Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Helipad Decision on Hold Until May SB Meeting

The Cavendish Selectboard will decide at their regularly scheduled May meeting whether the town will take action against pending litigation from David Coutu, the second homeowner who was denied permission to construct a private helicopter landing site on his property off of Heald Rd. in Proctorsville.

According to the article in the April 24 Eagle Times, town manager Rich Svec was quoted as saying, “What the Selectboard did was, it was contemplating the applicant’s petition for getting town approval for a helicopter landing pad, with town apparently a requisite for the application process with the [transportation board. In the statute, there’s no guideline as to exactly how that approval is to come. Without that approval, they considered his application incomplete.”

Coutu has continually stated that the town has no say in the helipad, since the town has no zoning. The suit Coutu filed in October, against the town, selectmen and town manager, was done after the Vermont Supreme Court instructed the transportation board to hold a public hearing and make a ruling on Coutu’s application. The Transportation Board’s decision on Nov.4, 2011 currently denies the helipad because the application was incomplete. However, they also approved it contingent on Coutu either obtaining permission from Cavendish or a final court order ruling that the town lacks the legal authority to approve such a facility. According to the Transportation Board’s decision, “The Supreme Court has held in this matter that an appeal from the town’s decision disapproving the proposed helipad was Mr. Coutu’s exclusive remedy. Although Coutu argues at length the town did not have legal authority to disapprove his application, the board believes he now asks the board to act beyond its authority by reviewing the merits of a municipal action. The board cannot and will no do so.”

The select board will discuss the continuing litigation at their May 14 meeting.

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