A proposed change to Waitsfield’s subdivision regulations could reduce the minimum lot size needed for single-family housing development in the agricultural/residential district.
The current requirement for single-family housing in the ag/res district is 1 acre. The Waitsfield Planning Commission is finalizing proposed amendments that would reduce the minimum lot size for homes between zero and 1,000 square feet to one-quarter of an acre.
The proposed changes would also allow tiny homes to be built on an 8,000-square-foot or one-fifth of an acre lot. These amendments for Planned Hamlet Development (PHD) cap the number of units for any such project at 20.
Waitsfield’s zoning currently allows for multiple housing units as a Planned Residential Development (PRD), but the new PHD regs allow for greater density. Chris Damiani, the town’s planning and zoning administrator, explained that currently, using an 8-acre parcel as an example, the maximum units allowed for a PRD with clustered housing is 10 units and for a PRD with affordable housing the maximum is 12 units.
With a PHD the maximum allowable units for a tiny house development would be 20 tiny houses and for single-family homes the maximum allowable would be 16, assuming open space and other requirements are met.
Such projects will have to meet other basic land use guidelines in the town in terms of elevation, steep slopes, wetlands, flood hazard areas and inclusion in the Vermont Protected Lands database.
The planning commission met to work on the regulations May 21 and will hold a public hearing on the proposed amendments July 2. After that hearing, if there are no substantive changes, the proposed amendments will go to the Waitsfield Select Board for a public hearing. The select board votes on proposed zoning amendments.