Community Update: Warren
Housing affordability is a major issue in the Mad River Valley, and the Town of Warren has been working with Smart Growth Vermont since early 2008 to identify and implement strategies for making housing more affordable. “We don’t want our kids to be priced out of Warren, so we’re doing everything we can to reduce the cost of housing,” said Warren Zoning Administrator Miron Malboeuf.
With help from Smart Growth Vermont, Warren recently secured village center designation from the Vermont Downtown Program for the civic and commercial heart of Warren Village. Thanks to this designation, owners of income producing properties in the village are now eligible to apply for state historic tax credits to help make improvements to their buildings. Village center designation also sets the stage for the construction of well-designed, moderately priced new homes in Warren.
Communities with designated village centers are eligible to apply to the Vermont Neighborhoods program, a separate state initiative that offers financial and regulatory incentives for the construction of compact new residential neighborhoods. Smart Growth Vermont will assist with Warren’s application to the Vermont Neighborhoods Program later this year.
These designations are just part of a broad-based approach to affordability that includes streamlined permitting processes, smaller minimum lot sizes in the village, and provisions for compact, mixed use development projects.