Locals weigh in on Middlebury town plan

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Planning Commission on Monday held its first of two public hearings on a draft of the revised town plan, a lengthy document that will be open to further changes based on community input during the coming months.
The state requires Vermont communities to update their town plans — blueprints for how municipalities see themselves currently and how they would like to grow in the future — every five years.
It is an assignment the Middlebury Planning Commission took on with great deliberation around two years ago. The panel held a series of public forums and assigned each of its members with a research task. This culminated in a draft town plan of around 200 pages that lays out what officials hope is a more thorough and user-friendly tool to better guide decision making in the coming years.
The town plan draft — which ultimately needs to be endorsed by the selectboard — can be viewed through the town’s website, www.middlebury.govoffice.com. Hard copies can be purchased for $10 at the town offices.
Residents are also encouraged to send e-mail feedback to the town planning office, which can be linked from the town website.
Commission Chairwoman Nancy Malcolm said area residents filled the Ilsley Library meeting room for Monday’s meeting. Attendees included Middlebury College officials, business leaders and neighbors whom Malcolm said questioned some of the plan’s priorities, approved others and asked some thoughtful questions about how the plan could affect them.
The meeting lasted around an hour and 15 minutes, Malcolm said.
The commission’s second hearing was scheduled for Wednesday evening, which is past the Addison Independent’sdeadline for Thursday’s paper. Coverage of the Wednesday meeting will be combined with news from the Monday hearing to provide a comprehensive report for the Monday, June 11, issue.

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