Mediation Will Be Used to Resolve Exit Four Dispute
Saturday, February, 13, 2016
Environmental groups and developer Jessie Sammis have informed the District 3 Environmental Commission they plan to use mediation to reach an agreement concerning the Green Mountain Center. This is a multi-use project that was proposed for the 172 acres near Exit 4 off Interstate 89 in Randolph. According to Sammis, “We are all working hard together to come to a conclusion that everyone is happy with…” He maintains discussions are not contentious and that everyone has the same ultimate goal – to do what is best for the community.
The Conservation Law Foundation and the Vermont Natural Resources Council have argued against the project since it was originally proposed. The two organizations are concerned the project does not conform with local and regional plans, and also question whether it complies with Act 250 protections, designed to apply to prime agricultural soil. The commission originally stated Sammis had not provided enough information to make a ruling.
According to an attorney for Exit 4 Open Space, a group of citizens against the project, there are concerns about mediation. Originally, the group wasn’t to be told about the negotiations, the Conservation law Foundation insisted they be a part of the information loop during the negotiations. The exclusion of the group was the result of a confidentiality agreement, but did note it is common for mediation to be confidential, so the problem they are facing is not entirely out of the norm.
She’s skeptical a solution that suits everyone’s needs and makes everyone happy could occur, even through mediation. She is particularly concerned there are few details about the proposed structure other than an outline.