• A change for recreation lands?
    October 02,2013

    A change for recreation lands?

    Do you bike or hike on the trails at the Norwich University Shaw Outdoor Recreation Center in Northfield? The old ski hill in Northfield and a 9 acre surrounding area are slated to be zoned urban residential rather than recreation per a vote of Northfield’s Planning Commission.

    There will be a public hearing on the issue at the Brown Public Library Community Room in Northfield on Thursday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m.

    The commission recently voted to amend the zoning bylaw by rezoning that portion of the Norwich University parcel currently zoned recreation by drawing a line from the eastern tip of Richard Olson’s property northeasterly to the southeast corner of the urban residential zone and assigning the area to the west of that line to the urban residential district consistent with the zoning district of the adjacent properties. The motion passed 4-0.

    E.F. Wall approached the town in May with a site plan for a 10,000-square-foot medical office building with parking for 52 cars to house Dr. Craig Sullivan’s practice and a Central Vermont Medical Center physical rehabilitation practice. The land would be leased by the owner, Norwich University. The proposed building would sit at the base of the trails, in the old ski hill area.

    E.F. Wall withdrew its application in early summer but will most certainly be resubmitting it once the zoning has been changed.

    On the one hand the town wants the tax dollars this project would bring. On the other hand this small parcel, in its current use, is a tremendous benefit to the town. This change would open the door to further development at this parcel. There are changes afoot to the zoning of the other recreation areas in town.

    Hope to see a good turnout so that a healthy debate can happen.

    Lise Ewald


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