Vermont Business Magazine Jesse F (Sam) Sammis III, developer of the Green Mountain Center in Randolph, announced late Wednesday afternoon that he was dropping his plans for a mixed-use development in Randolph. Sammis has moved to withdraw his April 12, 2015, request for Partial Review under Act 250 Rule 21 (for Criteria 9(B) Primary Agricultural Soils and 10 Conformance with Local or Regional Plan) and requested that District Commission #3 dismiss his request for Partial Review. The development at Exit 4 on Interstate 89, would have brought a tourist and business promotion center, hotel, commercial and residential development to both sides of the exit. Currently there is a fast-food restaurant and service station at the exit. Sammis has endeavored to develop the site since he bought in in the 1970s. He has developed some properties along Route 66 into Randolph and redeveloped some commercial buildings in the town itself. But the Exit 4 property has been an elusive project to get approved, despite support from Governor Shumlin for the tourist and business showcase. The biggest obstacle has been opposition from the Conservation Law Foundation over prime agricultural soils at Exit 4.
Sammis said, “I very much appreciate all of the time, effort and expertise that the Commission put into our request for partial findings in this matter, the support of many in Randolph and throughout Vermont for our project, as well as the constructive discussions we have had with the Conservation Law Foundation, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, and the Preservation Trust of Vermont over the past 90 days. I remain fully committed to a project at Exit 4 that will best serve the Town of Randolph, local business and agricultural interests, and my family. We will now take what we have learned from all of the stakeholders and continue those discussions as we decide how to best move forward.”
Husband and wife team Jinny and Sam Sammis in their Randolph home. VBM photo
On April 12, 2015 Sammis filed an application with Act 250 District Commission #3 requesting Partial Review, under Act 250 Rule 21, for Criteria 9(B) Primary Agricultural Soils and 10 Conformance with Local or Regional Plan for the proposed Green Mountain Center Project, a mixed use project totaling 1,150,000 square feet located on 172 acres at the northwest and southwest quadrants of Exit 4, Interstate 89. When completed, the Green Mountain Center would consist of approximately 274 residential units, 280,000 square feet of office space, 236,000 square feet of light manufacturing space, a Visitor Center (5,000 square feet) and Vermont Products Showcase Center (40,000 square feet) totaling 45,000 square feet, a Fitness and Recreation Center totaling 10,000 square feet, 25,000 square feet of accessory retail and a 180-room Hotel and Conference Center.
Act 250 Rule 21 Master Plan and Partial Review allows an applicant, upon notice and approval of a District Commission, to offer evidence in support of or have the project reviewed with respect to any issue under the criteria or sub-criteria of Act 250 in any sequence approved by the District Commission prior to the applicant’s filing of a complete application for the proposed project.