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Re: “Higher Purpose? Council Approves Zoning Change, Sends It to Voters

What a disappointing and outrageous rush to sell out the character of Burlington's downtown! Voters should reject this zoning change and work together to design a city center worthy of our beautiful home.

4 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Laura H on 09/30/2016 at 10:04 PM

Re: “Higher Purpose? Council Approves Zoning Change, Sends It to Voters

The way the mayor and proponents of the plan as it is currently laid out characterized it as the last great hope for Burlington's future was disingenuous and misleading at best... you can't tell me there isn't another developer out there in the big big world outside of Vermont that wouldn't be willing to redevelop the mall in a manner that is amenable to the wishes of Burlington's citizenry as outlined in Plan BTV and under current zoning??... to characterize the "opposition" as somehow against progress in any form or against development is just a politically motivated lie... it's about time somebody did some due diligence and pushed back against this mayor a little bit... no one is saying don't build... just build something better... not simply bigger...

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by critikboy on 09/30/2016 at 9:24 PM

Re: “Higher Purpose? Council Approves Zoning Change, Sends It to Voters

Yes, Lea Terhune, I did see Brian Dunkiel, one of Sinex's lawyers walk over to the city attorney, Eileen Blackwood, directly after the meeting and shake her hand. He said, "thank you". They did not exactly wink, but I know they both were wearing broad grins. Or maybe smirks? It is increasingly confusing. Does Sinex's lawyer work for the city or does the city's lawyer work for Sinex? Or does it even matter? The city had been using tax payer money for months to push a developer's project and to refute the concerns of conscientious citizens with a wide-range of expertise, asserting that we are misrepresenting facts, when the truth is rather the opposite. It is my understanding that now that the question is on the ballot the city MAY NOT ADVOCATE FOR IT IN ANY WAY. Let's hope they obey the law on this one and remember, for once, that they were elected to serve us, not Don Sinex.

9 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Sud End on 09/30/2016 at 7:18 PM

Re: “Board Unanimous: Johnson, Lyndon State Colleges to Become One

I concur. The topic seemed to come out of thin air, then there was a vote. Interesting process.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Joy Redington on 09/30/2016 at 6:45 PM

Re: “Post-Sale, Seventh Generation Aims to Go Global and Stay Local

Green Mountain bought Keurig, not the other way around.

Posted by Andrew Everett on 09/30/2016 at 6:16 PM

Re: “Higher Purpose? Council Approves Zoning Change, Sends It to Voters

Let's face it, you big shot Mayor Miro Weinberger will have it his way no matter what..He talk out of his butt, does he want to make Burlington another NYC?? Think that's his goal..You allow 10, story,15 story then next there will be 25 story...SMH..2 face Weinberger is all he is..

7 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Donna Boutin on 09/30/2016 at 3:45 PM

Re: “Higher Purpose? Council Approves Zoning Change, Sends It to Voters

Did you see one of Sinex's lawyers thank Eileen Blackwood after the meeting? Was it really accompanied by a wink? ;-(

9 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by leaterhune on 09/30/2016 at 2:28 PM

Re: “Vermont Delegation Divided Over Spending Bill Extending EB-5

Just to be clear, Donna - of our Delegation, only Senator Leahy voted against the continuing resolution. He's been very vocal about the need for reform of the EB-5 program.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Scott Pavek on 09/30/2016 at 2:18 PM

Re: “Higher Purpose? Council Approves Zoning Change, Sends It to Voters

Thanks for the coverage, but this article misses the terrible trick the Mayor played on the city councilors last night, bundling approval for the zoning amendment with approval for putting it on the ballot, coercing councilors who were against the zoning change to vote in favor of it if they wanted the question put to a ballot. The mayor said in his speech that he hoped that the council's vote would send a message to the people, thus revealing his interest in getting as many councilors as possible to vote YES on this unconscionable and probably illegal zoning change. When Councilor Bushor rightly moved to split the vote she was told by the City Attorney that this was impossible, because the two bylaws were contingent upon each other. Absurd! The Council routinely votes on one bylaw and then another and then another, when those separate bylaws are contingent on each other. Just another bit of evidence for the law appeal that would surely embarrass the planning and zoning department and the councilors who have colluded with this rushed project from the first. Please visit http://coalitionforalivablecity.blogspot for the truth about this process, this overlay district, and the Sinex project. Councilor Shannon insulted the citizens of Burlington by claiming that we are misrepresenting the facts, urging people to trust a city government working in a developer's interests instead of their neighbors! I know the people of Burlington are smarter than that. If you want to help us get out the vote, please get in touch via the blog or our facebook page: Stop the 14-Story Mall.

21 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by Sud End on 09/30/2016 at 11:16 AM

Re: “Higher Purpose? Council Approves Zoning Change, Sends It to Voters

“When we say no to more housing again and again, we don’t force out of our community ... the rich people … The people we’re forcing out when we say no and no again are the poor and the disenfranchised." The mayor has finally come clean, gentrification is a go, poor people need to go.

In response to VTPolicyAnalyst.. the two are conflated because there is no way to separate them. It's called spot zoning when the city's zoning is changed like this to accommodate one developer. If we stay within PlanBTV, we do not get the uglee building you see.. that because there is no above ground parking, and we get a human scale livable city.

10 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by Lynn Martin on 09/30/2016 at 9:11 AM

Re: “Higher Purpose? Council Approves Zoning Change, Sends It to Voters

Obama was not addressing liberal Burlington zoning with over 2,000 rental units built/under development since 2013 equaling over 20% of the 2010 Census of 10,000 rental units. This does not include the Peal Street Bove project (50 rental units), the addition of 300 UVM students moving mostly from downtown area of Burlington to the new campus facility, and excluding a natural 100-150 units in a sensibly scaled Mall redevelopment. Mayor Weinberger knows very well Burlington remarkable accomplishment of one in three non-student rental households living our affordable housing! Shame on you Miro Weinberger saying no to a too large Mall even suggesting "the people we’re forcing out when we say no and no again are the poor and the disenfranchised." Your comments insult Cathedral Housing, Burlington Housing Authority, our local private developers of inclusionary housing, and Champlain Housing Trust! Tony Redington

20 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Tony Redington on 09/30/2016 at 8:35 AM

Re: “Higher Purpose? Council Approves Zoning Change, Sends It to Voters

The attack by 1% real estate developers on community-designed zoning laws now turns Orwellian. Having failed to convince the community, it is time to roll out the favorite tropes of those in power who do not tolerate dissent. You are now apparently a racist xenophobe who hates the poor if you don't support the further enrichment of the out-of-state 1%er developers.

25 likes, 26 dislikes
Posted by Chris in S. Burlington on 09/30/2016 at 12:24 AM

Re: “Higher Purpose? Council Approves Zoning Change, Sends It to Voters

To do this properly, there should actually be THREE votes.

The first vote is whether a separate zoning district should be created. Because any planner who looks at this project scenario would consider this "spot zoning", despite Jane Knodells hilarious spin attempt to say it is otherwise. There is enormous evidence and testimony that shows this is happening here.

The second vote, if the first one passes, is to set the zoning characteristics for this new district. This can only occur after public input and full involvement of the Planning Commission...and not in consideration of the Sinex project itself. By State statute, and accepted policy and process, this is the proper way to accomplish this, and the City is performing this completely backwards.

And lastly, if the above two votes pass through the Council and the public, then the Sinex proposal itself should be considered, with public input through the DRB. With all valid appeal scenarios possible, if the public disagrees with the project or feels it does not meet the goals of the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Ordinance.

The Mayor's stated comments are improper. Just who is saying "no" to more housing? Burlington is in the process of building thousands of units throughout the City, with many already recently built. And his stance trying to make this a "class issue" are downright offensive. Burlington has an inclusionary zoning provision, plus height bonuses, for affordable housing already. All of this can, and must be, included with the current zoning maximums of 10-stories and 105'. The Mayor's statements are false on their face. Although, I will say, under this Mayor's leadership, these provisions are often ignored and circumvented.

I fully expect litigation here, as there are multiple improper actions occurring which give impetus to take the project and zoning changes to court.

25 likes, 25 dislikes
Posted by VTPolicyAnalyst on 09/29/2016 at 11:38 PM

Re: “Higher Purpose? Council Approves Zoning Change, Sends It to Voters

I'm glad its going to a vote. But the two issues should be separate. There should be two votes. One for the zoning change and one for whether this proposed development is acceptable, or not. Unfortunately the two issues are now confused because of this exception. This proposal needs to be cut down in size or substantially revised. Frankly, from the artistic renderings this is potentially one of the most ugly buildings ever. It could be a giant carbuncle overshadowing the pretty architecture and businesses of downtown Burlington. Once it is there it would be very difficult to get rid of it, so better to change course before the ship hits the rocks.

26 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by David Ian Lightbody on 09/29/2016 at 11:01 PM

Re: “National Guard Pilot Crashed Plane, Left Local Police in the Dark

I offer sincere gratitude for first responders’ prompt and professional response. In that spirit, I respectfully present a diverse view, based on the same article.

According to the article... 'Federal regulations require a pilot involved in an accident to “immediately, and by the most expeditious means available, notify the nearest National Transportation Safety Board office.” The NTSB had a preliminary crash report on its website Thursday, but a spokesman could not say when the agency was notified.'

The article also states "“They [pilots] did make several calls. I don’t know to whom and the nature of the calls but they made several calls,” Fisher said."

Perhaps the pilot failed to notify NTSB… or maybe the "calls" could have been the required NTSB notifications. According to the article, that would satisfy the pilot's legal obligations. It is possible that NTSB doesn’t share data with local law enforcement. Again, the first responders performed heroically, given the situation.

It would be easy for me to criticize someone who arguably did their best to handle an emergency--self-induced or not. Given that same situation, I might not have done as well. I recently saw the movie "Sully" depicting the pilot’s split second reactions during an airplane crash in which everyone walks away. Regardless of your political leanings, it is important to recognize that this crash resulted in no injuries and no measurable damage to property, other than the aircraft itself. That’s worth something.

Several local families are lucky and relieved to have their loved ones back safely home—pilots and first responders. I will choose to wait for the FAA to finish their investigation and try to learn lessons for future application. I will keep loved ones out of the discussion. I offer these thoughts in the spirit of intellectual diversity.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Milo on 09/29/2016 at 10:18 PM

Re: “After Scott Pledges to Sell Construction Business, Minter Moves the Goal Posts

Wow. So this is THE issue Minter wants to run against Scott on? Really? And she feels the need to ride it so badly that when Scott does exactly what the Democrats demand, she changes her position so that she can still talk about the issue? How pathetic. I guess the one thing she DOESN'T want to talk about is the record of her predecessor in her Party.

28 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by knowyourassumptions on 09/29/2016 at 5:37 PM

Re: “After Scott Pledges to Sell Construction Business, Minter Moves the Goal Posts

Yeah, Donna! Totally with you!


Another "stay out of my state," probably racist and homophobic white old man

10 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by dontshitwhereyoueat on 09/29/2016 at 5:20 PM

Re: “Proposed ‘All-Payer’ Health Care Funding Advances in Vermont

The whole point of all-payer is to control government spending; government spending on health care. Or maybe we should just leave it alone and let everybody end up dropping out of insurance and declaring bankruptcy to pay their hospital bills, that sounds freakin awesome.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Jeff Laughlin on 09/29/2016 at 4:28 PM

Re: “At Rutland Debate, Minter Backs Away From Health Exchange

Don't agree with all of Mr Scott's ideas but more so then dictator Minter..We need a good heath care not a government care..look how obamacare turned out..Vermont Health care is a joke the same as obama care..

5 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Donna Boutin on 09/29/2016 at 3:18 PM

Re: “Vermont Delegation Divided Over Spending Bill Extending EB-5

EB-5 never should had happen.. immigrant investors should not be allowed to pay (bribe) their way to come here..and that's what EB-5 is..they should come to the USA like all legal immigrants.
Leahy and Welch voted nay to cover their butts, election time... Sanders..didn't vote cuz he don't care..he skipped 58 percent of the Senate's roll-call votes..Some senator for Vt..only cares about himself..

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Donna Boutin on 09/29/2016 at 3:01 PM

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