Regulators Want 'More Compact' Development Proposal in Randolph | Off Message
Pin It
Favorite

Monday, July 27, 2015

Regulators Want 'More Compact' Development Proposal in Randolph

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 2:03 PM

Proposed plan for the Green Mountain Center
  • Proposed plan for the Green Mountain Center
Updated at 5:20 p.m. with statement from Exit 4 Open Space.
State regulators have dealt a blow to a Connecticut developer's plans for a massive commercial and residential project off Interstate 89 in Randolph.

In a ruling last week, the District 3 Environmental Commission asked Jesse "Sam" Sammis to scale back a project in order to protect several open fields where he proposed to build apartments and other structures.

Sammis wants to transform 178 acres of open land around Exit 4 into a development of 274 homes, a 180-room hotel and conference center, more than 500,000 square feet of office and light industrial space, a 10,000-square-foot fitness center and an interstate rest stop with an attached retail outlet. 

"At present, the commission is not persuaded that the project as designed is compact enough to satisfy [land-use regulations]," commission chair Tim Taylor wrote. "We invite the applicant to present a new plan showing a more compact design."

While the Randolph business community and local government have backed the project, which Sammis calls the Green Mountain Center, a citizens group has called it disproportionate for the community of 4,800 people. Critics have questioned why Sammis would build on open land when he owns several other parcels closer to downtown. A Seven Days tally found that Sammis owned 1,400 acres worth $12.6 million in Randolph.

The commission, which enforces Act 250, Vermont's land-use law, expressed some interest in that point. It asked Sammis to identify his holdings in Randolph. "This list should include the location of each parcel, its size and a statement regarding its suitability for relocating some or all of the office, residential or light industrial components of the project," Taylor wrote.

Sammis' attorney, Pete Van Oot, described the commission's response to the Valley News as "constructive feedback" and told the paper he'll file a written response. The next hearing is scheduled for August 17.

David Hurwitz, spokesman for the opposition group Exit 4 Open Space, said members welcome the commission’s early ruling but warned they do not want the see the proposed project go forward even on a smaller piece of land.

“This proposed development … is larger than the entire commercial space in downtown Randolph,” Hurwitz said. “The commission has not asked the developer to reduce the square footage; they have only asked him to cram it into a 'clustered' and more compact space to preserve soil. But there is no need to build another town by the highway, three miles away from the downtown, nor is there a need for a Connecticut developer to bring Connecticut-style suburban development to Randolph.”


Tags: , , , ,

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It
Favorite

About The Author

Mark Davis

Mark Davis

Bio:
Mark Davis is a Seven Days staff writer.

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2017 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation