DRM Litigator Chris Roy Secures Important Win for Resort Client at Vermont Supreme Court in Act 250 Appeal
On July 24, 2020, the Vermont Supreme Court affirmed a decision of the Vermont Environmental Division in favor of Mountain Top Inn & Resort. Chris Roy represented the Chittenden, Vermont resort throughout the proceedings before both the local district commission, the Environmental Division and the Supreme Court.
Mountain Top operates a short-term rental program through which nearby private homeowners can rent their homes from time to time. In February, 2017, the local Act 250 district coordinator concluded that the private homes were subject to Mountain Top’s Act 250 permit, and the resort needed to obtain an amended Act 250 permit covering the private homes to continue operating this program. The resort appealed this determination to the Environmental Division, and a neighboring homeowner cross-appealed.
On appeal, the Environmental Division ruled in favor of Mountain Top, concluding that Act 250 jurisdiction does not extend to the private homes enrolled in the short-term rental program. The neighbor then appealed the Environmental Division’s decision to the Supreme Court, arguing that the court acted beyond the scope of its jurisdiction when it rendered portions of its decision and incorrectly interpreted the Act 250 rules, and that Mountain Top’s relationship with the nearby homeowners is such that the resort need not amend its Act 250 Permit.
Attorney Roy, with contributions from Alexis Peters, submitted briefs to the Supreme Court on behalf of Mountain Top. On July 24, the Supreme Court concluded that the Environmental Division acted properly and that Mountain Top does not control the nearby homes to the extent that Act 250 jurisdiction was triggered, ruling in favor of the resort on all of the issues before it.