The City of Montpelier has agreed to drop its hotel and parking garage lawsuit. At their meeting of July 21, 2021, the Montpelier City Council voted unanimously to end all litigation relating to appeals for a proposed hotel and parking garage project in the city’s downtown. The action was taken after an executive session update.
The city is taking this action in conjunction with the owners of the Capitol Plaza hotel. The decision was made due to changing financial circumstances caused by appeals filed by local residents who opposed the project. “We are disappointed that a small group of individuals chose to disrupt vital downtown economic development projects and overturn the results of a local election,” City Manager William Fraser said. “We are confident that the projects met all legal requirements and would have received approval.”
Although the city and the Capitol Plaza have prevailed on virtually all substantive legal arguments, delays resulting from the appeal have made the financial viability of the projects uncertain. City officials have chosen not to spend additional taxpayer money fighting for approval under the current scenario. The city has spent approximately $1 million on this project, which would have been paid from garage revenues and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues. Instead, these funds will be paid by general property taxpayers.
Neither the city nor the hotel have ruled out revisiting the projects at some point in the future. The city government and the Capitol Plaza owners thank the city voters for their support of the project.