Dedication of Property for Public Use In Vermont
The requirement that the property be dedicated unconditionally to a public use assures that the use directly benefits the public. See Kingsland Bay, 153 Vt. at. 205, 569 A.2d at 498 (discussing Vermont Wild Land Found. v. Town of Pittsford, 137 Vt. 439, 407 A.2d 174 (1979)).
If significant conditions are imposed on the use of the land, the benefit may effectively be restricted to a small group. See id.; Wild Land, 137 Vt. at 444, 407 A.2d at 177 (tract of undeveloped wilderness not dedicated to public use where access limited to small group of researchers).
Although an exemption is strictly construed against the party claiming it, it may not be so strictly construed as to defeat the purpose of the statute. See id. at 108, 557 A.2d at 903; Kingsland Bay School, Inc. v. Town of Middlebury, 153 Vt. 201, 206, 569 A.2d 496, 499 (1989).