). Additionally, the heaviest traffic hours for the clinic would be 6–8 a.m. and 2:30–5:30 p.m. which parallels with the two schools’ high traffic hours.

In regards to the student safety issue, the opposition statement outlines that the proposed clinic would increase foot traffic, especially if the clinic expands to serving up to 1,000 clients. Individual behavior after dosage, and possible crime (even in low numbers) were areas of concern in relation to SBHS open campus, and the location of Spotlight on Dance, which draws students for dance instruction.  The memorandum states that these concerns make it “sufficient to implicate the interests of the District within the meaning of the LDR and 24 V.S.A.”
At a hearing scheduled for October 16th at 7 p.m., the Development Review Board will have the final word.

SOURCE: Miranda Jonswold, Correspondent