In Re Appeal Of Stratton Corp.

600 A.2d 297 (Vt. 1991)


Uptegrove and the Stratton Area Citizens Committee filed a petition with D, seeking reclassification of Kidder Brook, an upland stream located in the towns of Jamaica and Stratton. P owned property along Kidder Brook. P had long-term plans for development and to that end held six land use permits. D initiated rulemaking proceedings, and D published a proposed rule to reclassify the brook. D held a public hearing and set a deadline for public comment. P asserted that the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution required D to conduct formal, trial-like proceedings rather than an informal rulemaking procedure. P based this assertion on property rights in the land adjoining the brook and its plans for future development of the area. D rejected P's due process argument and proceeded to hear testimony. D extended the public comment period to July 20th to allow P time to file additional written materials. P presented approximately 125 pages of written testimony and supporting materials. P owned property on both sides of Kidder Brook and held six Act 250 land use permits involving these properties. P claimed that if the reclassification were allowed its permits would be subject to revocation or modification. P was about to request an Act 250 permit to construct 498 homes and an 18-hole golf course in the area. These plans could be significantly affected or prevented by the reclassification. D voted unanimously to proceed with adoption of the proposed rule to reclassify. D addressed P's issues and found P's concerns as speculative. P appealed alleging that D's actions were arbitrary, unreasonable, and 'contrary to law.' P's only claim on appeal was that D should have conducted 'a trial-type hearing to adjudicate disputed facts' raised by the petition. The court dismissed P's appeal. P appealed.