Champlain Parkway Wins Act 250 Approval — But Not a Permit | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

Champlain Parkway Wins Act 250 Approval — But Not a Permit 

click to enlarge 6a00d83451b91969e2016765cc7495970b-pi.jpg

Burlington's long-stalled Champlain Parkway project took a big step toward reality today.

In a 63-page ruling issued this morning, the District #4 Environmental Commission of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has found that the South End highway project "will not cause or result in a detriment to public health, safety or general welfare" under Act 250.

Download the ruling here.

However, the commission stopped short of issuing an Act 250 permit because it is waiting for state-issued stormwater permits.

Still, the decsion is a major milestone for a project conceived 45 years ago as a four-lane, limited access highway called the "Southern Connector." At one time, the highway was slated to run alongside Lake Champlain and connect with the northern Beltline highway.

As approved (or nearly approved), the revamped Champlain Parkway is instead a two-lane, pedestrian-friendly urban boulevard that will have new trees, sidewalks, new turning lanes and crosswalks. It will finally connect the abandoned highway off I-189 with Pine Street through Burlington's South End.

A small but dedicated group of property owners have fought the project, viewing it as outdated, expensive and unnecessary. While the parkway would accomplish its goal of diverting truck traffic off residential side streets, congested intersections in a low-income neighborhood — particularly along Pine Street at Maple and King streets — would barely improve under the plan.

Allan Hunt, who lives and owns property along the parkway's route, said Friday he would reserve comment until he'd had a chance to read the Act 250 ruling. Hunt (pictured at top) has fought the project for years and hired a lawyer and traffic expert to rebut the city's engineers during Act 250 hearings last summer. Hunt, or anyone else with "party status" in the case, has 15 days to appeal the decision to state environmental court, though Hunt declined to say whether he would do so.

"The devil is in the details," Hunt said.

We'll update this post later after we've dug into those details.

Photo credit: File photo by Jordan Silverman

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

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

Tags: ,

Pin It

More by Andy Bromage

About The Author

Andy Bromage

Andy Bromage

Andy Bromage was a Seven Days staff writer from 2009-2012, and the news editor from 2012-2013.

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Recent Comments

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2019 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation