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DRB Rejects Parking Plan For New State Street Office Building

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Architect's rendering of proposed new building at 105 State Street. Courtesy photo.

After taking additional testimony June 1 on a nearly 8,000-square-foot office building proposed for 105 State Street in Montpelier, the Montpelier Development Review Board (DRB) concluded that the plan did not meet Montpelier zoning’s vehicle access and circulation requirements, according to city Zoning Administrator Meredith Crandall.

Developer Thom Lauzon accepted an offer to come back to the DRB with a revised plan, Crandall said, most likely at the DRB’s next meeting on June 15.

Crandall said the DRB’s concerns focused on three diagonal parking spaces proposed for the east side of the building. One concern of the DRB is that someone backing out of the space closest to State Street could inadvertently back onto the sidewalk, she said.

Another concern is that motorists leaving the parking spaces might be blocked from exiting around the back of the building if the drive-through teller window planned for the north side of the building was being used, forcing motorists to execute a difficult maneuver to turn around and head back out onto State Street, Crandall said.

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The two-way driveway next to the parking spaces is shared by two other properties besides 105 State Street: the former Associated Industries of Vermont building at 99 State Street and the former Thrush Tavern building, now occupied in part by the Pho Capital restaurant.

Crandall noted that Montpelier’s zoning regulations do not require the developer to provide any on-site parking, but that the applicant had hoped to include the three spaces.

The property, located across Gov. Davis Avenue from the state’s Pavilion office building, has been used as a parking lot since the old Gulf service station was torn down. Lauzon, an accountant, real estate investor, and former mayor of Barre, has proposed building a three-story brick office building with a bank on the first floor and professional offices on the second and third stories. 

The project was approved by the Montpelier Design Review Committee on May 4 and has now been the subject of two Montpelier Development Review Board meetings, on May 18 and June 1, with a third one on the way.