Hockey rink, assisted living proposed in Shelburne

Schematic showing the proposed development at the historic Dutch Mill.

Plans for a new, 30,000-square-foot hockey rink, and a new assisted-living facility next to the Dutch Mill Family Restaurant were recently proposed to the Shelburne Development Review Board.

The rink and assisted-living facility would be built on property owned by the Bisonette family, who are also the longtime owners of the storied Dutch Mill, a fixture on Shelburne Road since the 1920s.

The restaurant with the iconic windmill will remain, according to the plan presented to the board Wednesday, July 7.

The rink will be the future home of Leonard Hockey, a hockey player development academy that has outgrown nearby Cairns Arena, developer David Shenk told the board. Jon Pizzagalli is also a partner on the project.

An existing motel behind the restaurant would be demolished to make room for the rink and parking lot.

The academy was founded by Brett Leonard, a hockey coach who is the only Vermont native to captain the University of Vermont hockey team. After struggling to compete for time on other rinks like South Burlington’s Cairns Arena, this rink will be a base for developing young hockey players from across the state.

The rink won’t generally be open to the public, Shenk said.

“They just simply don’t have enough ice time,” Shenk said. The rink also includes a weight room and turf area, he said.

The venue is meant as primarily a training facility and isn’t designed to hold large competitions, Pizzagalli said, and seating will be limited. Most of the players are not near driving age range, he said, and the parking lot will mostly be used to pick up and drop off kids.

The rink parking lot would be shared with the Dutch Mill Family Restaurant.

Also included in the plan is an assisted living facility for 16 people, which includes a commercial kitchen, laundry facility and nursing care run by the Howard Center. The facility was once housed in the former Burlington College building run by the Catholic Diocese, Shenk said, and were told they had to move when the property was purchased by Burlington College, and has since occupied a house in Burlington.

The current house is aging and has two stories, which is not ideal for folks with mobility issues, said Cathie Buscaglia, the Howard Center’s director of innovation. Many of the residents have been together for years.

“It’s not a transient population,” Buscaglia said. “Many of the 16 people have lived together for more than a decade. So it’s a really stable group of people in that way.”

The new facility will be one floor and generally has four staff members, and nine parking spots. Residents don’t have cars.

The entire plan is in its infancy, the developers said.

“This is a sketch plan level site plan that we have here,” Pizzagalli said.

The board received some concerns about parking and hours of operation via email, but board chair Mark Sammut said they would forward developers the concerns so they can address them at future board meeting.

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