Judge Hears Oral Argument in Mary Street Litigation

gavelOn Monday, October 12, Chittenden Superior Court Judge Samuel Hoar Jr. heard oral argument on dueling motions for summary judgment in the lawsuit filed by Century Partners, LP and Thirty Three Mary Street, LLC against the City of South Burlington.  This is the latest phase in the lawsuit that began in early 2020 when property owners abutting Mary Street and the newly constructed Mary Street Extension filed a complaint in the Chittenden County Civil Division claiming that the City has unlawfully maintained Jersey barriers that prevent traffic flow from Market Street to Williston Road.

During construction of the Allard Square building, South Burlington City Center, LLC, constructed the Mary Street Extension roadway thereby connecting the residential dead-end road Mary Street with the then redeveloping Market Street.  This connection has been part of the City’s official map for several decades as part of the traffic and build-out plan for the South Burlington City Center District.  Following a warranty period, the City Council accepted the Mary Street Extension roadway at its December 17, 2018 regular meeting but determined at that time, based on safety concerns voiced by residents of Mary Street, to leave the Jersey barriers in place until traffic calming measures are made on Mary Street, or traffic relief is created through the future opening of Garden Street.  Today, these barriers remain, and the Mary Street Extension infrastructure functionally only serves the Allard Square property.

In the motion filed by the attorney’s for Century Partners, LP and Thirty Three Mary Street, LLC, they allege the City does not have the governmental authority to maintain these barriers, and that once the City accepted these roadway improvements it had the obligation to ensure that the then connected roadway is passible all seasons of the year.  In the motion filed by the City Attorney, the City alleges it has the plenary authority to maintain these barriers and that when City Council accepted Mary Street Extension, it accepted it as a standalone dead-end street and remains so until later action is taken to officially connect the two dead-end segments.

Following Monday’s oral argument, Judge Hoar is set to rule on these motions in the coming months.