Park and ride plans moving forward?

May 8th, 2014

By Stephanie Choate
Observer staff

Williston may soon move one step forward in its long journey toward gaining a park and ride.
The town’s planning office recently received a discretionary permit application for a subdivision involving a park and ride near Exit 12 off Interstate 89, according to Planning and Zoning Director Ken Belliveau.
The conceptual plans for the park and ride, developed by VTrans engineers, include 144 spaces and a shelter.
“This is something that’s been identified as a high priority transportation improvement for the town,” Belliveau said. “We’d really like to see this facility get built. The sooner it’s built, the better I think it would be for the town and really the whole system.”
Close to 20 years ago, VTrans identified a location off Vermont Route 2A near Hurricane Lane as suitable for a park and ride, though several factors delayed construction. Approximately 7 years ago, the town signed off on two proposals for state-funded park and rides, one just south of the interstate and one closer to Taft Corners.
“There have been been a lot of moving parts and trying to get all these parts organized and coordinated has been a challenge,” VTrans Project Supervisor Wayne Davis said.
The plans are set to come before the Development Review Board for a discretionary permit review on May 13. The board will look into the details of site development and must approve the plans. The property owner then has one year to file final plans, which must include any revisions required by the DRB.
Maine-based developer Raymond Ramsey, who owns the lot, came before the Development Review Board in March of 2013 with a conceptual plan to subdivide the property to accommodate a hotel, gas station and park and ride.
The park and ride would also require approval of an Act 250 permit from the State of Vermont Natural Resources Board.
Once Ramsey and the town finalize a subdivision, Vtrans would acquire the land for a park and ride either through a sale or lease, Davis said. The plan would still need to go through Act 250 permitting, which can sometimes take a year.