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Responsible Growth Hinesburg

 

We are a group of Hinesburg, VT residents dedicated to local control of local planning and the idea that our town should grow wisely.
 

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A brief status report on the Hannaford application process:

-New applications submitted for Hannaford project as a requirement of Nov 2012 approval. Three out of four applications DENIED by Hinesburg DRB in May 2014

- Hinesburg Development Review Board process - one application approved but decision will be appealed in Superior Court. 

- Act 250 "Regional Commission # 4". - hearings completed and application denied based only on Hinesburg's lack of water supply.   All state agencies have approved their separate parts of the application.  RGH has appealed this decision since it ignores many important facts in the case.

- VT State wetland process is separate from Act 250.  Wetland reclassification (downgrade in status) was approved and has been appealed by RGH.

-Application to federal Army Corps of Engineers to fill lot 15.  Public comment period ended Dec 27, 2013. Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources gave an OK to proceed to the Army Corps in July 2014.  Permit issued August 2014.

CURRENT NEWS - 2015 finally brings pending appeals to Superior Court, Environmental Division.  Case reassigned from Judge Durkin to Judge Walsh. 



Hannaford Plan Approved by Local Board
- November 2012 (please note, additional applications have been filed in 2014 which are still being reviewed and considered).

Hinesburg's Development Review Board voted to approve the application to build a Hannaford store on Lot 15 of Commerce Park.  The vote was split 4-3, indicating a strong division within the group.  A dissenting opinion was written by board member Greg Waples.

The project was approved with the imposition of many conditions, meaning additional things that the company must do before beginning construction.  These include getting permits and approvals from the town's Selectboard, as well as Vermont's Act 250 and stormwater agencies.  The conditions also including putting money up front in an escrow account in case the town determines, via traffic studies, that additional traffic control measures are necessary. These could include a widening of the road and bridge just north of Kinney Drugs and/or a traffic light at the intersection of Route 116 and Mechanicsville Road.

The decision by the DRB has been appealed to Superior Court, Environmental Division by both Hannaford and Responsible Growth Hinesburg.


History leading up to the local DRB decision:

The hearings closed on July 17, 2012 but then reopened in October for a final narrow discussion of the provision of an area for a farmers market and whether this fulfilled the intentions of the "Official Map" designation. 

Link to Attorney Jim Dumont's summation to the Board

June 6, 2012 - The Hannaford group  presented a balloon float during a site visit to Lot 15 to demonstrate the dimensions of the proposed building.  The engineers also staked out the parking lot boundaries, retaining wall heights and the property lines.  The markers are still there.  Park and stand next to the proposed walls and in between the poles to get a sense of the true size.  Try walking along the canal path to see how incredibly close the building and parking lot will be to this valuable community resource. Where is the room for the park that Hannaford is offering to the town in fulfillment of the Official Map?









 
 





June 5, 2012 - The new corrected design is unveiled.  Walls restored to 21' feet tall and new height of 26 '9".

May 15: David White presented a new store design for Hannaford with 18' walls.  This improved design turns out to be a mistake and is later retracted.  Check the town website to see the plans and the Powerpoint presentation.

Feb 2012 - May 2012 - Hearings on recess by Hannaford request.

February 21: Representatives for Hannaford finally admitted that plans submitted in November 2010 do not include treatment of stormwater from the project.  The so-called state of the art system detains but does not treat the first flush of rain which typically contains chemical contaminants. On the traffic front, Hannaford has accepted a proposed peak hour rate of 386 trips (~193 shoppers in an hour). (keep in mind that the peak hour is defined as the 30th worst traffic hour during the year).

January 17: postponed

January 4, 2012: Two hour deliberative session on Hannaford (board in private session)

December 20, 2011: Traffic presentations by Hannaford Consultant and rebuttal by Oman Analytics, hired by Responsible Growth Hinesburg.

November 15: Presentations by Village Steering Committee, Conservation Committee, Hinesburg Village Vision (pro-Hannford community group) and RGH members and consultants. No presentation by Hannaford.

October 18: postponed.

September 2011: Presentation of revised design without drive-through pharmacy and other changes (photo above).

May 2011 - Sept 2011 - Hearings on recess by Hannaford request.

November 2010 - Hannaford delivers complete application package with no prior consultation with town staff.


 
Responsible Growth Hinesburg promotes appropriately-scaled commercial and residential development
balanced with community space; vibrant locally-owned businesses; and
surrounding open landscape for agriculture, wildlife habitat, and recreation.