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A What-If Scenario for You

November 20, 2023

As you look around at the land where you live and where you work, at the land you travel through in your daily life, do you think about changes you’d like to see?

Or maybe you think about changes you hope you’ll never see?

Land use planning is deeply ingrained in the work of our local planning commissions and development review boards.  But it’s also something we think about and care about as individuals.  That’s evident in the depth and breadth of public engagement with our ongoing study of roadways that could reduce the impact of truck traffic on Main Street in Vergennes.

To be honest, much of the dialogue around these potential roadways has been focused on what you DON’T want to see happen.

As we come to the end of a third year of PEL activity and pivot towards the final stretch of work, the PEL team is hosting a set of workshops in December and early January where we’re going to flip the script and ask you to focus on what you DO want to see.  Here’s how that’s going to work.

If We Built It . . .

Taking each of the roadways we’ve been studying one by one, we’re going to ask a simple question:  If this roadway were to be built, what are your priorities for how the land around it might be used?

What would be on your list?

  • New residential areas?
  • New retail businesses and restaurants?
  • New industrial development and the jobs that come with it?
  • Maintaining Addison County’s rural landscape and working farmland?
  • Maintaining our views of the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks?
  • Conserving land for recreational use?
  • Investing in alternative energy like wind turbines and solar arrays?
  • Safe bike lanes?
  • Something else?

The Workshop Schedule

There will be four individual workshops, each of which will be based around the routes that we’ve been studying.  (In the case of the Pink and Blue Routes, which run roughly parallel to the west and north of downtown Vergennes, we’ll combine these into one workshop.)

  • The Orange Route—Monday, December 4, 6 – 8 PM at the Vergennes Opera House
  • The Pink and Blue Routes—Monday, December 11, 6 – 8 PM at the Vergennes Opera House
  • The Purple Route—Tuesday, December 12, 6 – 8 PM, at Tourterelle on Route 7 in New Haven
  • The Green Route—Wednesday, December 13, 6 – 8 PM at the Panton Town Offices

There will also be a virtual meeting on Zoom that will cover all of the routes early in the new year.  That will take place on Tuesday, January 9, from 4 – 6 PM.

More information on the workshops and what to expect can be found here.

We’ve been talking about these routes a lot lately.  If you need a refresher, you can view each of the maps here.

And, as I mentioned in my latest blog post on Conceptual Engineering (which you can read here), you’ll have an opportunity to “drive” these routes courtesy of a 3D visualization of each proposed new roadway that will be shown at each of the land use workshops.

I hope to see you at one or more of the workshops!  In the meantime, as always, if you have questions about our PEL Study, I’d like to hear from you.  You can reach me on email jgish@vhb.com or give me a call at 802 989-0608.

All the best,

Jim Gish