Opinion: Proposal doesn’t follow town plan

Middlebury Town Plan, Page 129: GOALS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
“Community Facilities and Services in Middlebury will:
Be maintained and improved in a manner that is both cost effective and serves the needs of the community;
We will achieve this by:
Maintaining and redeveloping community facilities and town-owned lands as necessary.
1. Renovate/replace the Municipal Building with a Community Center to meet long-term public needs, providing a respectable landmark on the site that will support downtown and economic development efforts.”
Middlebury Zoning Ordinance, Page 33, Section F: Town Plan Conformance
From review criteria:
“The project shall comply with and actively further the Town Plan. The DRB shall consider the standards and action steps set forth in the Plan and the Land Use Section including the neighborhood plans.”
These quotes, with other related sections from our Town Plan and Ordinance, speak to the problem that the current bond proposal does not comply with our plan. The selectboard has declined to get legal counsel on this issue before we go through the time-consuming and costly process of developing plans for the development review process, which requires the project to comply with the town plan.
Maintaining and redeveloping town land is not selling it. Renovate/replace is not building new elsewhere. We deserve to know if this project is legally defensible if approved. Otherwise we set a terrible precedent by ignoring our town plan. Why do we have a plan if we do not honor it.
Victoria DeWind

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