Vergennes municipal plan advances

VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen on April 10 officially accepted the planning commission’s final draft of proposed new zoning and subdivision regulations, the product of months of work by planners.
Planning commission chairman Shannon Haggett said planners held a hearing on March 19 and tweaked their proposal based on testimony they heard there and on follow-up discussions among themselves.
Aldermen must hold at least one public hearing on the new regulations before adopting them. If they choose to make any significant changes to the proposal it must be returned to the planning commission.
The council picked May 8 as the date for its first hearing on the proposed zoning and subdivision regulations.
The zoning laws, among other things, would create new Historic Neighborhood and Northern Gateway districts. In the former, homeowners in older neighborhoods would have more flexibility in making improvements to their properties, including in adding onto their homes or building garages.
In the Northern Gateway district, which is proposed for a stretch of North Main Street, property owners would be allowed more permitted uses for their real estate.
The laws would also create some restrictions on the look and dimensions of new and rebuilt structures in the downtown area, provisions that would be intended to preserve the look of the city center. Preserving the appearance of downtown was strongly backed in public opinion sampling early in the process.
The subdivision regulations are undergoing their first significant revision since 1976, officials said.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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