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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.77

Introduced by Representative Deen of Westminster

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Conservation; Act 250; easement holders on adjoining property

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to amend the Act 250 definition of “adjoining property owner” to include people who hold easements on adjoining property, thereby possibly according them party status.  The bill also amends the planning and zoning chapter to require that notice of a permit application be provided to holders of easements on adjoining property.

AN ACT RELATING TO GIVING CERTAIN EASEMENT HOLDERS NOTICE OF DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS UNDER ACT 250 AND THE PLANNING AND ZONING CHAPTER

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

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. § 6001(23) is amended to read:

(23)  "Adjoining property owner" or “adjoining landowner” means:

(A)  a person who owns land in fee simple, if that land:

(A)(i)  shares a property boundary with a tract of land where a proposed or actual development or subdivision is located; or

(B)(ii)  is adjacent to a tract of land where a proposed or actual development or subdivision is located and the two properties are separated only by a river, stream, or public highway; or

(B)  a person who owns an easement to land specified in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (23).

Sec. 2.  24 V.S.A. § 4464(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Notice procedures.  All development review applications before an appropriate municipal panel under procedures set forth in this chapter shall require notice as follows.

(1)  A warned public hearing shall be required for conditional use review, variances, administrative officer appeals, and final plat review for subdivisions.  Any public notice for a warned public hearing shall be given not less than 15 days prior to the date of the public hearing by all the following:

* * *

(C)  Written notification to the applicant and to owners of all properties adjoining the property subject to development, without regard to any public right-of-way, as well as to all holders of easements on those properties. The notification shall include a description of the proposed project and shall be accompanied by information that clearly informs the recipient where additional information may be obtained, and that participation in the local proceeding is a prerequisite to the right to take any subsequent appeal.

(2)  Public notice for hearings on all other types of development review, including site plan review, shall be given not less than seven days prior to the date of the public hearing, and shall include at a minimum all the following:

(A)  Posting of the date, place, and purpose of the hearing in three or more public places within the municipality in conformance with the time and location requirements of 1 V.S.A. § 312(c)(2).

(B)  Written notification to the applicant and to the owners of all properties adjoining the property subject to development, without regard to right-of-way, as well as to all holders of easements on those properties.  The notification shall include a description of the proposed project and shall be accompanied by information that clearly informs the recipient where additional information may be obtained, and that participation in the local proceeding is a prerequisite to the right to take any subsequent appeal.

(3)  The applicant may be required to bear the cost of the public warning and the cost and responsibility of notification of adjoining landowners, as well as to all holders of easements on those properties.  The applicant may be required to demonstrate proof of delivery to adjoining landowners and holders of easements on those lands, either by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by written notice hand delivered or mailed to the last known address supported by a sworn certificate of service.

(4)  The bylaw may also require public notice through other effective means such as a notice board on a municipal website.

(5)  No defect in the form or substance of any requirements in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection shall invalidate the action of the appropriate municipal panel where reasonable efforts are made to provide adequate posting and notice.  However, the action shall be invalid when the defective posting or notice was materially misleading in content.  If an action is ruled to be invalid by the environmental court or by the applicable municipal panel itself, the action shall be remanded to the applicable municipal panel to provide new posting and notice, hold a new hearing, and take a new action.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us