Country Club Road Site Property Development
Currently, this project is known as the "Country Club Road Site" project. It has previously been called the "203 Country Club Road Project" or the "Former Elk's Club Property" project. As this project evolves, we welcome name suggestions and feedback!
December 2023 Update
Since FEMA will not be using the site to house emergency housing trailers, the Actionable Plan is poised to continue as designed. Ultimately, the Actionable Plan creates a roadmap for how this site could be developed to achieve the above goals. It has always been the plan for the city to partner with private and/or non-profit developers for housing, not do it ourselves. This concept plan includes 292 units of housing across multi-family buildings and townhouses on approximately 14% of the site, a Recreation and Community Zone to be programmed and designed in a further stage, trails, roads, conserved areas, and more.
The Planning Department has been in communication with a non-profit housing developer (Downstreet) about partnering and is planning to engage additional private developers in 2024. The $514,000 FEMA payment the City received as part of the lease termination provides leverage to access other resources to invest in the infrastructure at that site.
After the robust, year-long public engagement process, the City Council adopted these top priorities for the Country Club Road site:
- Address the high housing need by providing a mix of housing products with affordable, workforce, and market-rate units by coordinating with local developers and stakeholders
- Address the need for indoor and outdoor recreational opportunities, including a comprehensive recreation and community facility, as well as fields, courts, and other such uses
- Balance the above with:
- Conservation/Open space
- Incorporate of spaces for Abenaki recognition, celebration, and education
- Amenities for the new residential communities (i.e., community gardens)
- Gathering spaces (i.e., amphitheater, playground, gazebo, etc.)
- Connection of wildlife corridors
- Connection to surrounding parcels and City infrastructure (i.e., bike path, traffic patterns, public transit, and potential future vehicular access north or west)
- Minimize impact on the climate by utilizing and leveraging technologies and best practices for energy efficiency and energy generation
- Minimize financial impacts to taxpayers.
- Balance the above with:
These are the most essential elements of the Phase 1 planning effort and serve to guide the City Council and staff in directing and navigating the development of this site. An illustrative concept plan was developed and is included within the actionable plan as a vision for how these goals might be accomplished. Click here to read the Actionable Plan.
The City will continue to pursue the next steps as outlined in the Actionable Plan to bring much-needed housing to our community.
Some zoning changes are planned for February after the budget process concludes. After the zoning changes are enacted, we will be working to amend our Growth Center designation. Since the City owns the property, we have more control over the quantity and affordability of future housing more so than if it were owned by a private entity.
If you have any questions about the property or all the work that has been done so far, please contact Josh Jerome, the City's Community & Economic Development specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org
December 2023 Update
Click here to read the Actionable Plan adopted by the City Council.
June 2023 Update
Project consultants VHB and White + Burke will be presenting the Actionable Master Plan (AMP) to the Montpelier City Council on Wednesday, June 28th at their regular City Council meeting. The AMP summarizes the results of Phase 1 and provides a roadmap for the City to move forward with the project based on those results.
At the meeting, the project team will walk through the recommendations outlined in the AMP and provide an opportunity for the Council and the public to ask questions and discuss the proposal. The ask of the Council is to adopt the AMP which will lead the project into the beginning of Phase 2.
The full AMP, presentation slides, and memo to the City Council are linked below.
To view the June 28th City Council meeting agenda, items packet, and meeting info, click here: https://montpeliervt.portal.civicclerk.com/event/5354/overview
Actionable Master Plan City Council Materials
- Presentation Slides for City Council Meeting on 06/28/2023
- Memo to the City Council
- Proposed Country Club Road AMP (full document)
Actionable Plan as Adopted on June 28, 2023
- Click here to download the Actionable Plan as Adopted by the City Council on June 28th, 2023
Spring 2023 Update
After a robust and collaborative public input process, we’re nearing the end of Phase 1 planning for the Country Club Road site project. We heard from over 145 people at our Winter 2023 public engagement sessions and gathered over 12,000 data points from 624 respondents to the Winter 2023 survey. Thank you for your contributions! On March 22nd, 2023, the project team presented these findings to the City Council for their feedback on this stage in the project development.
Feedback from the Winter engagement sessions voiced housing and recreation as top priorities which is consistent with what we heard during the Fall stage. The City and the project team are continuing ongoing discussions about this site's scope and the scale of recreation uses. The recreation development process will continue into Phase 2 and will incorporate a more in-depth analysis of programming and physical assets needed to accommodate recreation and community needs.
Currently, the project team is putting together three conceptual designs that will be presented to the public in mid-April and then will be presented to City Council in May with the public findings and the team’s recommendations. At this juncture, we are looking for feedback from the public and the Council on these final concept designs. The design chosen by the Council will evolve into the Actionable Master Plan and mark the transition into Phase 2 of Master Planning.
This stage is more action-oriented because one of these concept designs will evolve into an Actionable Master Plan. While Phase 1 has been focused on vision, Phase 2 will be more specific with due diligence assessments and other action items to prepare the location for site development.
It’s important to remember this is a long-term build-out. Likely, the final designs will not be fully completed for another 10+ years. Once the Actionable Master Plan has been created, the City and project team will create a project timeline to outline the stages of development and target goals.
Once again, the City will host three public engagement sessions to get the public’s feedback on the final concept designs and will be soliciting feedback via a City-wide survey. The meetings will match the same style and format as previous public engagement sessions for the Country Club Road Site project. Like before, the purpose of hosting a series of meetings and providing a video with the survey on the website is to provide a variety of opportunities for community members to participate and engage with the project.
City Council Presentation & Memo -- 5/24/2023
- Click here to view and download the memo to City Council
- Click here to view and download the entire packet presented to the City Council
- Click here to view and download the slide presentation to City Council
Concept Plans and Cost Scale
Spring 2023 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Click here to view and download the Spring 2023 Frequently Asked Questions
Watch the Spring 2023 Update Video
- Click here to watch Josh Jerome, the City's Community and Economic Development Specialist, and Stephanie Clarke, Vice President of White + Burke Real Estate Advisors, give a short presentation about this stage of the master planning process.
* Please note: Updated financial estimates are explained in the presentation on 4/29. Click here to watch the 4/29 meeting recording. For a more in-depth look at costs and possible financing approaches, jump to minutes 19:00-37:00 of the meeting recording.
March 2023 Update
Winter 2023 Update
View the Winter 2023 Survey Results
Montpelier High School Student Survey
Watch the Winter Update Video!
Listen to Josh Jerome's interview on Vermont Viewpoint
January 18, 2023 Full City Council Package, with Due Diligence Assessments
In the next series of public engagement meetings, we invite the public to review the site evaluation results and understand the property's development and use potential. Test sketches of the site will be available on the City's website by January 19th, 2023. All three meetings will follow the same format and will present the same information. Choose the date and time that work best for you, and we hope to see you there!
Can't make it to the meetings? There are lots of other ways to learn more and get involved! Stay tuned to this page for the latest info and ways to engage, or email Josh Jerome, the City's Community and Economic Development Specialist. Josh will be collecting community feedback throughout the project and is part of the City's public outreach team for the Country Club Road Site project. Also, check out the article by City Manager William Fraser in the January 25th, 2023 edition of The Bridge! Click here to read the article.
Thinking about attending one of the Winter 2023 Country Club Road Site Community Meetings? Please RSVP! Seating is limited for in-person meetings, so please select from the list which meeting you plan to attend.
Go to the Polco website to RSVP.
Meeting Dates & Zoom Links
- Saturday, January 28th - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm at 203 Country Club Road (formerly the Elk's Lodge)
- Thursday, February 2nd - 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm at Montpelier City Hall & on Zoom
- Zoom meeting info: Country Club Road Winter Session #2
Time: Feb 2, 2023 06:00 PM Eastern Time
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 867 6377 4396
- Zoom meeting info: Country Club Road Winter Session #2
- Thursday, February 9th - 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm on Zoom
- Country Club Road Winter Session #3
Time: Feb 9, 2023 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 882 1797 8710
- Country Club Road Winter Session #3
Fall 2022 Update
City’s consultant team conducting site due diligence and assisting City in the ongoing public input process. Launch of a series of feedback sessions and opportunities in October 2022. Following site due diligence, more public workshops to come (Winter 2023) to discuss site’s opportunities and constraints, then again to discuss concept planning. See consultant memo re: process below. Outreach flyer (link also below) outlines the Fall 2022 opportunities for input. Public input up to September 2022 can be found below as well. This will continue to be updated through this phase.
September 2022 Update
City Council asked for more information from White & Burke regarding their plans for public engagement regarding 203 Country Club master planning. Please see White & Burke’s additional information memo linked below.
August 2022 Update
The City Council has approved a contractor after a lengthy Request for Proposals (RFP) review, interview, and recommendation process. City Council voted to approve of White & Burke, as the program manager for this project at their August 24th, 2022 Council Meeting. White & Burke will lead the City and the community through a public process to master-plan the 133-acre parcel. Please see White & Burke’s project proposal linked below. The Council also re-reviewed information and asks from the Hub Group at the August 24th, 2022 Council Meeting. Council gave the authority to the City Manager to negotiate a short-term lease with the Hub group for them to rent a portion of the available internal space at the existing building on the 203 Country Club Rd. property. The Hub is interested in offering a restaurant and inside/digital sports to start.
May 2022 Update
Council received an update on the project at their May 25th, 2022 Council Meeting. At this meeting, City Council reviewed and approved a funding plan and RFP to seek a consultant or firm to act as a Project Manager to guide the process of master planning the site for redevelopment opportunities. The Approved Draft of the RFP can be found below in the "Project Background Information and Documents" section. A final draft will be listed on the City’s Bid page when it is out for applications. More public feedback sessions will be scheduled when the consultant/firm have been brought on board. Organizations who are interested in being part of the redevelopment options can reach out to the Community Development Specialist in the City’s Planning office at 802-223-9506.
Can residents access the property now?
Yes, residents and non-residents can access the property on Country Club Road from the parking lot and walk along the former golf cart paths throughout the former golf course. You can also explore the forested parts of the property, although there are no trails and everyone must be mindful of posted property of abutting landowners.
I’ve heard Council has allowed hunting to continue on the property. Is it safe to walk on the property?
Yes, City Council voted to allow the continuation of hunting on the property for the 2022 hunting season. Deer hunting with archery or shotgun are the only permissible mode of hunting. Just like where many State-owned properties are accessible to both hunters and non-hunters for recreational opportunities, individuals are encouraged to wear one or more pieces of brightly colored clothing so all eyes, both human and animal, can easily spot you from afar.
Who has the City hired to facilitate the master planning of the property?
After a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, the City selected the proposal submitted by White + Burke Real Estate Advisors, VHB, and Black River Design. White + Burke is the Project Manager and development coordinator while VHB will support the process through site analysis/assessment and creation of conceptual master plan options and Black River Design will conduct a feasibility study of the existing clubhouse.
How is the City engaging residents and ensuring far-reaching input at this stage and over the coming months?
Picking up from where community engagement started in March of 2022, the project team held three separate community engagement sessions in October 2022 to describe the process and listen to residents’ concerns and suggestions. Concurrently, the project team is engaging small stakeholder groups including abutters, City committees & departments, and existing tenants in the former clubhouse. The City is committed to engaging with community members from every walk of life, especially those with historically marginalized voices. The project team and the City welcome anyone to share their thoughts and engage with this project. Additional public engagement sessions are planned for January and Spring of 2023 once the constraints and opportunities are identified. Residents can email Josh Jerome, Community and Economic Development Specialist for the City of Montpelier, with any questions or comments.
Is this site being looked at like a satellite to the downtown?
No, the Country Club Road property is being envisioned in a holistic way as it connects with the rest of the community. The team will be taking into consideration topographical restrictions, transportation, wildlife corridors, how abutting property may be developed in the future, and regional context.
With the known housing crisis, how can we ensure that this site will provide the right product for our community?
As with many communities throughout Vermont and the country, Montpelier has an insufficient inventory of single-family, duplexes, and multi-family properties. As the opportunities and constraints of the site become known and Montpelier’s Housing Committee weighs in, the team will be making recommendations on various types of housing and density for the community to consider.
How can this site model best practices and be developed with energy efficiency at the forefront?
The site has south-by-southwestern-facing slopes making it an ideal location for solar energy production. Ideas being considered include panels on any public or residential structures and arrays that may generate additional energy for the site and beyond.
What has the public said are the major concerns to consider?
So far, the community has indicated great support for the opportunities the former golf course presents. Concerns have typically fallen in juxtaposition to uses i.e. those who favor conservation do not believe any development should happen and those who favor housing as a use believe the site should maximize housing development. Transportation has been identified as a concern because of a lack of public transportation and distance from the downtown (~1.79 miles from the site to City Hall). Other concerns voiced have been around how the site will preserve wetlands and wildlife corridors how much will the City make and how long it will take for the City to realize a return on the $3 million investment.
What has the public said are the most desired use ideas to date?
There has been a lot of feedback given by the community as to what should happen to the property for recreation, housing, conservation, and agriculture. The two prominent uses identified thus far have been housing and recreation.
Will the City build a new recreation center on the newly acquired property?
The existing community recreation center located on Barre Street is not adequate for the type of services the community has said they want to have nor is the building fully accessible. Cost estimates to address all of the old buildings’ deferred maintenance and to comply with ADA accessibility requirements would cost upward of $7 million. Other locations in the downtown were looked at as possible sites for a new recreation center, but limiting factors included lot size and flood plain. The City used $1 million from the recreation reserve fund and bonded $2 million to purchase the former golf course to site up a new community recreation center on the property.
- October Public Engagement Meeting Info
- Montpelier Elks -- Council Update Memo 10.07.22
- Montpelier Elks -- Public Comment Consolidation up to Sept 2022
- 203 Country Club Rd Project_Council Approved RFP Draft 05252022
- CITI Properties-Ribolini Country Club Road Montpelier for Client
- White and Burke_ Project Mgmt Montpelier Elks Club Redevelopment Proposal 07292022
- White and Burke_ Launch and Public Process Update 09092022
- Mont CC Rd -- Natural Resources Map, Buildable Areas and Test Sketches -- January 2023
- Mont CCR Site -- City Council Update Package 011323
- Mont CCR Packet to City Council -- 05-24-2023
- Mont CCR -- City Council Slide Deck -- 05-24-2023
In late 2021, the City was approached by a community organization, The Hub, who wanted to put a tennis complex and some other services up at the former Elk's property at 203 Country Club Road. They approached the City about partnership, as the City's Recreation Department offers many of the services they hoped to bring to the property. In discussions, the City realized what an amazing opportunity ownership of the whole lot, over 130 acres of land, would be for the City and its residents! The City very quickly recognized that the whole lot would be able to accommodate way more than just recreation expansion, and pitched to Council a bond proposal to purchase the land.
The City put the following Article forward to the Montpelier Community to vote on at Town Meeting Day 2022 for approval of a bond that will allow the City to slowly pay off the purchase price of the property:
ARTICLE 14. Shall the voters authorize the City Council to borrow a sum of money not to exceed $2,000,000 for the purchase of approximately 138 acres of land, formerly the Elks Club, at 203 Country Club Road? Proceeds from bond funding will be used to finance the purchase of land for potential housing, recreation, and other uses. If approved, bonds for these capital items would be issued for a term of 20 years, is estimated to be approximately $55,000 for the first-year interest payment and approximately $138,406 for the second-year principal and interest payment with future payments declining each year as the principal is repaid.
This was approved by the voters, and work began to finalize the purchase of the former Elk’s Club property, located at 202 Country Club Road. A purchase and sales agreement was signed April 2022 after the City got an appraisal approved by two appraisal experts. Costs of bonds are spread over years, and the City will be looking for further financial support for this project through grants and other funding mechanisms.
The land, as proposed by City Staff and City Council, will be the future sight for a new Recreation Center, Recreation Fields, new Park space, affordable and other housing units, and other concepts. This project is currently in the planning phase, and the City is looking for community feedback and ideas for the property and project.
The Hub group has tangentially been involved in helping the City make plans for what could be co-located at the 203 Country Club property. The Hub is still a separate not-for-profit, and will need to be evaluated by the City as a potential formal partner on this project the same as any other community organization.