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NO. 22. AN ACT RELATING TO APPROVING ADDITIONAL PUBLIC USES FOR PUBLIC TRUST LANDS LOCATED IN BURLINGTON HARBOR .

(H.326)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. FINDINGS

The general assembly finds:

(1) that a need exists to modify the approved public uses of filled land on the portion of filled public trust lands located north of the centerline of Maple Street extending north to the centerline of Main Street within the City of Burlington;

(2) that the land involved in this legislation and the general assembly’s historical relationship with that land are both unique;

(3) that the general assembly has authority to redesignate the public uses to which these filled public trust lands may be put; and

(4) that the development supported by the City of Burlington and previously authorized or authorized by Sec. 2 of this act, consisting of the relocation of the bicycle path closer to Lake Champlain, the development of a shoreline promenade, the elimination of a number of blighted buildings, and the creation of an inn, market, and related public facilities, is consistent with the public trust doctrine.

Sec. 2. ADDITIONAL AUTHORIZED USES FOR FILLED PUBLIC TRUST LANDS

(a) In addition to the uses previously authorized by the general assembly in Act No. 274 of the Acts of the 1989 Adjourned Session (1990), Act No. 53 of the Acts of the 1991 Session and Act No. 87 of the Acts of the 1995 Adjourned Session (1996), the filled public trust lands located north of the centerline of Maple Street extending north to the centerline of Main Street within the City of Burlington may also be utilized, consistent with the standards embodied in Vermont’s environmental laws and regulations, for the following public uses that benefit Vermont’s public and are available to the public on an open and nondiscriminatory basis:

(1) Inns with public space, including restaurant, restroom and retail use. Restrooms in the inns shall be available to the public.

(2) Public markets.

(b) The authorization granted under subdivision (a)(1) of this section is contingent upon the prior and continuing availability in Burlington Harbor of 45 transient dock slips which are appropriately marked for convenient access.

(c) The authorization granted under subdivision (a)(1) of this section is contingent upon the availability, in perpetuity, of uninterrupted public access along the shoreline of Lake Champlain from the centerline of Maple Street extending north to the centerline of Main Street within the City of Burlington.

(d) The terms of this act shall be recited in an easement deed from the owner of the privately owned filled land to the State of Vermont and said easement deed shall be recorded in the land records of the City of Burlington.

Sec. 3. LIMITED EFFECT OF ACT

As was the case with Act No. 274 of the Acts of the 1989 Adjourned Session (1990), Act No. 53 of the Acts of the 1991 Session and Act No. 87 of the Acts of the 1995 Adjourned Session (1996), because of the unique nature of these lands and the unique history of the legislature’s involvement with these lands, this act is not intended to address the broader issues related to the public trust doctrine, but to leave open the opportunity for broad legislative discussion of more generalized public trust issues and action that may affect all public trust waters, lands and filled lands.

Sec. 4. REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS

The uses authorized by this act are subject to all applicable requirements of law.

Sec. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

Approved: May 8, 1997