The Vermont Master Naturalist Program in South Burlington is Now Accepting Applications for 2019-20!  They are reserving one space for a member of the South Burlington Land Trust so apply now HERE. (deadline, July 1st)

UVM Edlund South Tract: The Case Against Rezoning and Development

Read the full position statement here.

South Burlington Land Trust has released a summary of challenges associated with proposed development of the Edlund Tract, in response to UVM’s provisional sale of the land to Eastern Development Corporation. The land was sold for residential use but will likely require a revision to the current Institutional Agricultural (IA-S) zoning for development to proceed.

The Edlund Tract encompasses 34 acres of mature forest and wetlands bordering Potash Brook. SBLT strongly believes that the development of these parcels represents a significant departure from the South Burlington Comprehensive Plan (SBCP) and would set a dangerous precedent for how the city makes zoning decisions. Read on as we describe issues with the proposed development, focused around three general themes: misalignment with the SBCP, environmental issues, and infrastructure concerns.

How to help:

  • Email the SBLT to join our email list for updates about the Edlund development. We will be sending an announcement when the rezoning issue comes on the agenda for the Planning Commission.
  • Attend Planning Commission and City Council meetings to voice your concerns over the development of open space. There is always time for public comment at the start of each meeting. Dates listed here.
  • Write to The Other Paper and other media in support of preserving open space in South Burlington.
  • Join the South Burlington Land Trust.
  • Tell your friends and neighbors about this proposed development.


  • June 20, 2017: UVM issues Request for Proposals for development of Edlund and adjacent Martin Tract
  • July 10: Information session for prospective buyers. SBLT attends.
  • August 18: Proposals submissions due. SBLT submits a proposal to conserve the land.
  • September 18: Eastern Development Corporation announced as winner of proposal bid.

Why is there a land trust in South Burlington?

In 2003, a small group of community members formed the South Burlington Land Trust, Inc. (“SBLT”) out of growing concern for the loss of natural areas due to rapidly increasing suburban development in the City. Forests, wetlands, farmlands, and other natural areas provide important habitat for wildlife, preserve water quality, and create recreational and cultural opportunities for South Burlington residents and visitors. SBLT’s membership has grown to nearly 100 members of the community.

In 2008, South Burlington was named the top town in the country for raising a family (Family Circle, August 2008). The natural attributes of being located on the shores of Lake Champlain and close to the Green Mountains make South Burlington a desirable location to live. The SBLT is dedicated to protecting South Burlington’s special features, specifically its natural resources through land conservation vehicles, to maintain this high quality of life. Partnerships are established with other conservation organizations and individuals to protect natural areas in South Burlington and Vermont as a whole.

The heritage of South Burlington from settlement (1780’s) until World War II centered entirely on farming, first mixed subsistence farming, then sheep and later dairy. The area now included in our borders was once part of Burlington. On January 18, 1865, the City of Burlington was established by act of the Legislature, but the eastern and southern portions were set off separately as the Town of South Burlington. And so it remained until 1971 when South Burlington also adopted a city form of government. Our rural character had extended well into the 1950’s when, for example, the Sheraton Hotel complex was still a working farm and traffic on Williston Road stopped twice a day as the cows crossed to and from their pasture where Staples Plaza is today. Mayfair Park was the first and only suburban development until the late 1940’s. Exponential population growth began with the returning WWII veterans buying homes and starting families. Farms along the Dorset, Hinesburg, Spear and Shelburne corridors began to sell off land to developers and the pace has escalated ever since. By the 1980’s and 1990’s some citizens began to think more about what we were losing. SBLT grew out of that concern.

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