Conservation Commission approves Quassy application


The Middlebury Conservation Commission (CC) at its Oct. 28 meeting approved a Quassy Amusement Park application for site changes and additions. Commissioners then participated in a workshop on their legal duties and permissible actions while serving on the board.

Quassy Amusement Park’s application to add a new snack bar 68 feet from the water’s edge with an observation deck above it, a candy shop replacing the deteriorating redemption center, two new water slides, and a new maintenance building was unanimously approved with the stipulation a historic boulder on the beach not be moved and a natural drainage ditch be improved with a plunge pool to slow down storm water.

Attorney Michael McVerry reviewed the plans, pointing out the construction was not in wetlands, but some of it is in setback areas. Curt Smith of Smith and Company said most of the work was in areas already disturbed by prior construction, but agreed to list a new construction sequence in the plans.

Commissioners then participated in a 90-minute workshop on the legal responsibilities of members. Attorney Gail E. McTaggart, special counsel to the town of Middlebury, led the workshop. She distributed a 16-page handout and walked members through topics including site visits, requirements for notices, ex-parte communications, conflicts of interest, expert testimony, jurisdiction and the use of personal knowledge.

McTaggart stressed members need to avoid anything causing even the appearance of prejudice or unfairness, but should not be intimidated into recusing themselves if no conflict exists and they can fulfill their responsibilities. Chairman Vincent Lorusso noted the commission had no alternate positions and was down one member, making it difficult to achieve a quorum in some situations.

In procedural matters, the 2015 meeting date was kept at the last Tuesday of the month with no December meeting. The next regular CC meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 26 at Shepardson Community Center.




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