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Explore our coverage of government and politics.

Hermitage, State At Odds Over Completeness Of Resort's Act 250 Plan

Bull Stockwell Allen
/
The Hermitage Club
The Hermitage Club is looking to move forward with a major expansion project on Haystack Mountain, but the District 2 Environmental Commission says the resort's Act 250 plan is still in need of detailed environmental informaion.

A dispute between the owner of a private ski resort and the district Act 250 commission is coming to a head as the resort looks to obtain its environmental permits for further expansion.

Jim Barnes owns the Hermitage Club at Haystack Mountain, and he says the resort's Act 250 plan is complete, while the state says the resort has to submit more detailed environmental information.

He is asking the District 2 Environmental Commission to begin review of the application.

"At this point we're just asking for the hearing to occur," Barnes says. "We believe the commission can now act on this plan."

In a letter to the environmental commission, the Hermitage's attorney says the resort's investments in the Deerfield Valley are "being frustrated by a process that seems to focus on the most technical details."

The Hermitage was going to request a hearing for early in January, but on Wednesday the District 2 Environmental Commission said it would not begin to open hearings until all of the environmental information is included.

Barnes says the resort has already made major concessions to protect wetlands, as well as bear and deer habitat, moves which he says have cost millions of dollars in delays and mitigation.

A pre-hearing was held earlier in December where the two sides tried to iron out their differences, but the battle between the two sides will now extend into the new year.

Howard Weiss-Tisman is Vermont Public’s southern Vermont reporter, but sometimes the story takes him to other parts of the state. 
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