VP: More time needed for Hermitage Club master plan


DOVER -- The Hermitage Club's attorney Bob Fisher said the group wanted to have a master plan submitted for Act 250 review by the week of Aug. 11

Now, it looks as though it will take a little longer to get everything together.

"We hoped to get it in by July 31 but there's so much to it. We need to spend more time on it," Hermitage Club Vice President of Construction and Development Bob Rubin said. "That's a big job and a big task. We wanted to make sure, when we finally get everything submitted, we have it just as we want it."

He noted that the July and August dates were only internal goals and no construction or plans were behind schedule.

The master plan is set to include information pertaining to the ski resort on Haystack Mountain, the golf course and inn in Wilmington as well as the Deerfield Valley Airport in Dover. It will contain studies and reports that require expert consultation.

Once it is filed, Rubin said Windham Regional Commission as well as other town boards and commissions will receive a copy of the plan and that it will start a whole new round of meetings.

Fisher had mentioned he and others were involved in writing different sections of the Act 250 application that would be sent into the state. He also said the master plan could be considered "the aerial view" and having one would assist with streamlining future projects.

For Rubin, the master plan is a snapshot in time of where the Hermitage Club is in terms of its various projects. Construction permits will later be sought for projects outlined in the master plan.

"Essentially, ANR (Agency of Natural Resources) understands the total scope of the project," said Rubin, referring to streamlining projects with the state. "When you come back to file, they've done much of their review."

He estimates the master plan will be filed closer to Oct. 1 and said its filing will not affect any of the construction that has already been permitted. The new base lodge currently under construction is on schedule and coming in on budget.

The Wilmington Planning Commission was asked for a letter stating whether the master plan was in conformance with its Town Plan. A letter dated on Aug. 12 was sent to the law offices of Fisher explaining there was not enough time or information.

"We defer any formal comment on Town Plan conformity until time of the hearing," the letter stated, citing the scope of changes, the unresolved regulatory questions and the extensive nature of the Town Plan as reasons.

The commission was kept in the loop through various stages of Hermitage Club planning. Fisher showed updated maps to the commission on Aug. 4 and explained some upcoming projects.

An agreement with the Hermitage Club involving the possible purchase of new fire equipment was another matter. It was not signed at the last Wilmington Selectboard meeting. Although the agreement was on the agenda, board members did not feel they were ready to sign it yet.

Town Manager Scott Murphy was not in attendance nor were others who have been involved in discussions that led to a draft of the agreement, such as Fire Chief Ken March and Rubin. Murphy said he planned on scheduling a meeting between the board and the Hermitage Club at some point.

An agreement with the West Dover Fire Department having to do with water supply is another part of the Hermitage Club's plans. The group also agreed to fund training services for both Wilmington and West Dover fire departments.

A sub-committee was made up of Fire Chief Rich Werner, Town Administrator Carlo Pilgrim and Selectboard Vice Chairwoman Victoria Capitani. With Rubin, the sub-committee discussed plans for the runway extension, 10 additional units at the Hermitage Inn and four single family homes at the inn. All of those projects will be part of the master plan and are located in Dover.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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