by Wendell Beckman, Chair – Plymouth Planning Commission
The Town Plan for Plymouth and all other cities and towns in Vermont must be reviewed and updated every five years. In Plymouth, the Planning Commission is responsible for making this review, updating the Plan and holding a public hearing so that property owners can see what is being proposed for the next five years.
The Planning Commission started this review process about eighteen months ago. A survey was sent to all resident asking for their opinions on how they wanted Plymouth to look in the future. Using this and other information, a Town Plan was developed. A public hearing was held in February 2010 to review the first proposed plan. The meeting was attended by approximately 80 people. Some property owners voiced their objections to the plan presented at this hearing. Because of these objections further modifications were made.
After the 2010 Town meeting several new members were appointed to the Planning Commission and work on a new proposed Town Plan started. The Town applied for and received a second state grant which allowed us to continue to employ the Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission to help us develop a new plan. In May an educational session was conducted by the regional commission staff. A letter was sent to all property owners asking them to attend this meeting to learn about the process and give input. About 25 people attended. We held a second workshop type meeting in June to allow property owners to again voice their thoughts on future land use in Plymouth. Again, about 25 people attended.
Using the input that was received from the Town Survey, the February 2010 public hearing and our public meetings in May and June a new plan and future land use map were developed. A public hearing was held on January 21, 2011 to review the new plan with property owners. About 30 people attended that meeting. Only a few comments were received, at that public hearing. Some minor wording changes were made to the proposed plan before it was forwarded to the Select Board. The Select Board expects to hold their public hearing on the proposed town plan on Monday, April 18.
After the proposed Town Plan is approved by the Select Board the Planning Commission will begin working on revising the Zoning Ordinances to comply with the new plan.