Commission backs Killington project
Due to recent articles and letters to the editor, it is important to clarify for the public the Rutland Regional Planning Commission position regarding the Killington Village Plan.
As vice chairman, I can state with certainty that the RRPC’s priority for the region is responsible and effective economic growth. We fully support economic development in the Rutland region in all its forms, and have strongly supported the Killington Village Plan. This project represents a very large commitment to Killington and is a significant and critical investment in the future of our region. Throughout our state-mandated review process the commission has unanimously endorsed this project and the benefits it promises.
It is the commission’s legal obligation to review projects and to comment in order to insure that the goals of the region and towns are fully addressed. This is especially true for projects with regional and statewide impact — even when these impacts are enormously positive.
The Rutland Regional Planning Commission is not a “roadblock” in this process. We serve to inform the public and assist developers in traversing what is often a highly complex and difficult path toward approval. The commission is composed of committed volunteer officials from every municipality in the region. We seek to serve the public interest to the very highest standards. The commission continues to be highly supportive of the Killington project and wants it to move forward as quickly as it can, in a way that benefits all Vermonters.
Killington/Pico is the finest ski resort in the East and the addition of a project like the Killington Village will make it even more attractive for skiers and winter enthusiasts from around the world.
We are deeply saddened that despite this commission’s efforts to recommend highly favorable conditions and opportunities for the developer, SP Land continues to represent that it feels blindsided. The commission and its staff have worked with SP Land over many months in an effort to provide the desired support and framework for a successful review and approvals. We have attempted to make every appropriate accommodation.
We understand that SP Land and its affiliate E2M (www.e2mpartners.com/) remain concerned about a sentence in our letter that simply states workforce housing needs to be considered when dealing with such a large project. Our letter does not require the building of workforce housing. There are many ways to accommodate the opportunity for housing that this project presents, from innovative design within the project, to provision of housing from the existing underutilized housing stock in the town of Killington and surrounding areas. Our letter is simply an observation of a very real circumstance related to this project.
Housing is one of many legitimate concerns for our region. It is simply disingenuous for SP Land to behave as if they haven’t already considered the amount of housing necessary for the workers for this project. In fact, the prior owners of this project offered substantial contributions toward addressing the need for housing to mitigate these impacts. The commission letter simply pointed out the obvious.
We all agree — this is a great project for the Rutland region and want it to move forward to great success. The Rutland Regional Planning Commission letter submitted to the Environmental Commission, if incorporated into the final order, clears the path for SP Land to move forward. A successful Killington can only benefit the Rutland region and the state of Vermont.
I will state it as clearly as possible: I support the Killington project and want it to move forward.
WILLIAM TRACY CARRIS