Vermonters have long worked to maintain a vital working landscape and thriving downtowns and villages. These compact centers also enable us to meet other important state goals, including helping save energy by providing transportation choices, offering vibrant spaces for small businesses, protecting and enhancing habitat for birds, fish and wildlife, and providing an appealing setting and variety of housing choices for people at all stages of their lives. A variety of regulatory programs and financial incentives help us maintain our healthy environment alongside vibrant communities. These programs should be robustly invested in, as important drivers of rural economic development.
Further, important conversations are underway about modernizing Act 250, as policymakers look at how we can update this landmark policy to better protect and maintain the viability of agricultural and working forest lands; improve protections for our natural resources; help enrich downtowns and villages and reduce sprawl by promoting compact development while discouraging scattered, incremental development; update criteria in a way that ensures development reduces energy use and makes Vermont more resilient against climate change; and ensure that Act 250 continues to serve a key role in shaping development in Vermont, along with local planning and development review, state investments, and other policies.
See VCV’s Act 250 modernization overview for more details: http://vermontconservationvoters.com/issues/act-250/
Legislative Priorities for 2019:
- Act 250 modernization – see full description of these issues at this link.
- Appropriate full statutory funding for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.
- Appropriate full statutory funding for the Municipal and Regional Planning Fund that enables communities and Regional Planning Commissions to meet various statutory goals related to maintaining healthy forests, meeting our climate and energy goals, and providing affordable housing and transportation options for Vermonters.
- Maintain strong funding for Downtown and Village Tax Credits.
- Invest $3 million annually for the next five years in the Working Lands Enterprise Fund to support the transition of farm and forest enterprises and ensure a dynamic future for the working landscape that defines Vermont.