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Wilmington Reaches Act 250 Agreement With The Hermitage Club

An aerial view of the Hermitage Club and ski trails at Haystack Mountain, with an unfinished base lodge in the foreground. The lodge is now finished.
Hermitage Club, Courtesy
Ski trails on Haystack Mountain are shown with Hermitage Club construction in the foreground. The town of Wilmington has reached an agreement with the private resort, which paves the way for the club's Act 250 application.

A proposal to expand an exclusive private ski resort in southern Vermont got a big boost last week.

The town of Wilmington has reached an agreement with The Hermitage Club, which paves the way for the town's support of the ski club's Act 250 application. The Hermitage Club is seeking an Act 250 permit to significantly expand its operations on Haystack Mountain.

The company wants to develop more than 600 new residential units along with a parking garage and four new restaurants.

The company filed its Act 250 Master Plan last year and Wilmington sent in two letters raising concerns about the project.

With the new agreement, Wilmington Planning Commission Chairwoman Wendy Manners says the town is now ready to support the plan.

"We are currently providing a letter of support for the Master Plan approval process," Manners says. "If we do surface additional concerns we will definitely raise them, but we're not aware of any other concerns at this time."

Under terms of the agreement, The Hermitage will purchase an undevelopable piece of land from the town, with the money going toward affordable housing.

The company also agrees to help establish a career readiness program at Twin Valley High School and keep National Forest trails accessible.

The company says it will keep the properties it owns in downtown Wilmington open to the public and Manners says the two sides will meet quarterly to share updates on the agreement.

"While we seek the economic growth, we also are committed to providing the quality of life for our local resident base," Manners says.

The District 2  Environmental Commission will re-open the Hermitage's Act 250 hearing this week.

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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