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Old 05-22-2009, 02:29 PM
 
1,617 posts, read 2,464,635 times
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There are still some VT towns that do not have zoning yet, of course, there are certainly plenty of State rules/regulations that do affect towns, building, and the like.

What do people think, in general, about the pros and cons of zoning?

I think that people tend to think without zoning regulations anything goes but they do forget about State rules/regulations....people who live in towns without zoning, are there issues?
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:36 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,945 posts, read 22,255,374 times
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There's too much as it is at the state level. Town level restrictions should be eliminated, or state level restrictions eliminated.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:24 PM
 
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Default Good zoning regs are a good thing

I probably know more about this issue than most. My work has required me to attend zoning board meetings in Morristown and Stowe, located next to each other in Lamoille County.

Stowe implemented its zoning guidelines in the 1970s when strip malls and sprawl were starting to become a problem in some parts of the state. They are extremely well thought of and have allowed the town to grow while staying beautiful. The village is still quaint and the shopping plazas are well designed.

The only bad aspect, in my opinion, is that there is very little land zoned for industrial uses, which prevents businesses that would benefit the town tax-wise from coming in. Also, the zoning board also has a problem with restaurants with drive-thru windows and they nearly had a cow last year when a developer proposed building a Dunkin Donuts on the Mountain Road.

Morristown developed its zoning later. It's haphazard and has resulted in a commercial area that has been nicknamed "Mo Vegas" because of its ugly stripmalls and signage. They are now updating the zoning regs, but it's too late to do anything about the ugliness that's already there.

While there are still many beautiful rural areas in town, the current zoning regs don't do enough to protect them.

On a brighter note, a group of concerned citizens have banded together over the last decade or so to revitalize the village area. New businesses have come in and it looks 100 percent better. A lot of the same people have been attending the zoning meetings to make sure the new regs will preserve the rural areas, encourage development in the downtown to prevent sprawl and limit the size of commercial buildings.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:14 AM
 
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Thanks so much for your thoughts; as a broker, I have mixed feelings actually about zoning. I think there are times, unfortunately, that if some towns don't like someone, they make things exeptionally difficult for that individual yet for others, the hoops and obstacles are less difficult.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:18 PM
 
159 posts, read 349,579 times
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Zoning is stripping private citizens of their property rights, an easy way to tell someone what they can and can't do with their property and the property owner has no recourse other than an expensive and lengthy legal suit while the zoning boards legal bills are paid by the towns. I think if any town denies a property owner the right to do what they want with their property then the town must be willing to buy it for the fair market value if the owner wants out. It's a constitutional right to own property.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:22 PM
 
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I don't love the idea of zoning. i also think that if people don't want zoning, they need to exercise some consideration and responsibilities for the neighbors. Don't put a manure plant in a residential neighborhood and all.
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:17 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 4,216,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-springfielder View Post
Zoning is stripping private citizens of their property rights, an easy way to tell someone what they can and can't do with their property and the property owner has no recourse other than an expensive and lengthy legal suit while the zoning boards legal bills are paid by the towns. I think if any town denies a property owner the right to do what they want with their property then the town must be willing to buy it for the fair market value if the owner wants out. It's a constitutional right to own property.
As a Virginian, I kind of feel out of place commenting on something pertaining to Vermont, as I probably don't know all of the facts about the situation. But when I saw the link to this thread, my urban planning interest was piqued.

(By the way, Im not targeting this response directly at the person that I quoted, just that they were the first person I saw that opposed zoning).

I think zoning (when well-planned and thought out) does much more good than harm.

Imagine if there weren't zoning laws.

If there were no zoning limitations then nothing would stop an entrepreneur from establishing an adult book/movie store next to a child daycare center or school.

If there were no zoning laws, there would be nothing to stop someone from opening a 24hr auto-repair shop next to your house. Imagine the noise that would keep you up at all hours of the night.

As an example, check out Pamela Heights, an area in unincorporated Travis County, Texas

Pamela Heights: an enclave with no zoning (broadband required) - Cyburbia Forums

You don't even have to read the thread, just look at the pictures. Some are down-right funny..lol.
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Old 05-30-2009, 02:31 PM
 
1,617 posts, read 2,464,635 times
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Thanks for the comments.
So, here is an outline of something that happened:
a. Person purchases a property at a tax sale; property was in really really rough shape; really rough shape; it is located in a highway-commercial area with a auto repair shop to its left; across the street from what was another auto repair shop; two doors down, a seasonal hot dog stand with small trailer park (in the process of being closed) and across the street from that, a gas/convenience store. The property in question is on a major 'interstate' road; and less than 1000 feet to the intersection of another major 'interstate road'.

People purchase this property from the town @ tax sale; hold on to it for the required period of time and decide to not only clean up the building but the land (approx 1 ac) and bring in storage units. He was turned down to do this because it was determined that storage units should be in an "industrial" area rather than highway commercial although there is no known or established 'industrial' area or description of that type of area; appealed, turned down, appealed again, turned down, hired lawyer, etc. and now back to square one.

So: if there are currently all commercial businesses in this area, and there is no definition in zoning regulations re: industrial... what is a reasonable recommendation and should there be zoning especially given that VT has such strict State zoning/regulations, etc and the like. If the State would permit this business, should it not have precedence over town zoning regulations ....etc.
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:55 PM
 
Location: 89121
413 posts, read 1,427,515 times
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Bottom line. Purchaser should have inquired as to what uses would be permitted in that area BEFORE bidding at the tax sale. Caveat emptor.
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Inis Fada
16,833 posts, read 29,091,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarmaple View Post
Thanks for the comments.
So, here is an outline of something that happened:
a. Person purchases a property at a tax sale; property was in really really rough shape; really rough shape; it is located in a highway-commercial area with a auto repair shop to its left; across the street from what was another auto repair shop; two doors down, a seasonal hot dog stand with small trailer park (in the process of being closed) and across the street from that, a gas/convenience store. The property in question is on a major 'interstate' road; and less than 1000 feet to the intersection of another major 'interstate road'.

People purchase this property from the town @ tax sale; hold on to it for the required period of time and decide to not only clean up the building but the land (approx 1 ac) and bring in storage units. He was turned down to do this because it was determined that storage units should be in an "industrial" area rather than highway commercial although there is no known or established 'industrial' area or description of that type of area; appealed, turned down, appealed again, turned down, hired lawyer, etc. and now back to square one.

So: if there are currently all commercial businesses in this area, and there is no definition in zoning regulations re: industrial... what is a reasonable recommendation and should there be zoning especially given that VT has such strict State zoning/regulations, etc and the like. If the State would permit this business, should it not have precedence over town zoning regulations ....etc.
Have you seen the storage center on 103/11 in Chester? It does not belong where it was situated. They are ugly as sin. Whoever rubberstamped that project should be forced to live on that property.

What was once a wooded lot behind the Heritage Restaurant was completely clear cut, filled to the gills with storage units which look like a series of long metal sheds with lots of exterior garage/overhead doors. The perimeter is surrounded by a chain link fence which gives the property a quasi-penal feel. It is in complete contradiction to the cute Heritage, the new Gallery 103 building next to it, or the American Legion across the street. Both Gallery 103 and the American legion are new buildings, but one can see great pains were taken to give them that cherished Vermont vernacular look that one imagines when they hear "Vermont"

I agree that storage units belong in an industrial area and not in a commercial area.
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