A Utah businessman is abandoning plans for a massive development in four rural Vermont towns based on the papers of Mormon founder Joseph Smith.
David Hall's family foundation had been buying land near Smith's birthplace in Sharon, Vermont, for what he described as an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable development with housing for 20,000 people many years in the future.
A local group was formed to fight the plans. The towns and the legislature oppose the project.
On Tuesday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced it had put the towns — Royalton, Sharon, Strafford and Tunbridge — on "watch status" because of the proposal.
Hall said Wednesday that it was an "ingenious move" by opposing groups and says "he's tired of the drama" and "worn out." He plans to sell the 1,500 acres.
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