VTPolicyAnalyst | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Re: “In Burlington, Upward Growth or 'Vertical Sprawl'?

Ah, yes, it's so cheap to live in NYC, Boston, or San Francisco. The argument that rents will go down the more Burlington builds is The Biggest Lie of them all. And propagated relentlessly by those tied to development.

More that 5,000 housing units have been built in Burlington, South Burlington, and Winooski in just the last six years alone. Did rents come down? Another 5,000 are already permitted or in the process.

What you have is a "if you build it, they will come scenario". Not a "if you build it, it will become inexpensive" situation.

And the solution, one will be told, is to then build some more. It's almost a pyramid scheme.

13 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by VTPolicyAnalyst on 03/04/2017 at 1:18 PM

Re: “In Burlington, Upward Growth or 'Vertical Sprawl'?

I have no association with CLC, but I can respond to those questions.

Changing the Enterprise Zone to allow for housing development will make that area unaffordable for small businesses, start-ups, and artist groups. They will simply be pushed out and have no where to go. They are an important part of Burlington's vibrancy. Building housing is a very profitable use for real estate, and the buildings there will be either converted to housing or torn down, displacing the businesses currently there.

The Burlington College property is not considered walkable to any amenities by planning standards. It is more than a mile from any grocery store, the downtown, a hardware store, or other types of businesses. Putting the densest project in Burlington's history there makes little sense from a planning perspective. The vast majority of people will drive, and North Avenue is already very congested, not very safe for pedestrians, and parking is a major issue. Not to mention this land was an important natural area and the soils highly erodible.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by VTPolicyAnalyst on 03/02/2017 at 3:26 PM

Re: “Panel Recommends $31 Million in Taxes, Fees for Clean Water Efforts

The biggest problem with this proposal is the regressive nature of the new taxes. For example, an additional DMV registration fee hurts the lower-income individuals the most. In most of rural VT one has to own a vehicle, and typically households have more than one...such as a truck for work-related tasks...as well as separate cars for each driver.

Another example is how VHCB funds keep being raised and used for unrelated projects. VHCB funds largely come from the property transfer tax, which hurt people attempting to buy a home. In Chittenden County, where a home of $300k is nearly the median and/or average, the additional property transfer tax is about $5000, which one tacks onto the already high closing costs.

Until the funding source is strictly levied upon those who pollute, such as basing it on lot-coverage and impermeable surface area, this proposal should be scrapped.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by VTPolicyAnalyst on 03/01/2017 at 1:18 PM

Re: “In Burlington, Upward Growth or 'Vertical Sprawl'?

Change is inevitable. Just like death, and the axiomatic taxes. Everyone knows this. But change can be good, bad, or indifferent.

Urban Renewal of the 60s and 70s was change, and these are acknowledged to be an unmitigated disaster today. Yet the proponents back then used the exact same arguments that opponents "were resistant to change". They were pushed through and entire neighborhoods destroyed.

Thousands of other white-elephant projects and developer failures used the same argument, in order to get approvals and persuade officials to support them at the time.

Anyone who uses the argument that people are "against change" is intentionally trying to insult people, and shows contempt not only for them, but history, as well. Are you listening Julie? So tired of hearing this argument from people who should know better.

28 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by VTPolicyAnalyst on 02/22/2017 at 4:19 PM

Re: “Shelburne Selectboard Abandons Effort to Oust Member

Excellent article, Molly. You did a good job of reporting on the salient points, and getting quotes from people who are knowledgeable and following the issues.

Question to the poster SchMan: Can you talk more on the constitutionality of the nebulous Shelburne Charter? As you know, there are no VT statutes on removing a Selectboard member, only general stuff about what happens if a person is unable to perform their duties. Does this by itself make the Shelburne Charter unconstitutional? VLCT says in their a Selectboard handbook that a Selectboard member cannot be removed, but does not provide details.

Obviously, the planned meeting yesterday was an orchestrated attempted lynching of Mr. Dein, who had to get a court order to prevent it. But it also has State-wide implications.

18 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by VTPolicyAnalyst on 02/04/2017 at 2:41 PM

Re: “F-16 Aviator Must Take Civilian Pilot Exam After Small Plane Crash

Very good follow-up article, Sasha. That was a lot of work on your part, not only to get all the documents and perform the research, but to reach out and interview the parties involved. And you provide a great deal of detail. Well-done. Investigative journalism at its best.

7 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by VTPolicyAnalyst on 02/02/2017 at 2:43 PM

Re: “What's With the Long-Empty Building at Rt. 7 and Ferry Road?

If this were any other town in Chittenden County, that would be an unsightly and unneeded Dollar General store already. Kudos to Charlotte for careful planning.

Matt, Lane, Fritz, et. al., please keep up the good work, and stick to your guns. Charlotte has a giant bulls-eye on it. All the other towns nearby have given way to special interests, and now they are paying the price.

6 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by VTPolicyAnalyst on 01/23/2017 at 5:26 PM

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