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Middlebury town plan decision deferred

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard on Tuesday tabled a decision on whether to advance the community’s updated town plan to a final vote in wake of a new, proposed tweak in language and the absence of two board members.
The board was scheduled to decide whether to close the public hearing phase on the document and then move on to a ratification vote to Tuesday, Dec. 12; or call for another public hearing to entertain any new substantive changes.
Selectwoman Susan Shashok on Tuesday proposed adding the word “scale” in describing how development will be evaluated against the town’s zoning ordinances. The section would therefore read, “This Town Plan prescribes that all industrial, commercial office and commercial retail development in the Town of Middlebury must be in conformity with the Town’s Zoning Ordinance with respect to location, character, size and scale.”
Board members want to further discuss whether Shashok’s proposed wording is enough to force another public hearing on the plan. The board has held two hearings this far on the plan and received a lot of testimony, particularly on the issue of retail stores and whether there are enough safeguards in the document to prevent big-box stores from laying down roots in Addison County’s shire town.
Since Selectmen Dean George and Victor Nuovo could not be at Tuesday’s meeting, the board decided to table the issue until its next regular meeting on Dec. 12.

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