Burton Snowboards is one step closer to upgrading its Headquarters. Seven Days Vermont reports that a ruling from Vermont Superior Court Judge Mary Miles Teachout will allow Burton to rezone part of its facility for a variety of purposes, in spite of opposition from local residents.
Back in 2019, Burton Snowboards announced its plans to redevelop part of its headquarters in Burlington, Vermont as a community hub. Around 20,000 square feet of unused space will be used for an indoor skatepark, restaurants, a taproom, and a concert venue. This was approved by the City of Burlington in 2020 and the State of Vermont in 2022.
Currently, Higher Ground is situated in South Burlington, Vermont. With an aging space, Higher Ground has been searching for a new space for over two decades. The current venue can fit around 1050 people in two performance spaces, with this new space fitting around 1500 people.
According to Burton, the headquarters currently has the flagship store, “Craig’s Prototype Facility, Warranty Center, snowboard museum, company archive, dealer showroom, photo studio, and the Chill Foundation.”
Local residents weren’t pleased by these plans though. The people that live around Burton’s HQ are concerned about the rise in noise and traffic. One of the key points that Judge Teachout pointed out was a Burton-hired engineer found that the noise from the new venue won’t exceed the existing noise in the area by “more than one [decibel].” The flaw of this study though was that it assumed that everyone would park at the headquarters, and not on the adjacent side streets where people live.
Justin Worthley, Burton’s senior vice president of people and culture, and Higher Ground co-owner Alex Crothers released the following statement following Judge Teachout’s ruling:
“The decision reaffirms that the project has been thoroughly evaluated and sufficiently addresses concerns raised by a small group of opponents… Higher Ground and Burton look forward to bringing the incredible benefits of this project to the South End Arts community as well as the great Northern Vermont region.”
The local residents weren’t digging into the decision. Here’s what Jim Dumont, the attorney representing Citizens for Responsible Zoning, said to Seven Days Vermont:
“My clients thank Judge Teachout for the patience and the dignity with which she conducted the trial, but we respectfully disagree with her analysis of the law and the facts.”
There are certain things that Teachout is forcing Burton and Higher Ground to do. First off, she ordered Higher Ground to put in signage directing guests to the parking lot and have traffic control for peak nights. Secondly, Higher Ground will need to work with Burlington and South Burlington officials to make sure cars don’t go park in the residential neighborhoods. Third, Burton will need to install permanent sound monitors and make adjustments if it exceeds their predictions. Lastly, she reiterated the requirement in Vermont’s permit which will have Burton install a variety of soundproofing barriers in the building.
Attorney Dumont said that they’re considering filing an appeal to Vermont Supreme Court. Will the NIMBYs or Burton Snowboards win this one? We’ll find out eventually.
Image Credits: Burton Snowboards