Alacrity derives from the Latin word alacer, meaning eager, or lively. It denotes physical quickness coupled with eagerness or enthusiasm.
That’s the best word to describe Sugarbush’s response to the Warren Development Review Board’s (DRB) inputs regarding the resort’s Sugar Cube workforce housing project on the Sugarbush Access Road.
DRB members and an abutter voiced specific concerns about lot coverage percentages, wellhead protection, drainage, and traffic circulation at a January 30, 2023, hearing.
A week later, Sugarbush was back at the table with not one but three plans that reduced the lot coverage to under 50%, reduced the driveway from 18 to 12 feet and made it one way, increased the distance around the well, demonstrated drainage and snow removal options and called for building a single-family home and a duplex. The January 30 plan called for three single-family homes.
That’s an impressive turnaround on a complicated project on a complicated lot featuring four preexisting, nonconforming micro-lots that share water and wastewater.
Equally impressive is the responsiveness of the Warren DRB in getting this project permitted and out the door. If Sugarbush is able to get this project fully permitted and constructed by next year that’s a win for a community that desperately needs more housing.
The resort has a second larger workforce housing project in the works, redeveloping the former Rosita’s restaurant into a four-story building that includes 16 studio apartments and 44 single-occupancy bedrooms on each floor, sharing congregate living spaces. That project may likely take long to permit and construct, but at least it’s in the works.
Time is of the essence if we're going to change our zoning and our land use regulations to encourage development that includes critically needed workforce housing. Sugarbush is fortunate to have the land and infrastructure to support these projects as well as a parent company willing to invest in them.
Things take time. If Waitsfield modernizes its zoning to foster infill development (and housing), it will still take time. If the town is successful in creating municipal wastewater it will likely take until 2025
for it to be operational.
Here’s hoping for more alacrity – all the way around!