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Planning Commission Plans, Studies and Projects

Unified Development Regulations Project

Welcome

The Planning Commission welcomes you to the project website for the 2015-2017 Unified Development Regulations Project.  We welcome your feedback.

Meetings

You can reach out to us at any of our meetings.  We meet on the first and third Tuesday evenings of each month in the Municipal Building Community Room (at the address below).   You can also reach out to the Planning Director, Jacob Hemmerick (who can include your voice in our meeting packets) by calling 802.893.1186, e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or writing 43 Bombardier Road, Milton VT 05468.

Please join the conversation!

Upcoming Event

Pre-Hearing Open House on Draft Unified Regulations
Town of Milton Planning Commission
Library Community Room
43 Bombardier Rd., Milton, VT 05468
TUESDAY, APRIL 18, 2017
Stop by any time between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Ask questions, get answers and give suggestions. No PowerPoint presentations!

Project Resources:
Draft Unified Development Regulations (in progress)
Draft Zoning Map
Adopted Town Plan
Adopted Zoning Map
Adopted Zoning Regulations
Adopted Subdivision Regulations

Work Plan

Planning Commission
4/18 - Open House
4/22 - Special Saturday Meeting - Section II & III
5/2 - Regular Meeting - Section II & III
5/6 - Special Saturday Meeting - Section II & III
5/16 - Finalize Statutory Report & Vote to Notice Hearing
6/6 - Prepare for Hearing | Begin Comp. Plan Project Phase I
6/20 - Planning Commission Hearing on UR (potential vote to send to Selectboard for hearing)

Selectboard Pre-Hearing Review
4/10 - Handoff of Section 4
4/17 - Handoff of Section 1
4/24 - Handoff of Section 2; comments on Sections 4 and 1.
5/1 - Handoff of Seciton 3; comments on Section 2
5/8 - Comments on Section 3

Project Background

Milton is growing.  Growth impacts our public facilities, municipal and school services, and overall quality of life.  How we grow matters.

The Town’s foremost goal is balanced residential and commercial growth in order to maintain a reasonably stable tax rate.  Prior to the adoption of the Interim Zoning Bylaws in 2015 -- which paused some development in certain areas of Town -- the rate of residential growth outpaced commercial growth, and residential development occurred in areas envisioned for commercial uses.

The community also had concerns about the quality, scale and character of recent development, especially in the Town Core planning area. This area of town is served by public infrastructure and has been planned for the highest density and intensity of development.  Public investments have added value and opened tremendous development potential, but not all development has been compatible with its neighbors or the Town's long-term vision.

The Town Plan and other decades-long planning efforts in Milton show sustained public support to create an identifiable, pedestrian-friendly downtown in Milton.  The adopted  standards are, in part, why that vision hasn't come together -- even in a growing economy.

In response to these questions and concerns, the Town adopted Interim Zoning Bylaws in 2015 in order to have some time to re-examine and propose changes as needed to the current regulations.  Since adoption of Interim Zoning, the Planning Commission  and staff have been preparing draft Unified Development Regulations to marry and replace the stand-alone Zoning and Subdivision Regulations.  As of April 14, 2018, the Commission has held 57 meetings and this project is nearing the formal public hearing process in June and July of 2017 (see work plan above).

To learn more about land use planning and development regulation in Vermont, check out the Vermont Planning Manual.

Project Objectives

The project's objectives are grounded in Milton's adopted Town Plan (which defines a common vision for the future of Milton) as well as concerns about emerging trends.  The Planning Commission tasked itself with the following:

  1. Revise allowed uses and modify the dimensional  and development standards in the Downtown Business (DB1) District.
  2. Clarify access management standards.
  3. Revise allowed uses and modify the dimensional and development standards in the Mixed-Use (M) Districts.
  4. Eliminate and/or revise Planned Unit Development requirements in the Town Core, allowing mixed-use development in appropriate districts.
  5. Establish clearer development standards for multi-family housing.
  6. Unify the Zoning and Subdivision Bylaws to streamline the permitting process and provide more specific review standards.
  7. Lift the Interim Zoning Bylaw.

Project Press

March 2015.  We Are at a Crucial Point.  Milton Indpendent
March 2015. Board Mulls Interim Zoning. Milton Independent
April 2015.  Interim Zoning a Go.  Milton Independent.
July 2015.  Despite Ban, Mini Storage Gets OK.  Milton Independent
November 2015. Board Mulls PUD Approval.  Milton Independent
December 2015.  No Decision Yet for Sawyer Project. Milton Independent
January 2016.  Board Denies Sawyer Project, Upholds Zoning.  Milton Independent.
July 2016.  Vermont Town Experiencing Growth Looks to Create Downtown Area.  MyChamplainValley.
August 2016.  Milton's Metamorphasis.  Seven Days
December 2016.  Milton, Colchester Planners Talk Zoning. Milton Independent.
December 2016.  2016 Year in Review.  Milton Independent.
February 2017.  Creating Cohesion.  Milton Independent.
March 2017.  Meet the 2017 Selectboard Candidates.  Milton Independent.

Project Milestones

Summer of 2014
The Planning Commission notices trends and develops a growing concern about the ability of the Regulations to deliver on the Town's vision.

Winter 2015
The Commission drafts the Interim Zoning Bylaws and a Fact Sheet to halt certain residential development within certain Town Core Planning Area zoning districts and public warehousing throughout town.  This community tool allows the Planning Commission time to initiate an effort to address the identified issues and concerns by permanently revising the Town's regulations. 

April 2015
The Selectboard adopts the Interim Zoning Bylaws.

June 2015
The Commission holds a public forum to gather feedback on a bylaw amendment goals and objectives in order to develop a work plan for the project.

July 2015
With initial feedback, the Commission begins a technical review of the Town's Comprehensive Plan goals and the existing regulations to prioritize alternative approaches that improve the effectiveness of the Town's regulations.  The Commission also develops project objectives and sketches out an initial work plan to prepare the amendments for Selectboard consideration.

October 2015
The Commission finalizes the bylaw strategy and the Selectboard approves a contract for project implementation. 

February 2016
The Commission finalizes revisions for the Downtown Business Zoning District.

March 2016
The Commission prepares draft M District language, conducting a walk-and-talk tour of the Checkerberry Area.

April 2016
The Commisison holds a community workshop on the Downtown Business District.

May 2016
The Commission reviews draft language for the Neighborhood Center Zoning Districts.

June 2016
The Commission reviews draft language for Section 1 of the Unified Regulations.

July 2016
The Commission reviews draft language for Section 4 of the Unified Regulations, and holds a joint meeting with the Selectboard to review progress.

August 2016
The Commission conducts a walk-and-talk tour of the Downtown Business District, and conducts outreach at National Night Out.

September 2016
The Commission reviews draft language for Section 2 of the Unified Regulations, including the use table and zoning map.

October 2016
The Commission reviews draft language for Section 2 of the Unified Regulations, including the dimensional standards.

November 2016
The Commission begins review of Section 3 of the Unified Regulations.

December 2016
The Commisison holds a joint meeting with the Selectboard on Unified Regulations, requesting that the Interim Zoning bylaw be extended to allow additional time to complete the project.

January 2017
The Selectboard extends the Interim Zoning Bylaws to allow more time for project completion.

March 2017
The Commission finalizes Section 3 and begin second review of complete draft.