To all those up in arms over Scott Milne’s planned development near Exit 1, or Jesse Sammis’ soon-to-be-downsized proposal at Exit 4, how about this one?
A wealthy Mormon developer is buying land in four towns near the Joseph Smith Memorial in hopes of building a planned community there inspired in part by the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
That’s from the Valley News, which would be Vermont’s best daily newspaper if only it was headquartered in Vermont. After it published a story a few days ago, it was picked up by ol’ buddy BP at Green Mountain Daily. Since then, it’s begun to ripple outwards — as it should. This is a Big Biden Deal.
David Hall has already bought some 900 acores in Royalton, Sharon, Strafford and Tunbridge. His goal is to build a massive development housing “as many as 20,000 people within a few square miles.”
Geesh, talk about changing the Vermont landscape. If fully populated, his hypothetical Mormontown would be the third-largest community in Vermont. Not that we have to panic just yet; he’s looking 30-50 years down the road.
But still. His NewVista Foundation has already invested more than three and a half million dollars in land purchases, and “has about $100 million at its disposal.” That’s enough to carry out the plan, for sure.
If this were to come to pass, it would completely change the character of what is now a largely rural area nestled in the crook of I-89. It would probably lead to continuous development from this area to the Upper Valley. Scott Milne’s plan is dwarfed by comparison.