Council Votes to Extend Interim Zoning

Council Votes to Extend Interim Zoning

The South Burlington City Council has voted to extend Interim Zoning Bylaws through November 13, 2021.

Interim Zoning, or IZ as it is called, is authorized under State statute and allows a community to establish a second level of review of certain development projects while the City addresses a particular concern related to growth. In the case of South Burlington the Council approved Interim Zoning to allow time to address natural resource related issues primarily in the Southeast Quadrant (SEQ) of the City and also come up with new standards for housing developments in that area known as Planned Unit Developments (PUD).

Under IZ, a development in the subject area must continue through the traditional development review process, typically before the Development Review Board. In addition, the development application must also be reviewed by the City Council to be sure that the issues that have been raised as a rationale for entering Interim Zoning are not compromised by the proposed development.

The Planning Commission has the responsibility of proposing amendments to South Burlington’s Land development Regulations (LDRs) that will address the concerns raised by the Council. The Commission has held extensive public hearings and listening sessions to develop additional environmental protection standards to address forest blocks, wildlife habitat and certain areas of the city defined as “hazards” such as a flood plains or step slopes. The Commission has also been working on new standards for how to lay out a residential development to achieve certain outcomes such as density and preserving open space.

The proposed new environmental standards will soon be the subject of a public hearing before the Commission completes its work on amendments to the LDRS which will then be sent on to the City Council for review, possible amendment and adoption.

Interim Zoning is available to a community for three years. As of November 13, the City will have been operating under IZ for the entire three years allowed.