Earlier this month Sugarbush filed applications with the town of Warren for two workforce housing projects on the Sugarbush Access Road.
The Warren Development Review Board will hear those applications at a public hearing on January 30. Obtaining permits from Warren for the two projects is the first step in a comprehensive permitting and review process.
One of the projects, the Sugar Cube project, is the redevelopment of three lots on the Sugarbush Access Road and Golf Course Road as two-bedroom, four-bedroom and six-bedroom houses.
The other project, located between the Sugartree Lodge and the SHARC on the former Rosita’s Restaurant parcel calls for 192 units in a four-story building. The Rosita’s project includes 16 studio apartments and 176 single bedrooms.
With the DRB hearing slated for nest week, The Valley Reporter reached out to Sugarbush director of planning Margo Wade for details on some of the issues that may come up at that hearing and in the state permitting process.
When Wade and others briefed the Warren Planning Commission on the projects on January 9, Wade said the resort was ready to build this summer if possible. This week she clarified that the resort would like to start on the Sugar Cube project this year and anticipates a nine-plus month permitting timeline for the Rosita’s project.
“We’re not totally sure when building will begin, but starting late this year would be great,” she said.
In terms of water and wastewater, the Rosita’s project will be served by the resort’s existing Mountain Utilities operation. The Sugar Cube project has an existing on-site well and has deeded access to the wastewater system at the adjacent Sugar Lodge, which Sugarbush owns.
Wade said that the Sugar Cube project will need Warren conditional use approval and zoning permits, as well as a Vermont Act 250 permit and possibly Vermont potable water and wastewater system permit(s).
At Rosita’s, the project will require Warren conditional use approval as well as a planned unit development permit, Act 250 approval, a state potable water and wastewater system permit, a state stormwater construction permit, a stormwater operational permit, state construction permit and possibly a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit to realign an existing stormwater ditch.
Sugarbush is currently providing housing for 212 employees. The resort is housing employees at 11 properties in total, including five that the resort owns. This year Sugarbush is housing employees at the Sugarbush Inn and some at the Sugar Lodge, but the resort wants to return those rooms to resorts guests seeking lodging to backstop a shortage of beds.
Wade said that the resort anticipates a need to be able to provide housing for 250 employees annually. The Rosita’s project will be critical to meeting that goal, with a total of 192 bedrooms.