Country Club Road Site Property Development

Currently, this project is known as the "Country Club Road Site" project. It has previously been called the "203 Country Club Road Project" or the "Former Elk's Club Property" project. As this project evolves, we welcome name suggestions and feedback! 

Photos of the Country Club Road Site Property

Montpelier Elks Lodge-106
Montpelier Elks Lodge-102
Montpelier Elks Lodge-107

Current Work and Updates:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can residents access the property now? 

Yes, residents and non-residents can access the property on Country Club Road from the parking lot and walk along the former golf cart paths throughout the former golf course. You can also explore the forested parts of the property, although there are no trails and everyone must be mindful of posted property of abutting landowners.  

 I’ve heard Council has allowed hunting to continue on the property. Is it safe to walk on the property? 

Yes, City Council voted to allow the continuation of hunting on the property for the 2022 hunting season. Deer hunting with archery or shotgun are the only permissible mode of hunting. Just like where many State-owned properties are accessible to both hunters and non-hunters for recreational opportunities, individuals are encouraged to wear one or more pieces of brightly colored clothing so all eyes, both human and animals, can easily spot you from afar.

Who has the City hired to facilitate the master planning of the property? 

After a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, the City selected the proposal submitted by White + Burke Real Estate Advisors, VHB, and Black River Design. White + Burke is the Project Manager and development coordinator while VHB will support the process through site analysis/assessment and creation of conceptual master plan options and Black River Design will conduct a feasibility study of the existing clubhouse.

 How is the City engaging residents and ensuring far-reaching input at this stage and over the coming months?

Picking up from where community engagement started in March of 2022, the project team held three separate community engagement sessions in October 2022 to describe the process and listen to residents’ concerns and suggestions. Concurrently, the project team is engaging small stakeholder groups including abutters, City committees & departments, and existing tenants in the former clubhouse. The City is committed to engaging with community members from every walk of life, especially those with historically marginalized voices. The project team and the City welcome anyone to share their thoughts and engage with this project. Additional public engagement sessions are planned for January and Spring of 2023 once the constraints and opportunities are identified. Residents can reach out to Josh Jerome, Community and Economic Development Specialist for the City of Montpelier at jjerome@montpelier-vt.org, with any questions or comments.

 Is this site being looked at like a satellite to the downtown?

No, the Country Club Road property is being envisioned in a holistic way as it connects with the rest of the community. The team will be taking into consideration topographical restrictions, transportation, wildlife corridors, how abutting property may be developed in the future, and regional context.

 With the known housing crisis, how can we ensure that this site will provide the right product for our community? 

As with many communities throughout Vermont and the country, Montpelier has an insufficient inventory of single-family, duplexes, and multi-family properties. As the opportunities and constraints of the site become known and Montpelier’s Housing Committee weighs in, the team will be making recommendations on various types of housing and density for the community to consider.

 How can this site model best practices and be developed with energy efficiency at the forefront?

The site has south-by-southwestern-facing slopes making it an ideal location for solar energy production. Ideas being considered include panels on any public or residential structures and arrays that may generate additional energy for the site and beyond.

 What has the public said are the major concerns to consider?

So far, the community has indicated great support for the opportunities the former golf course presents. Concerns have typically fallen in juxtaposition to uses i.e. those who favor conservation do not believe any development should happen and those who favor housing as a use believe the site should maximize housing development. Transportation has been identified as a concern because of a lack of public transportation and distance from the downtown (~1.79 miles from the site to City Hall). Other concerns voiced have been around how the site will preserve wetlands and wildlife corridors how much will the City make and how long it will take for the City to realize a return on the $3 million investment.  

 What has the public said are the most desired use ideas to date?

There has been a lot of feedback given by the community as to what should happen to the property for recreation, housing, conservation, and agriculture. The two prominent uses identified thus far have been housing and recreation.

 Will the City build a new recreation center on the newly acquired property? 

The existing community recreation center located on Barre Street is not adequate for the type of services the community has said they want to have nor is the building fully accessible. Cost estimates to address all of the old buildings’ deferred maintenance and to comply with ADA accessibility requirements would cost upward of $7 million. Other locations in the downtown were looked at as possible sites for a new recreation center, but limiting factors included lot size and flood plain. The City used $1 million from the recreation reserve fund and bonded $2 million to purchase the former golf course to site up a new community recreation center on the property.


Fall 2022 Update: City’s consultant team conducting site due diligence and assisting City in ongoing public input process. Launch of a series of feedback sessions and opportunities in October 2022. Following site due diligence, more public workshops to come (Winter 2023) to discuss site’s opportunities and constraints, then again to discuss concept planning. See consultant memo re: process below. Outreach flyer (link also below) outlines the Fall 2022 opportunities for input. Public input up to September 2022 can be found below as well. This will continue to be updated through this phase.

September 2022 Update: City Council asked for more information from White & Burke regarding their plans for public engagement regarding 203 Country Club master-planning. Please see White & Burke’s additional information memo linked below.

August 2022 Update: The City Council has approved a contractor after a lengthy Request for Proposals (RFP) review, interview, and recommendation process. City Council voted to approve of White & Burke, as the program manager for this project at their August 24th, 2022 Council Meeting. White & Burke will lead the City and the community through a public process to master-plan the 133 acre parcel. Please see White & Burke’s project proposal linked below. The Council also re-reviewed information and asks from the Hub Group at the August 24th, 2022 Council Meeting. Council gave the authority to the City Manager to negotiate a short-term lease with the Hub group for them to rent a portion of the available internal space at the existing building on the 203 Country Club Rd. property. The Hub is interested in offering a restaurant and inside/digital sports to start.

May 2022 Update: Council received an update on the project at their May 25th, 2022 Council Meeting. At this meeting, City Council reviewed and approved a funding plan and RFP to seek a consultant or firm to act as a Project Manager to guide the process of master planning the site for redevelopment opportunities. The Approved Draft of the RFP can be found below in the "Project Background Information and Documents" section. A final draft will be listed on the City’s Bid page when it is out for applications. More public feedback sessions will be scheduled when the consultant/firm have been brought on board. Organizations who are interested in being part of the redevelopment options can reach out to the Community Development Specialist in the City’s Planning office at 802-223-9506.

Project History:

In late 2021, the City was approached by a community organization, The Hub, who wanted to put a tennis complex and some other services up at the former Elk's property at 203 Country Club Road. They approached the City about partnership, as the City's Recreation Department offers many of the services they hoped to bring to the property. In discussions, the City realized what an amazing opportunity ownership of the whole lot, over 130 acres of land, would be for the City and its residents! The City very quickly recognized that the whole lot would be able to accommodate way more than just recreation expansion, and pitched to Council a bond proposal to purchase the land.

The City put the following Article forward to the Montpelier Community to vote on at Town Meeting Day 2022 for approval of a bond that will allow the City to slowly pay off the purchase price of the property:

ARTICLE 14. Shall the voters authorize the City Council to borrow a sum of money not to exceed $2,000,000 for the purchase of approximately 138 acres of land, formerly the Elks Club, at 203 Country Club Road? Proceeds from bond funding will be used to finance the purchase of land for potential housing, recreation, and other uses. If approved, bonds for these capital items would be issued for a term of 20 years, is estimated to be approximately $55,000 for the first-year interest payment and approximately $138,406 for the second-year principal and interest payment with future payments declining each year as the principal is repaid.

This was approved by the voters, and work began to finalize the purchase of the former Elk’s Club property, located at 202 Country Club Road. A purchase and sales agreement was signed April 2022 after the City got an appraisal approved by two appraisal experts. Costs of bonds are spread over years, and the City will be looking for further financial support for this project through grants and other funding mechanisms.

The land, as proposed by City Staff and City Council, will be the future sight for a new Recreation Center, Recreation Fields, new Park space, affordable and other housing units, and other concepts. This project is currently in the planning phase, and the City is looking for community feedback and ideas for the property and project.

The Hub group has tangentially been involved in helping the City make plans for what could be co-located at the 203 Country Club property. The Hub is still a separate not-for-profit, and will need to be evaluated by the City as a potential formal partner on this project the same as any other community organization.

Community Feedback: Summaries and Videos

Country Club Road Site Public Engagement Meeting | March 15, 2022

Country Club Road Site Public Engagement Meeting | October 15, 2022

Country Club Road Site Public Engagement Meeting | October 19, 2022

Country Club Road Site Public Engagement Meeting | October 27, 2022

About the Country Club Road Site