Second Public Hearing on Draft Land Development Regulations Feb 7th

Second Public Hearing on Draft Land Development Regulations Feb 7th

The City Council will hold their second public hearing on a series of proposed changes to the City’s Land Development Regulations on Feb. 7th. After that hearing, the Council may choose to adopt the draft or make further changes.

The proposed changes were prepared by the Planning Commission over the past 3+ years, to implement the purposes of the Interim Bylaw adopted by Council at that time and to complete projects that had been in the works.

The changes focus on smart and efficient use of land: compact neighborhoods and contiguous open spaces.

Updates to the Environmental Protection Standards include establishing Habitat Block and Habitat Connector Overlay Districts that limit development in identified areas; expanding floodplain protections to include the 500-year flood zone, expanding wetland buffers in residential and conservation districts, and setting design limitations on steep slope-areas.

Updates to the subdivision, master plan, and “planned unit development” (PUD) standards promote new development to be compact and pedestrian-focused, and reinforce the environmental protection standards. Two new “types” of PUDs are introduced: a Traditional Neighborhood that supports very compact, neighborhood-focused designs of new neighborhoods focused around a civic space, and integrating a mix of housing forms and types and a mix of uses; and a Conservation PUD that sets aside the majority of a parcel for conservation of natural resources and re-allocates the parcel’s development potential to a designated development area. These two PUD types are assigned to different areas of the City as options or requirements.

The draft regulations also expand the City’s Inclusionary Zoning standards, which require that a portion of all new development exceeding 12 homes or housing units be permanently affordable, citywide.

The draft regulations also alter zoning districts in certain areas. Within the southeast quadrant, the Natural Resources Protection sub-district is expanded in the vicinity of the Great Swamp (between Spear Street and Dorset Street, south of Nowland Farm Road), and in the vicinity of the Van Sicklen Woods, north of Van Sicklen Road and east/south of Highland Terrace. Both of these areas were previously in the Neighborhood Residential subdistrict. Portions of land immediate north of the Dorset Farms neighborhood, and south of Nowland Farm Road, are changes from Neighborhood Residential to Village Residentual.   Immediately south of I-89, to the west of Hinesburg Road, land currently zoned as industrial-open space is proposed to be re-designated as residential-7 neighborhood commercial.

Interested in more information? Visit the Project Page for a series of 1-2 page “spotlights” on each of the topics highlighted above and more, to review the draft regulations, for interactive maps, and for presentations. On December 6, 2021, the Planning Commission’s chair and Planning & Zoning Director gave a presentation to Council discussing the full set of amendments, what’s included, what the goals are, and analysis of the anticipated effects on resource conservation and development potential.

Have feedback for the City Council: email prior to the hearing or share your voice at the hearing (virtually or in person) February 7th, Interactive Online:

Telephone: (872) 240-3212; Access Code: 342-108-109