Preserving Downtown Bennington

In 2013, VNRC – in partnership with Citizens for a Greater Bennington (CFGB) entered into a successful settlement agreement to help buffer the impact of the expansion of a Walmart store that was expected to have a negative impact on downtown Bennington (A regional economic impact analysis demonstrated that as many as 10%-15% of the downtown businesses might have been adversely affected).

After a protracted legal battle, the settlement we reached with CFGB and the developer, BLS Bennington provides economic support and grant money to maintain the viability of downtown Bennington. The settlement also provides funding to support projects to maintain, enhance or restore the Walloomsac River watershed.

This victory could not have happened without an earlier one: In 2011, VNRC appealed a decision of the District Environmental Commission that denied VNRC and CFGB the right to participate as full parties in the Act 250 process. We prevailed when the Vermont Environmental Court overturned the DEC decision, setting important legal precedent on the right of parties to participate in Act 250.

“The efforts of VNRC over the past few years to bring everyone together and design a constructive solution should be celebrated as an example of how future development should move forward in Vermont,” said John Shannahan, a member of the Citizens for a Greater Bennington. “The knowledge and experience they brought to the table regarding local concerns played a pivotal role in ensuring that the development occurs in a manner that benefits both the developer and the entire community,” Shannahan added.

Our Victories

Girl drinking water

Removing Lead Fixtures from Schools

State house in fall with people on lawn

Furthering Environmental Justice

Advancing the Global Warming Solutions Act

Removing Derelict Dams

Supporting and Strengthening Act 250

VNRC has been very effective in creating change in this area.

Fighting PFAS and Toxic Contamination

Protecting the Land and Views at Exit 4

Guiding Municipalities to Implement Act 171

Forming and Supporting Energy Committees

Protecting the LaPlatte River Marsh Wetlands

Ensuring Clean Streams at Jay Peak

Promoting Statewide Dam Safety

Convening the Forest Roundtable

Creating Statewide Precedent on Biomass Electricity

Protecting Black Bear Habitat at Parker’s Gore

Securing Clean Water Funding

Maintaining Current Use

Banning Billboards

Declaring Groundwater as a Public Trust