Morse v. Vermont Division of State Buildings

In Morse v. Vermont Division of State Buildings, 136 Vt. 253, 388 A.2d 371 (1978), which involved the Town of Windsor, State Buildings embarked on a landscaping and sewer construction project for a residential treatment facility in the Town. It sought a zoning permit for the landscaping, but not for the sewer disposal system, and the Town sought to stop the latter. The Court phrased the question before it as: "whether or not that zoning authority under 4409(a) also extends to sewer construction. If it does, clearly, the Buildings Division is required to follow its procedures. If it does not, equally clearly, the Zoning Administrator had no authority to condition the issuance of the permit for landscaping or the procuring of a sewer construction permit from the town." Id. at 255, 388 A.2d at 372. The Court also posed the issue as one of sovereignty: "where conflict occurs, and no resolution is statutorily prescribed, the municipality must yield." Id. The Court held that since sewer construction is not one of the uses a municipality is authorized to regulate with respect to a state-operated institution, the Town could not prevail. Id. at 256, 388 A.2d at 373.