View the complete text of Act 22

ACT NO. 22

Public Trust Doctrine; Burlington Harbor; Public Uses

This act expands the list of public uses approved for certain designated filled lands in Burlington Harbor, consistent with the legislature’s oversight responsibilities under the public trust doctrine. In general, the act approves 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, and declares that these activities are consistent with the public trust doctrine. The act specifically provides that the lands must be utilized consistent with environmental and other 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, public restroom and retail use; and

(2) Public markets.

The act provides that the authorization it contains is contingent upon the prior and continuing availability in Burlington Harbor of 45 transient dock slips which are appropriately marked for convenient access, and also is contingent upon the perpetual availability of uninterrupted public access along the shoreline of the lake from the centerline of Maple Street north to the centerline of Main Street, within the City of Burlington.

The act is intended to be of limited effect and not to address broader issues related to the public trust doctrine.

Effective Date: May 8, 1997