Community Spotlight: Williston
Williston began as an agrarian community and was settled by Thomas Chittenden, Vermont’s first Governor. Although farming continues in the area today, commercial and industrial businesses are also important sectors to the local economy.
Williston’s Village Center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also a Certified Local Government, which is a federal tool that the community can use to preserve it’s character for future generations. The Village is predominantly residential, however, the Library, Town Hall and a few shops and restaurants also mark the small district. During the summer and fall months, the local farmers market draws residents and visitors to the Village with a variety of vendors and musical entertainment.
Tafts Corners is one of the most common destinations for people living around Williston due to its large number of retail outlets. Although this area of development poses many land use challenges, positive strides are also being made. The recent growth center designation is designed to direct almost 80 percent of growth in the next 20 years to this area. Town officials hope this will be another step in keeping farms active.
Finney Crossing is a great example of a smart growth development within the growth center boundaries. This compact mixed-use neighborhood will include a range of housing types, from single family homes to multi-family apartments, as well as shops and offices. People are at the center of the design, with an extensive sidewalk network and multiple public outdoor spaces. While Finney Crossing now exists only on paper, if it is built as planned, it will represent a major step towards turning the Tafts Corners area into a neighborhood as well as a commercial and retail destination.