The Stratton Corporation (Stratton) (plaintiff) owned property along Kidder Brook, an upland stream. Stratton had long-term plans for development of the area and held six land use permits. William and Elizabeth Uptegrove (defendants) filed a petition with the Vermont Water Resources Board (Board) to have Kidder Brook reclassified from a Class B to Class A surface water. This reclassification affected the quality standards under which the water was managed. The Board initiated rulemaking proceedings regarding the reclassification, as required by the Vermont Water Pollution Control Act. During the notice and comment period, Stratton filed its objection to reclassification based on the impact it might have on Stratton’s property rights and its redevelopment plans. The Board considered ten statutory factors to determine whether the reclassification was in the public interest. The Board voted to reclassify Kidder Brook. Stratton appealed the reclassification before the Windham Superior Court, arguing that the Board was required to conduct a trial-type hearing rather than an informal rulemaking procedure. The superior court dismissed the petition. Stratton appealed.