The Vermont Natural Resources Board (NRB), the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and the Vermont Attorney General’s Office reached a settlement with the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) over the Act 250 challenge for the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail (LVRT).
Act 250 is a land use and development law that takes into account a project’s impact on local communities, wildlife and the environment.
In 2012, NRB found LVRT to be under Act 250’s jurisdiction and issued a permit. However, VAST recently filed a complaint with the federal Surface Transportation Board claiming federal law preempts the project from Act 250 review, according to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office.
VAST is leasing the trail from VTrans, and the settlement would amend the lease adding conditions from the Act 250 permit regarding things like hours of operation, noise mitigation and limitations on ATVs, stated officials.
Authorities said as long as VAST follows the amended lease, the State will not enforce the Act 250 permit. In return, VAST will drop it’s challenge.
There is a 30-day comment period on the settlement after which Vermont can withdraw, propose changes or continue with the settlement. To submit a comment, click here.