Grant helps Bristol with town planning

BRISTOL — The town of Bristol will continue to revise its bylaws with a $12,350 grant it received this last from the state Municipal and Regional Planning Fund. With the grant money, Bristol will partner with Smart Growth Vermont, a nonprofit organization, to incorporate as much community input as possible into the process of rewriting its bylaws. 
This year, the Municipal and Regional Planning Fund awarded a total of $347,291 to 38 towns across the state, including Vergennes. The fund, which was established in 1988, supports municipal planning and development.
Chico Martin, vice chair of the Bristol planning commission, explained that Bristol is revising its bylaws at the same time as it is rewriting its town plan, the document that expresses the town’s vision for the future.
In March, Bristol residents rejected the planning commission’s proposed town plan, in part due to controversy over the proposed Lathrop gravel pit. Martin hopes that voters will adopt a new town plan in November following a planning process that will involve more community outreach than has previously occurred.
Bristol will use the grant money to work with Smart Growth Vermont through the fiscal year ending in July 2011. John Ewing, the former chair of the Vermont Environmental Board, founded Smart Growth Vermont in 2001 to help communities address land use issues such as sprawl and preserving downtown areas.

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