Legal settlement clears way for construction of Waterfront Access North project
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced a legal settlement that resolves the last barrier to construction of the Waterfront Access North project. The project will renovate and relocate the bike path north of Waterfront Park, construct a new world-class skatepark, extend Lake Street, add street trees, landscaping, and parking, install a low-impact development (LID) storm water system, and remediate contaminated soils in the area. The legal settlement, approved last week by the Vermont Superior Court Environmental Division, involves the City of Burlington, the Vermont Natural Resources Board Land Use Panel, and Alison Lockwood, a resident of Lake Street. The settlement provides that an Act 250 permit is not necessary for the project making the project “shovel ready.”
“This settlement is good news for the City’s residents and visitors who enjoy Burlington’s waterfront area and comes at the right time for shovels to hit the ground during next year’s construction season,” said Weinberger. “Our next step is for Burlington voters to approve the remaining project funding by voting yes on the two November 6th ballot items that will help to fund this waterfront project.”
The Waterfront Access North project consists of the following:
- Improving and expanding Lake Street north to the southern boundary of the Urban Reserve with sidewalks, new road surface, street lighting, trees, and undergrounding of overhead utilities;
- Realigning and expanding the Bike Path from Penny Lane to the southern boundary of the Urban Reserve;
- Consolidating parking into a lot east of the Water Department and Burlington Electric Department (BED) buildings containing approximately 75 spaces;
- Establishing additional parking up the length of Lake Street from Penny Lane to the boundary of the Urban Reserve;
- Upgrading existing parking in the Fishing Pier parking lot west of the Water Department and BED buildings;
- Installing an innovative LID storm water system to protect Lake Champlain;
- Remediating a known Brownfield; and
- Relocating and building a new skatepark at a location northwest of its current location.
The City Council approved two ballot items for the November 6th election that would help fund the construction of the Waterfront Access North Project. One ballot item seeks voter approval for $6,050,000 of general obligation bonds or notes for improvements that serve the Waterfront Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District. Another ballot item seeks voter approval for the creation of a Bike Path Improvement and Maintenance Fund, along with a ½ penny property tax increase dedicated to the new fund.
“The Waterfront TIF bond and bike path improvement fund, along with a highly competitive $3.1 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) round out the funding for the Waterfront Access North project,” said CEDO Director Peter Owens. “With voter approval on November 6th, the City will be ready to bring long-awaited recreational and environmental improvements to Burlington’s waterfront area.”
Source: Mayor's office. 9.27.2012