Communications Office: Stephen Mease
BURLINGTON -- Champlain College today announced plans to appeal the April 3 decision of the Burlington Development Review Board (DRB) that denied a land-use application submitted on its behalf to construct a mixed-use student apartment project known as Eagles Landing.
According to David Provost, senior vice president for Champlain's Finance and Administration, "We are filing this appeal in order to protect our legal rights as prescribed by State statute. We are also hopeful that College and City can quickly agree on a path forward that will allow for a reconsideration of the two adverse findings made by the Board, thereby permitting the construction of badly needed student housing in our community."
REM Development, a private, third-party housing developer selected by the College, applied to the City in late December for approvals to build a dedicated student apartment project along St. Paul Street between King and Maple Streets. The plan received support from the Mayor, Planning & Zoning staff, Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO), the Design Advisory Board and Conservation Commission, prior to the DRB denial at the final stage. The DRB said the project did not meet provisions in the ordinance addressing parking, and architectural scale and mass in the neighborhood.
If approved by the City, the Eagles Landing project would contain 113 dwelling units and 304 beds to be occupied by Champlain College students. By sponsoring the creation of new dedicated student housing, Champlain hopes to mitigate negative impacts of rising student demand on existing housing supply in established residential neighborhoods adjacent to campus, Provost added. The new housing would not increase the enrollment of traditional undergraduate students at the College.
Undergraduate tenancy at the Eagles Landing Apartments will be restricted to upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) attending Champlain College. Eligible upperclassman seeking to reside at Eagles Landing will be provided equal opportunity to select available dwelling units and apartment mates, using the same self-selection process established by Champlain for other College-sponsored housing.
Through its 2007 master plan, Champlain College has committed to housing up to 90 percent of its students, either in on-campus dormitories or off-campus apartments. While the College is actively increasing its supply of on-campus housing with the completion of a new three-dormitory complex known as Res-Tri with 275 beds, the campus is geographically constricted with limited opportunities for additional residential growth. Thus, the College has pursued a strategy endorsed by the City to create up to 600 beds at nearby off-campus locations.
Over the past five years, the College has purchased two separate parcels of land within the City for the purpose of redeveloping the properties for off-campus student apartment housing. Both property acquisitions required approval by the City of Burlington, which was granted. The College has also reached out to the private sector housing development community to establish a mutually beneficial business relationship that would allow the developer to take the lead in the design, financing, construction and management of these proposed off-campus housing initiatives.
Since 1878, Champlain College has provided career-focused education to students from its hilltop campus in Burlington, Vt. Champlain's distinctive educational approach embodies the notion that true learning only occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain offers traditional undergraduate and online undergraduate courses, along with online certificate and degree programs and 11 master's degree programs. Champlain offers study abroad programs at its campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition. Champlain was named a "Top-Up-and-Coming School" by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges and is ranked in the top tier of 2014 Regional Colleges in the North. For more information, visit www.champlain.edu