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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673
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Voters will approve or disapprove

08/23/2007

To The Editor:

Thank you for publicizing that an ad hoc group of local attorneys donated a considerable amount of time to review and comment on the new Waitsfield subdivision regulations over several months. The new regulations are substantially different from the old regulations.

They contain a significant number of new obligations on landowners as developers and provide better rules, tools and explanations of the procedure for obtaining a subdivision. Such substantial change warranted a thorough legal review. Our committee provided that review.

 

It is unfair to imply that because local land use attorneys "vetted' the new regulations, that we support or approve of the regulations. Our group has not nor will it take such a position on the regulations.  



In view of your double reference to our review, we feel it's important for readers to understand what we did and did not do. After initial discussions, the planning commission clearly indicated to our group that our assistance was only welcomed on legal and procedural issues. We, therefore, reviewed the regulations for compliance with Vermont statutes and decisions of the Vermont Supreme Court. We requested changes to promote clarity. We also pointed out issues, such as storm water runoff, wastewater disposal and water supply, each already subject to state regulations, now added to subdivision review in the hope that applicants would not have the same issue reviewed by two different bodies. Not all of our suggestions were implemented.

In response to some of our comments, the planning commission said it was a policy issue for the commission to determine and the select board to approve. We accept their position. The registered voters of Waitsfield now have that power to approve or disapprove.

We urge the voters to review the regulations, particularly Article 3, Planning and Design Standards, and decide for themselves the appropriateness of the new subdivisions rules for Waitsfield.

Mark Grosby for the

Ad hoc Valley land use lawyers committee

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