The mission of Responsible Growth Hinesburg is to ensure that new development in Hinesburg is:
- scaled to meet the needs of our town;
- constructed so that waters of Lake Champlain, its tributaries and other natural resources are protected; and
- located so that it complements its surroundings, protects our working landscape
and recreational lands, and
- fosters a sense of community.
Glad you came here for accurate information! 9/10/16.
Five years of protection for natural resources and community
In November 2010 Hannaford Supermarket submitted to the Hinesburg Zoning and Planning Office an application package for a 36,000 square foot store to be located on Lot 15 in Commerce Park. Out of that event was born Responsible Growth Hinesburg (RGH), a group that has worked for almost five years to educate ourselves and the community on diverse subjects such as
Traffic- Evening rush hour would be significantly worse with Hannaford and other proposed developments in place.
Stormwater- Hannaford’s proposed underground chamber offers detention but not treatment of stormwater while requiring huge amounts of fill and 4-5’ retaining walls.
Wetlands- The wetland on Lot 15 currently has the ability to detain AND treat stormwater, delivering clean water to Patrick Brook.
Aesthetics-The Town’s recreational path along the canal, the result of federal, state, and local investment, would be overwhelmed by a large store and accompanying parking in what is now a human-scaled neighborhood.
These issues have broad implications that go far beyond one grocery store, raising questions about safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers in our village, about the importance of open space and recreational opportunities such as the canal walk provides, and perhaps most vital, they raise this question:
How do we ensure that clean water flows into Patrick Brook, the LaPlatte, and Lake Champlain and protect against flooding in big storm events? What part do wetlands play?
The State of Vermont, the EPA, and the Lake Champlain Committee are all concerned about water quality in Lake Champlain. The LaPlatte River, with its headwaters in Hinesburg, flows into Lake Champlain, and Hinesburg’s stormwater regulations directly affect the river. Patrick Brook directly affects the La Platte River. The work of our consultants has convinced us that the Lot 15 wetland plays a key role in mitigating the effects of the big storm events that are becoming more common. Its bowl shape, its wetland vegetation, its connection to the wetland area next to Patrick Brook all make it important.
It has become clear to RGH that local regulations are not sufficient to ensure that future development in the Village Growth area will be beneficial to the Town and its environment. Therefore, members continue to actively participate in planning meetings and in application review hearings for proposed large-scale projects to ensure that they, as well, serve the present and future needs of the town.
While RGH has broader concerns than just the proposed supermarket, our current focus is on challenging the Hannaford proposal in Environmental Court beginning November 30, 2015. To do this, we need to raise funds to pay our expert consultants and our talented and generous attorney. Since 2011, we have raised over $200,000 through grants, fundraising and community-building events, and the generosity of almost 200 individuals. You can contribute in two ways:
Checks made payable to Preservation Trust of Vermont, with memo indicating RGH. Give to your contact RGH member or mail to Preservation Trust, 104 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401.
On-line at www.ptvermont.org; click the donate box and choose Responsible Growth Hinesburg.
2015 finally brought all eight (now seven) pending appeals to Superior Court, Environmental Division. Expert testimony was filed in advance and each expert appeared in court for questions from the judge and for cross examination. See article in VTDigger here VTDigger article on Wetlands, Hannaford and Hinesburg. Attorneys have filed post-trial motions and the judge is considering the case. Decision expected in the first half of 2016.