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= ; &= nbsp; &nb= sp;  = ; &= nbsp; ENTRY ORDER
= ; &= nbsp; &nb= sp; SUPREME COURT DOCKET NO. 2004-368
= = &n= bsp; &nbs= p; = <= /span>FEBRUARY TERM, 2005
In re Appeal of Paul and Margar= et Irons = } = APPEALED FROM:
= ;  = ; &= nbsp; &nb= sp;  = ; &= nbsp; &nb= sp; } = Environmental Court
} DOCK= ET NO. 94-6-04 Vtec
Trial Judge: Merideth Wright=
&= nbsp; &nb= sp;  = ; In the above-entitled cause, the Clerk will enter:
Appellants Paul and Margaret Ir= ons challenge an order of the environmental court granting the City of Barre a conditional use permit for the construction of a new public safety building. We affirm.
The City of Barre received a conditional use permit from the City’s development review board (DRB= ) for construction of a new public safety building. The City proposed to locate the b= uilding between Fourth and Fifth Streets, one block east of North Main Street, in a planned residential zoning district. Appellants appealed the DRB’s decision to the environmental c= ourt, which conducted a de novo hearing.
At the environmental court, app= ellants contended that the DRB’s decision impaired their vested rights in pa= rking along Fourth Street. They cl= aimed that their property interest in parking on Fourth Street arose from a 1990 zoning permit they received. Appellants argued that the conditional use permit took their vested property rights from them unlawfully.&nbs= p; In addition, appellants contested the City’s claim that the p= roject met the conditional use criteria set forth in the City’s zoning ordinance. After performing = a site visit with the parties and considering the evidence offered and admitted i= nto the record, the environmental court concluded that the project met the req= uirement for conditional use so long as the City abided by the permit’s conditions. This appeal foll= owed.
Appellants reassert their argum= ent that the conditional use permit impaired their vested property rights in parking along the portion of Fourth Street that abuts their property. The City argues that we may not c= onsider the issue because the environmental court did not decide it, concluding th= at it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the question. Because the environmental court d= id not rule on the issue of appellants’ claim of vested rights, the only is= sue properly before us is whether the court correctly decided the jurisdiction= al question. Appellants do not = provide an argument on that question, and this Court does not address issues that = are not briefed. In re Dunnet= t, 172 Vt. 196, 203 n.* (2001). Therefore, we express no opinion on appellants’ claim of vest= ed rights because it is not properly before us. See Fyles v. Schmidt, 141 = Vt. 419, 422-23 (1982) (“Issues not ruled on by the trial court cannot be raised for the first time on appeal.”).
Appellants next argue that the
environmental court’s findings and conclusions are contrary to the r=
evidence and that the court misapplied the law. We review the environmental
court’s findings for clear error.&n=
Findings will stand on appeal if there is any credible evidence in =
record to support them. I=
Gulli, 174 Vt. 580, 582 (2002) (mem.).
The court’s interpretation of a zoning ordinance will be uphe=
absent a showing that it is arbitrary, capricious, or based on an irration=
reading of the law. In re
Bennington Sch., Inc., 2004 VT 6, ¶ 11, 176 Vt. 584 (mem.). <=
Appellants claim that the court= erred by concluding that the project will not adversely affect traffic in the ar= ea or the area’s character. = In addition, appellants argue that community facilities along Fourth and Main Streets will be adversely affected by the new public safety facility. The court determined that traffic= in the area will not be adversely affected by the new facility because Fourth Str= eet is capable of handling the emergency traffic that will occur after the fac= ility is built. As to the characte= r of the area, the court found that the surrounding neighborhood contains a mix= of residential and commercial uses, and that the aesthetics of the new buildi= ng are attractive and compatible with the downtown Barre area. The court also found no adverse i= mpact on appellants’ property and other facilities in the area from the project. Appellants have amp= le parking for their tenants even if no parking is permitted along Fourth Street. All of those finding= s and conclusions are well supported by the evidence in the record, and we find = no arbitrary or capricious application of the law in this case. No error appears.
Finally, appellants contend tha= t the proceedings below were tainted by the City’s conflict of interest in reviewing its own application for a conditional use permit. The City argues that appellants n= ever raised this claim before the environmental court. Appellants have not demonstrated that they preserved this issue for= our review by raising it before the environmental court. See V.R.A.P. 28(a)(4) (appellant&= #8217;s brief must explain how issues were presented below and preserved for appel= late review); New England P’ship v. Rutland City Sch. Dist., 173 V= t. 69, 73 (2001) (absent an indication that appellant’s argument was ra= ised below, the matter may not be heard on appeal). We therefore do not consider the argument.
BY THE COURT:=
Paul L. Reiber, Chief Justice= span>
Denise R. Johnson, Associate Justice
Frederic W. Allen, Chief Justice (Ret.),
Specially Assigned= span>