Panton residents to review town plan

PANTON — Panton residents on Thursday will have a chance to learn more about and weigh in on amendments and updates to the town’s plan, which was last adopted in 2005.
The hearing on the changes to the document, which, including about a dozen pages of maps, comes in at roughly 90 pages, will begin at Panton Town Hall at 7 p.m.
State law requires towns to update their town plans every five years, and planners have been working in recent months to complete the project. Town plans do not put zoning into place, but lay the theoretical groundwork for possible future changes to zoning laws.
Copies of the plan are available at the town clerk’s office, or online at
The plan includes sections, many mandated by state law, describing Panton and its history, and plans related to housing; economy; education; community facilities and services; utilities and energy; transportation; recreation; historic, cultural and scenic resources; Lake Champlain; natural resources and environment; current and future land use; and implementation.
Many sections conclude with statements of Panton’s vision, overall goals and “strategies, actions and objectives” for the future related to the section topic.
For example, under “Current and Future Land Use,” the following are listed as “strategies, actions and objectives”:
“1.The Planning Commission should initiate a review of Land Use Districts, Boundaries and Densities.
2.  Consider the delineation of several areas where more densely clustered, well-planned residential development could occur.
3.  Explore ways to refine the Zoning Regulations to promote more intensive land uses where appropriate.
4.  Support diversification of the agricultural and commercial base where feasible and appropriate, in the permitting process.
5.  Develop more extensive approaches to land preservation and conservation initiatives in Panton. Protect existing open space where possible and appropriate.”
And under the provisions for overall plan “Implementation” the following are listed:
3.1  Explore the neighborhood commercial district for changes to zoning bylaws to ensure appropriate development in the future.
3.2  Review zoning laws to ensure that the regulations support town plan recommendations and initiatives.
3.3  Meet with businesspeople in Panton and the Addison County Chamber of Commerce/Development Corporation to explore possibilities for future.
State law requires planners to hold at least this one hearing before forwarding the plan to the selectboard, which has the final authority to adopt the document. Selectmen, likewise, must hold at least one hearing before they do so.
If either board makes any major changes, more hearings will be needed.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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