Appeal from Superior Court, Chittenden Unit, Civil Division.
Dennis R. Pearson, J.
L. Franco, Jr., Burlington, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.
Meyer and Eileen Blackwood, Burlington City Attorney's
Office, for Defendant-Appellee.
Reiber, C.J., Dooley, Skoglund, Robinson and Eaton, JJ.
[¶1] Appellants Sandra Baird and Jared
Carter appeal a final judgment by the Vermont Superior Court,
Chittenden Unit, Civil Division, granting appellee City of
Burlington's (the City) motion to dismiss for lack of
standing and subject matter jurisdiction. We affirm.
[¶2] This case concerns appellants'
standing to challenge the City's recently adopted "
Church Street Marketplace District trespass authority"
ordinance (trespass ordinance). City of Burlington, Code of
Ordinances § 21-49 (2015),
Burlington Ordinances]. The trespass ordinance prohibits four
activities within the Church Street Marketplace District
(Marketplace District) and further provides for a new means
to enforce this prohibition: a notice of
Marketplace District is a quasi-public entity organized in
1979 pursuant to the Burlington city charter. It includes
member businesses that pay for membership through extra tax
assessments and/or membership payments and it is overseen by
a Marketplace Commission, a private organization consisting
of nine members with an executive director.
[¶3] The Marketplace District exists to
maintain and promote Church Street and the area around it as
a vibrant commercial hub in downtown Burlington. The
Marketplace District's geographic area encompasses Church
Street from Pearl Street on the north to Main Street on the
south and includes segments of three intersecting streets --
Cherry, Bank, and College -- where buildings have frontage
both on Church Street and on one of the intersecting streets.
Church Street is a brick-paved public street that is
generally closed to automobile traffic.
[¶4] Filled with restaurants and shops, the
Marketplace District has become a hot spot for social
gatherings, street performers, protests, speeches, and
marches, many of which are impromptu in nature. Despite
having the character of an outdoor pedestrian mall, Church
Street is nevertheless a public right-of-way and is
accessible to the public twenty-four hours a day. Thus, all
state criminal statutes, rules of criminal procedure, and
city ordinances apply within the Marketplace District. The