Created on Thursday, 23 August 2007 10:43
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 August 2007 10:43
To The Editor:
Thank you for publicizing that an ad hoc group of local attorneys
donated a considerable amount of time to review and comment on the new
Waitsfield subdivision regulations over several months. The new
regulations are substantially different from the old regulations.
They contain a significant number of new obligations on landowners as
developers and provide better rules, tools and explanations of the
procedure for obtaining a subdivision. Such substantial change
warranted a thorough legal review. Our committee provided that review.
It is unfair to imply that because local land use attorneys "vetted'
the new regulations, that we support or approve of the regulations. Our
group has not nor will it take such a position on the regulations.
In view of your double reference to our review, we feel it's important
for readers to understand what we did and did not do. After initial
discussions, the planning commission clearly indicated to our group
that our assistance was only welcomed on legal and procedural issues.
We, therefore, reviewed the regulations for compliance with Vermont
statutes and decisions of the Vermont Supreme Court. We requested
changes to promote clarity. We also pointed out issues, such as storm
water runoff, wastewater disposal and water supply, each already
subject to state regulations, now added to subdivision review in the
hope that applicants would not have the same issue reviewed by two
different bodies. Not all of our suggestions were implemented.
In response to some of our comments, the planning commission said it
was a policy issue for the commission to determine and the select board
to approve. We accept their position. The registered voters of
Waitsfield now have that power to approve or disapprove.
We urge the voters to review the regulations, particularly Article 3,
Planning and Design Standards, and decide for themselves the
appropriateness of the new subdivisions rules for Waitsfield.
Mark Grosby for the
Ad hoc Valley land use lawyers committee