Communities Move Forward with Growth Center Planning

Communities Move Forward with Growth Center Planning

The Town of Colchester was recently awarded a special $40,000 State Growth Center Planning Grant. Six municipalities applied for the grant. The Town will use this grant to develop growth projections, conduct a build-out assessment and finalize its application. Town staff has asked for Smart Growth Vermont’s assistance on their preliminary application materials.

Seeking guidance on its growth center designation, the Town of Williston has been meeting with the State’s Planning and Coordination Group. Comprised of representatives from state agencies and interest groups, this group is charged with assisting communities seeking state designation. Williston revised its initial application for a growth center after Smart Growth Vermont, the Preservation Trust of Vermont and other members of the Vermont Smart Growth Collaborative worked with local officials to address concerns over the scale of the preliminary growth center boundary.

The Town of Bennington has also met with the Planning and Coordination Group to discuss their pending application. That community is expected to finalize their application in the coming months and seek designation this winter.

Reflecting the range in size and character of communities interested in the growth center program, the Town of Waitsfield recently received Village Center designation for Waitsfield Village. Smart Growth Vermont staff assisted with the application process and presentation to the Downtown Board as part of our efforts to assist the Town with growth center designation through our Community Planning Partnership. The Town is also working with Brandy Saxton of PlaceSense, who is currently conducting a build-out study of the proposed Irasville growth center.

For more information on how your community may benefit from the growth center program, contact Brian Shupe at (802) 864-6310.