Planning Commission adopts form-based code overlay district proposal

At its meeting on January 28, the Planning Commission completed its review of the form-based code overlay district proposal which would establish a new zoning district for the Shelburne Road corridor north of the LaPlatte River bridge to the town line with South Burlington. The proposal will next be considered by the Selectboard with at least one public hearing to be held prior to its formal adoption.

The most significant change to the proposal in recent weeks has been the addition of incentives for developers who incorporate historic landmark structures into their plans; conversely, disincentives are also included for those who intend to demolish them. The commission had held several discussions with members of the Historic Preservation and Design Review Commission before adopting its final provisions.

The proposal as a whole is designed to provide incentives for developers who choose the option of using the form-based code rather than the existing zoning bylaws for their projects. The approval process would be simplified for those who exercise this option. The purpose of the form-based overlay district proposal, as defined in Article XVII.A, section 1.1 is to place greater emphasis on the building design and site layout and less emphasis on the types of land uses within those buildings with the goal of facilitating sustainable development in selected areas of Shelburne.

Along with the form based code approval, the Planning Commission also forwarded amendments to the subdivision bylaw with redefined definitions for subdivision, minor subdivision (three or fewer lots), major subdivision (four or more lots), redevelopment, and resubdivision in order to conform with new statutory requirements. The zoning bylaws would also be amended to add the Shelburne Road form-based overlay district to the existing list.

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