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Planning Commission Plans, Studies and Projects

Unified Development Regulations Project

DB1

Welcome

The Planning Commission welcomes you to the webpage for the 2015-2017 Unified Development Regulations Project.  

Introduction

The proposed Unified Development Regulations were written to integrate and replace the adopted Zoning Regulations and Subdivision Regulations, implement the purposes of the 2015 Interim Zoning Regulations, and implement the goals and policies of the 2013 Town of Milton Comprehensive Plan and the Vermont Planning and Development Act.

 The proposal is the result of two years of work at more than sixty public meetings held by the Planning Commission following the adoption of the Interim Zoning Regulations.  It builds on more than a decade of “Town Core” planning begun in 1999, when the town turned its attention to Milton in the New Millennium. This early work (followed by several subsequent plans and studies incorporated into the Plan) has steadily advanced a diverse and walkable center in Milton – well-served by municipal services and infrastructure – surrounded by: regionally significant industrial employment centers, low-density/rural residential and working farms and forests. The Town Core has been the principal focus of the proposed changes -- consistent with the community’s vision to develop a livable center and hub of regional investment – by offering expanded choices for: commerce, employment, housing and mobility in distinct zoning districts that: mitigate land use conflicts, stabilize investments, and guide predictable patterns of development.

Regular Meetings

You can contact the Commission at any regular meeting.  Regular meetings are held  the first and third Tuesday evenings of each month in the Municipal Building Community Room (at the address below).   The Planning Director, Jacob Hemmerick, can include written submissions in the Commission's meeting materials and is available by phone 802.893.1186, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or in person at 43 Bombardier Road, Milton VT 05468.  Agendas and minutes are available here and in the Town Clerk's Office.

Please join the conversation!  We welcome your feedback.

Planning Commission Hearing

The Commission will hold a public hearing on June 13, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Municipal Building Community Room to accept comments on the proposed Unified Development Regulations.

Public Hearing Documents
Transmittal Memo
Hearing Notice
Planning Commission Reporting Form

Proposed Documents
Draft Unified Development Regulations
Draft Zoning Map
Draft Town Core Zoning Map

Adopted Documents
Adopted Town Plan
Adopted Zoning Map
Adopted Zoning Regulations
Adopted Interim Zoning Regulations
Adopted Subdivision Regulations

Project Resources
Comprehensive Plan Goal/Policy Analysis
Comprehensive Planning Area and District Concurrance Table
Planning Area Map
Town Core Planning Sub-Area Map
US Route 7 Land Use Study (referenced in Plan goals)
Town Core Streetscape Study (referenced in Plan goals)
Milton Improvement Committee Report (referenced in Interim Bylaws goals)
US Route 7 Corridor Study (reference in the Interim Bylaws goals)
Green Stormwater Infrastructure Sizing Tool (referenced in draft Regulations)
Town of Milton Urban Forest Strategic Action Plan of 2016 (referenced in draft Regulations)

Work Plan

Planning Commission
06/06 - Prepare for Hearing
06/13 - Planning Commission Hearing on the Draft Unified Regulations
06/19 - Tentative date for submission to the Selectboard.

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 surrounding uses 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 allow 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 in the process of preparing draft Unified Development Regulations to integrate and replace the stand-alone Zoning and Subdivision Regulations.  Over teh past two years, the Commission has held 60 public meetings and several outreach events.

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) and the purposes of the Interim Zoning Regulations.  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 by identifying areas to locate and promote commercial development, assess school needs, plan for mixed development, address traffic safety and transportation issues, evaluate and implement recommendations of the Improvement Committee and the US Route 7 Corridor study, study sewer service area restrictions, adjust dimensional requirements for efficient land use, and evaluate placement of public warehousing.

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.

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

May 2017
The Commission prepares for hearings.

2018-2026 Comprehensive Plan Update Project

In June, the Planning Commission will begin work to update the Town's Comprehensive Plan.  More information coming soon.