Hermitage, architects come to agreement
WILMINGTON — The Hermitage Club has agreed it will not sell property at Haystack Mountain until all money owed to an architectural group is paid back.
"The Hermitage expects to pay them sometime shortly here," said Bob Fisher, an attorney for the Hermitage Club. "For the meantime, we've agreed that they have the writ of attachment."
The document submitted to the United States District Court for the District of Vermont says the Hermitage Club cannot sell 10 Gatehouse Trail without paying $362,677 to Bull Stockwell Allen Architects. It comes after two charges — breach of contract and violation of the Vermont Prompt Payment Act — were brought against the Hermitage Club.
According to Wilmington Zoning Administrator Craig Ohlson, the 10 Gatehouse Trail address includes the ski area and other land near it. The company also owns a golf course and hotels in the Deerfield Valley.
BSA, mostly based in California, claimed it entered into a contract with the Hermitage Club in March 2015. A year later, a bill was sent out and the due date of April 10 was not met. The group was assisting with the design of a 93-unit hotel planned near the Hermitage Club's private ski resort on Haystack Mountain.
"There's still a very good relationship between the Hermitage and their architects, which is Bull Stockwell Allen," Fisher said.
According to the lawsuit, BSA filed a notice of a mechanics lien with the Dover Town Clerk's Office on June 25 and the Hermitage Club agreed to pay within 30 days. The company failed to pay and did not meet terms within the contract.
An attorney representing BSA said she could not comment on the case when reached Monday.
Issues around permitting have held up some financing, Fisher said. The Hermitage Club had been planning on having approvals in place to build the hotel and other residential units this summer.
The District No. 2 Environmental Commission issued a recess order, pushing hearings back. The company then sold off properties associated with the Act 250 master plan permit. New proposed findings of fact were submitted to the commission last week after the Deerfield Valley Airport and the East Tract were sold to two different groups.
The commission had questions and issues with the airport, where expansion of the runway was planned, and the East Tract, which is a set of villages and land between Haystack and the airport where the company was proposing construction of a new road.
The Hermitage Club had hoped to hear back about the permit last week.
"We're hoping again this week," said Fisher. "Things are moving in the right direction."
Call Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273.
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