On February 1, 2010 VNRC filed a Motion to Alter the January 20, 2010 Environmental Court decision on the consolidated appeals related to the St Albans Wal-Mart.
The Motion to Alter was filed with Environmental Court.
VNRC filed the Motion on behalf of VNRC, Northwest Citizens for Responsible Growth, Marie Frey and Richard Hudak (owners of Hudak Farm.)
We believe there are several factual errors in the decision that led to faulty conclusions about the impact on Hudak Farm.
The finding that the Hudak Farm is located only in Swanton is in error. In fact, the Hudak Farm is located in St Albans Town (69 acres) and Swanton (89 acres)
The finding that the Hudak Farm and the proposed Wal-Mart are separated by Stevens Brook is in error. In fact, Hudak Farm is not entirely separated from the project by Stevens Brook..
The finding that the Hudak Farm is located in a different municipal zoning district is in error. In fact, part of the Hudak Farm and part of the proposed Wal-Mart lie in the same Commercial zoning district.
The Court erred in finding that no agricultural operations are adjacent to or are likely to be adversely impacted by the proposed project. The Court’s intermingling of the terms “adjoining” (touching or bordering) and “adjacent” (not distant or nearby) is inaccurate and appears to be a factor that contributes to the Court’s errant conclusion that the applicant Wal-Mart need not focus on the compatibility of the proposed Wal-Mart with the Hudak Farm. The Town of St Albans Subdivision Bylaws require that an applicant prove that a project is compatible with adjacent uses – especially agriculture. The applicant did not analyze the compatibility of the proposed Wal-Mart with the adjacent Hudak Farm. The applicant has the burden of proof to satisfy the town bylaws.
Regardless of any other issue, the fate of the Hudak Farm is likely at stake.
The Environmental Court must get the record straight on the impacts on Hudak Farm.