Town wins state planning grant


MANCHESTER >> The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has awarded $16,100 to the Town of Manchester in state municipal planning grant funds for Phase II of the town's rewrite of its Land Use & Development Ordinance. The Town of Manchester successfully competed against 72 communities and was one of 45 funded.

Although the Manchester Town Plan reflects smart growth principles, and has established appropriate goals for a diverse economy, affordable housing development, protection of natural resources, and energy conservation; over 30 years of zoning amendments have not resulted in adequate realization of these goals. Instead, growth continues to be focused primarily in the retail sector, the housing and jobs needs of the community remain largely unmet, and concentrated mixed use development of the downtown remains elusive. Phase I of the zoning rewrite process resulted in a streamlined and logical ordinance. The Manchester Selectboard will hold a hearing on Phase I on December 15. Phase II of the rewrite process will address the weaknesses that continue to prevent concentrated mixed use development of the core, development of workforce housing, and conservation of the outlying working landscape. Manchester will have a year and a half to complete this project. Awarded annually and administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development, the municipal planning grant program supports local community revitalization and planning initiatives. Since 1998, the program has provided over $11 million to 232 cities and towns across Vermont to help breathe new life into communities, plan for future growth and development and improve quality of life.


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