School Board Will Appeal to Environmental Court

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Thursday January 17, 2013

January 4, the Development Review Board rendered their decision in the contentious debate over South Burlington School District’s appeal of the zoning permit issued to HowardCenter and Dorset Street Properties, LLC for “interior renovations to suite 101” at 364 Dorset Street.  In a 2-4-0 vote, the appeal was denied.

The school board’s legal counsel, Pietro Lynn, and a host of concerned parents were present at Wednesday night’s School Board meeting to once again implore action to stop the methadone clinic from opening at the proposed location. One parent reminded the Board of the petition that had been circulating for months with thousands of signatures in support of an appeal. Several other residents brought up traffic concerns and the fact that they would no longer feel safe allowing their children to walk to school. Lynn explained that the Board had until February 4th to decide whether they wanted to appeal to the Environmental Court.

Board member Martin LaLonde quickly made the motion that the board proceed with an appeal, Julie Beatty seconded and the decision was unanimous. This was followed by applause and further questions from members of the public, such as whether they had the money budgeted for an appeal. Acting chair Elizabeth Fitzgerald said that they were prepared for it in this year’s budget.

Lynn explained that while he understands that many individuals want to continue to provide input at the next level, only those with interested party status will be considered. He added that the environmental court will be coming to this information with fresh eyes, since they are not required to consider the DRB’s decision.

Should SB School District’s appeal be denied in Environmental Court, they will have the option of appealing to the Vermont Superior Court.  

SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent