§6085. Hearings; party status

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/10/151/06085
Published: 2015

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The Vermont Statutes Online



Title

10

:
Conservation and Development






Chapter

151

:
STATE LAND USE AND DEVELOPMENT PLANS






Subchapter

004
:
PERMITS










 

§

6085. Hearings; party status

(a), (b) [Repealed.]

(c)(1) Party

status. In proceedings before the District Commissions, the following persons

shall be entitled to party status:

(A) The

applicant;

(B) The

landowner, if the applicant is not the landowner;

(C) The

municipality in which the project site is located, and the municipal and

regional planning commissions for that municipality; if the project site is

located on a boundary, any Vermont municipality adjacent to that border and the

municipal and regional planning commissions for that municipality; and the

solid waste management district in which the land is located, if the

development or subdivision constitutes a facility pursuant to subdivision

6602(10) of this title;

(D) Any State

agency affected by the proposed project;

(E) Any

adjoining property owner or other person who has a particularized interest

protected by this chapter that may be affected by an act or decision by a

District Commission.

(2) Content of

Petitions. All persons seeking to participate in proceedings before the

District Commission as parties pursuant to subdivision (c)(1)(E) of this

section must petition for party status. Any petition for party status may be

made orally or in writing to the District Commission. All petitions must include:

(A) A detailed

statement of the petitioner's interest under the relevant criteria of the

proceeding, including, if known, whether the petitioner's position is in

support of or in opposition to the relief sought by the permit applicant, or

petitioner.

(B) In the case

of an organization, a description of the organization, its purposes, and the

nature of its membership.

(C) A statement

of the reasons the petitioner believes the District Commission should allow the

petitioner party status in the pending proceeding.

(D) In the case

of a person seeking party status under subdivision (c)(1)(E) of this section:

(i) If

applicable, a description of the location of the petitioner's property in

relation to the proposed project, including a map, if available;

(ii) A

description of the potential effect of the proposed project upon the

petitioner's interest with respect to each of the relevant criteria or

subcriteria under which party status is being requested.

(3) Timeliness.

A petition for party status pursuant to subdivision (c)(1)(E) of this section

must be made at or prior to an initial prehearing conference held pursuant to

Board rule or at the commencement of the hearing, whichever shall occur first,

unless the District Commission directs otherwise. The District Commission may

grant an untimely petition if it finds that the petitioner has demonstrated

good cause for failure to request party status in a timely fashion, and that

the late appearance will not unfairly delay the proceedings or place an unfair

burden on the parties.

(4) Conditions.

Where a person has been granted party status pursuant to subdivision (c)(1)(E)

of this section, the District Commission shall restrict the person's

participation to only those issues in which the person has demonstrated an interest,

and may encourage the person to join with other persons with respect to

representation, presentation of evidence, or other matters in the interest of

promoting judicial efficiency.

(5) Friends of

the Commission. The District Commission, on its own motion or by petition, may

allow nonparties to participate in any of its proceedings, without being

accorded party status. Participation may be limited to the filing of memoranda,

proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, and argument on legal issues.

However, if approved by the District Commission, participation may be expanded

to include the provision of testimony, the filing of evidence, or the cross

examination of witnesses. A petition for leave to participate as a friend of

the Commission shall identify the interest of the petitioner and the desired

scope of participation and shall state the reasons why the participation of the

petitioner will be beneficial to the District Commission. Except where all

parties consent or as otherwise ordered by the District Commission or by the

Chair of the District Commission, all friends of the Commission shall file

their memoranda, testimony, or evidence within the times allowed the parties.

(6)

Re-examination of party status. A District Commission shall re-examine party

status determinations before the close of hearings and state the results of

that re-examination in the District Commission decision. In the re-examination

of party status coming before the close of District Commission hearings,

persons having attained party status up to that point in the proceedings shall

be presumed to retain party status. However, on motion of a party, or on its

own motion, a Commission shall consider the extent to which parties continue to

qualify for party status. Determinations made before the close of District

Commission hearings shall supersede any preliminary determinations of party

status.

(d) If no

hearing has been requested or ordered within the prescribed period no hearing

need be held by the District Commission. In such an event a permit shall be

granted or denied within 60 days of receipt; otherwise, it shall be deemed

approved and a permit shall be issued.

(e) The Natural

Resources Board and any District Commission, acting through one or more duly

authorized representatives at any prehearing conference or at any other times

deemed appropriate by the Natural Resources Board or by the district

commission, shall promote expeditious, informal, and nonadversarial resolution

of issues, require the timely exchange of information concerning the

application, and encourage participants to settle differences. No District

Commissioner who is participating as a decisionmaker in a particular case may

act as a duly authorized representative for the purposes of this subsection. These

efforts at dispute resolution shall not affect the burden of proof on issues

before a Commission or the Environmental Division, nor shall they affect the

requirement that a permit may be issued only after the issuance of affirmative

findings under the criteria established in section 6086 of this title.

(f) A hearing

shall not be closed until a Commission provides an opportunity to all parties

to respond to the last permit or evidence submitted. Once a hearing has been

closed, a Commission shall conclude deliberations as soon as is reasonably

practicable. A decision of a Commission shall be issued within 20 days of the

completion of deliberations. (Added 1969, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 10, 11, eff.

April 4, 1970; amended 1973, No. 85, § 9; 1989, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 3;

1993, No. 82, § 4; 1993, No. 232 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 30, 31, eff. March 15, 1995;

2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 55, eff. Jan. 31, 2005; 2009, No. 154 (Adj.

Sess.), § 236; 2013, No. 11, § 25.)
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