Mayor’s Office

Statement from Mayor Miro Weinberger on City Hall Park Construction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2019
Contact: Olivia LaVecchia
                (802) 734-0617

Statement from Mayor Miro Weinberger on City Hall Park Construction

 

Burlington, VT –  Earlier today, Judge Helen Toor denied for the second time a motion for a preliminary injunction to halt work in City Hall Park, which was filed by a group of individuals that has repeatedly sought to block the planned revitalization of the park. In her ruling, the judge wrote, "The court has already ruled that the replacement of older trees with younger ones, and the plaintiffs' sadness at seeing the changes in the park, do not meet the legal definition of irreparable harm." While this ruling does not fully resolve all remaining City Hall Park litigation, the City expects to prevail again in those proceedings. This ruling does allow the City to proceed with construction of the City Hall Park improvement project. 

Additionally, contrary to the plaintiffs' claims, the project's permit is valid. The project permit states that "work or action authorized by the permit" must commence by March 22, 2019, and indeed, the City has been actively engaged in work to advance the project.  Further, contaminated soils in the park required a Corrective Action Plan, which was approved on May 27, resetting the permit clock.

"Even before I was Mayor, citizens and the City have been working to create a plan that will revitalize City Hall Park and make it much greener, more accessible, and better suited to its use in our downtown than it is today," said Mayor Miro Weinberger. "It is exciting that after years of work, we are underway on a project that will do just that. At the same time, it is unfortunate that there is a group that continues to spread misinformation about the project and seeks to block it at every turn, even after the City went to great lengths and made substantial project changes to address the group's concerns. I hope that we can now move past this latest dispute and focus on reinvigorating Burlington's core public space and the park that is both the geographic and symbolic heart of our City."
 

About the City Hall Park Improvement Project

The City Hall Park improvement project is designed to reinvigorate this vital public space in the heart of Burlington’s downtown. When work is complete, City Hall Park will be home to 48 healthy trees with room to grow (compared with 51 trees today, more than half of which are in declining health), more than 1,500 new perennials and grasses, two new rain gardens to mitigate stormwater runoff and soil erosion, pervious pavers that help increase accessibility and focus foot traffic away from lawns, realigned park paths that allow for greater accessibility and healthier trees, better accommodations for the Farmers Market on busy summer Saturdays, a multi-functional fountain, new public art, and double the amount of seating within the park. This project is the culmination of a revitalization effort that began with more than 500 Burlingtonians participating in the Imagine City Hall Park planning process in 2011, and continuing through more than 20 public meetings that spanned 2016-2018. For a full history and more information about the project plans, see: enjoyburlington.com/city-hall-park-improvements

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Press Release Date: 
07/11/2019
City Department: 
Mayor's Office