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Leicester reaches final stretch on new town plan

LEICESTER — After nearly two years of work, the Leicester selectboard and planning commission are in the final stages of crafting a new town plan.
The new plan will replace the 2003 version, which expired in 2008. Selectboard chair Diane Benware said last Thursday that the final rewrites had just been completed, and copies were mailed to the selectboard and planning commissions for review.
This Thursday, the two boards will convene to give a final nod to the draft, and they will likely set a date for a public meeting that will cap the lengthy process. The Thursday meeting will take place at the Leicester Town Hall at 6 p.m., and is open to the public.
With an up-to-date town plan, the town will be able to revise its zoning regulations, a task that hasn’t been done in a number of years.
The governing document for these new regulations is the town plan, and Benware said the vision for the town set out in the new town plan is consistent with the town’s aims in the past.
“One of the themes of the document is to maintain our small-town character,” she said. “The other recurring theme was that we preserve our natural resources — the lake, Otter Creek, the rolling fields, the forest. The things that make the town really special.”
Over the past two years, the planning commission has done extensive work with the Addison County Regional Planning Commission to develop its new town plan, sought public opinion through meetings and workshops and held many joint meetings with the selectboard to ensure that the final document represented the town. There’s been so much input along the way, said Benware, that the plan is very unlikely to meet any resistance at Thursday’s meeting.
With that milestone passed, said Benware, the boards won’t sit still for long: after a quick break, they will move right on to updating zoning regulations.
Reporter Andrea Suozzo is at [email protected].

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