By Mara Brooks, Contributor

Proposed Spear Street education center can go forward, board decides.

In one of its final acts before being replaced by the town’s new Development Review Board, the Zoning Board of Adjustment at its Dec. 11 meeting approved the Vermont Common School’s application to build an outdoor education center on an agricultural parcel at 2369 Spear Street.

For the past several months, neighbors of the proposed development have raised concerns that VSC’s site plans have evolved from what was originally described as a modest pavilion into a multi-use complex seeking to hold school sports competitions, overnight camping trips, and large graduation ceremonies.

Neighbors have also warned that the school’s proposed shared driveway with longtime resident Sarah Thompson will introduce safety issues resulting from the road’s poor visibility and an influx of inexperienced, student drivers.

In its deliberations, the board reviewed Land Use Regulations (LURs) and discussed the character of the area and the school’s proposed hours of operation. The board determined that any VCS event attended by more than 50 people would require a permit and Selectboard approval, and that regular use of the site would be restricted to 25 parking spots.

Zoning board member JD Herlihy made a motion to approve the application, which passed unanimously.