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Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission | January 2015 Newsletter
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In this issue...
Plan Central Vermont  
Brownfields
V-DAT Reports
River Corridor Base Map 
New Staff Members
Farms and Food Event
Road Diet Explained 
 
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YouTube
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Website
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CVRPC Commissioners

Barre City - Janet Shatney
Barre Town - Byron Atwood
Berlin - Robert  Wernecke
Cabot - Richard Payne
Calais - 
Duxbury - Brian Fitzgerald
East Montpelier - Julie Potter
Fayston - Carol Chamberlin
Marshfield - 
Middlesex - Ronald Krauth
Montpelier -Tina Ruth
Moretown - Dara Torre
Northfield - Laura Hill-Eubanks
Orange - George Malek
Plainfield - David Strong
Roxbury - David McShane
Waitsfield - Don La Haye
Warren - Craig Klofach
Washington - Gary Winders
Waterbury - Steve Lotspeich
Williamstown - Larry Hebert
Woodbury -
Worcester - Bill Arrand

Upcoming Events


Municipal Solid Waste Management Workshop, January 28
Capitol Plaza, Montpelier (Sponsored by VLCT)

CVRPC Monthly Commission meeting, February 10
Central VT Chamber, Berlin

Sustaining Farms and Food in Your Community, February 12
Montpelier H.S. Library, Montpelier

Summit on Creating Prosperity & Opportunity Confronting Climate Change, February 18
Vermont Technical College, Randolph (Sponsored by VT Council on Rural Development)

Local Government Day in the Legislature, February 18
Capitol Plaza, Montpelier (Sponsored by VLCT)

Environmental Summit: Climate Change Resilient, Floodwater Smart, March 19-21
ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Burlington (Sponsored by the Leahy Center)
State Grants Awarded to Central Vermont Communities

Municipal Planning Grants:
Town of Berlin – Subdivision and Zoning Bylaw
State Funds Awarded: $11,000; Local Match: $1,500; Total Project Cost: $12,500
Local Contact: Tom Badowski, zoning@berlinvt.org  
The Town will be assisted by a professional consultant to develop unified bylaws that will align future growth in keeping with the 2012 Town plan with particular focus on updating the Town's Subdivision Regulations with input from public outreach.
 
Town of Plainfield – Natural Resources Planning
State Funds Awarded: $11,947; Local Match: $1,974; Total Project Cost: $13,921
Hire a consultant to develop an inventory and map of the Town's significant natural communities. This will provide information necessary to develop appropriate priorities for their protection, and guide zoning and development decisions.
 
City of Montpelier – Zoning and Subdivision Bylaw
State Funds Awarded: $12,333; Local Match: $2,167; Total Project Cost: $14,500
The project will hire a consultant to help the planning commission complete a comprehensive rewrite of the City's zoning bylaws. The MPG funds will be used to complete the current draft and, critically, for funding public input initiatives.

Strong Communities, Better Connections Grants:
Mad River Valley (Towns of Warren & Waitsfield) Active Transportation Plan
State Funds Awarded: $67,500; Local Match: $7,500; Total Project Cost: $75,000
The project will utilize a public involvement process to articulate a unified, watershed-wide vision for recreational trails and non-motorized transportation facilities, how they integrate with economic development, enhance visitor experiences and enhance residents' quality of life and transportation choices.
Upcoming Grant Deadlines

Recreational Trails Grant Program
Deadline: February 1, 2015

Vermont Community Foundation Small & Inspiring Grant
Deadline: February 2, 2015

Vermont Aquatic Nuisance Species Grant-in-Aid Grants
Deadline: February 11, 2015

USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Help Finance Rural Broadband
Deadline: February 17, 2015

Vermont Arts Council Cultural Facilities Grant
Deadline: May 1, 2015

Vermont Council on Rural Development Community Visits
Deadline: rolling
Around the Region 

Cabot Agricultural Network hosting Conversations from the Working Landscape Speaker Series: click here for details

Town of Berlin releases RFP for Zoning and Subdivision Update: click here for details

VTrans releases YouTube video explaining Barre Montpelier Road Diet: click here to view video

Year 2014 Town Highway Maps Available 


The Year 2014 Town Highway Maps have been completed. This year VTrans generated a complete set of 319 new maps, some of which had not been produced since 2003. The 2014 maps reflect any changes reported to VTrans during the 2014 mileage process. The PDF version of these new maps can be accessed through the VTrans Mapping Unit website.
CVRPC Staff

Susan Sinclair
Executive  Director

Laurie Emery
Office & Grants Manager

Steve Gladczuk
Transportation Planner

Kim McKee
Regional Planner

Gail Aloisio
Assistant Planner 

Dan Currier
GIS Manager

Ashley Andrews
GIS Planning Technician

Emily Nosse-Leirer
Community Engagement Coordinator (A*VISTA)

Plan Central Vermont Update


In November, the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission approved the Strong and Diverse Economy element, making it the first chapter of Plan Central Vermont to pass the approval process. After several months of back and forth between commissioners and lots of hard work by staff, the element can now be viewed in full and summary form on the Economy page of the PlanCentralVermont.org web site. 

With the Economy element finished, staff has moved on to focus on finishing the Environment and Natural Resources element and continuing work on the Healthy Communities and Community Resources elements. Work on the Environment and Natural Resources element is starting to wrap up. The working group had its last meeting in November, and the Commission will review a draft version of the element at their February 10 meeting. The Natural Resources element covers six themes: Surface and Groundwater Resources, Flood Resilience and Climate Change, Wildlife Habitat, Productive Resources, Air Quality, and Outdoor Recreation and Scenic Resources.

The Healthy Community and Community Resources elements are being discussed and written simultaneously by staff with the help of the Health and Communities working group. The working group is made up of community members from various health and human services organizations around the Region. The working group discusses a wide range of issues, from opiate addiction to civic engagement to healthy community design. To view the draft goals for the elements, click here


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Brownfields Grant Update 


In December, staff submitted an application for an EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant. If received, this grant would provide $400,000 for brownfields assessments and the development of clean-up plans in Central Vermont. According to the EPA, a brownfield is “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” Brownfields in the Region include the sites of former drycleaners, granite sheds, automobile repair shops and mills.

By completing this application, staff is already working to achieve one of the Strong and Diverse Economy strategies: Maintain inventory and support the reclamation and redevelopment of blighted, contaminated or potentially contaminated sites (i.e. “brownfields”). Continue to actively seek funds to facilitate this effort.

Staff had a great deal of help from many people during the application process. Many thanks to the seven community organizations from Barre City, Northfield and Montpelier who wrote letters of support for our application. We also appreciate the work of the officials in those cities and towns and at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation who wrote on our behalf. Finally, thanks to Stone Environmental and Weston and Sampson for providing professional and thoughtful pro bono feedback.

Vermont Downtown Action Team Reports Now Available 


In response to the devastation of 2011's flood events, the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) used Federal Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds to assemble the Vermont Downtown Action Team (V-DAT) to speed the economic recovery of eight communities that were heavily impacted. These included the Central Vermont communities of Barre, Northfield, Waitsfield, Warren, and Waterbury. 

The teams conducted multi-day design charrettes (workshops) to identify a range of ideas to improve the vitality and resiliency of their commercial centers. The charrette process showcased unique community assets and qualities and provided a forum for the public to discuss the future direction and vision for the community. The V-DAT plans included detailed implementation strategies and action plans that detailed the who, what, how, and when for every plan recommendation to speed up recovery and embark the community on rebuilding in a more resilient and stronger manner. The final reports are now available on VT DHCD's website
Infill option for Summer Street to Main Street area in Barre City

ANR Releases River Corridor Base Map


The Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) has posted a Base Map of River Corridors online at https://www.tinyurl.com/floodreadyatlas.  The map uses topographic, hydrologic and other map data to model river corridors and portrays streams with a watershed greater than two square miles. A river corridor is delineated to provide for the least erosive form toward which a river will evolve during floods over time. River corridor maps guide State actions to protect, restore, and maintain naturally stable meanders and riparian areas to minimize erosion hazards.

River corridor maps do not indicate any required action on the part of municipalities.  They are developed to facilitate ANR's responsibilities in Act 250 to protect public safety from fluvial erosion hazards and to regulate activities exempt from municipal regulation under the Flood Hazard Area and River Corridor Rules.  Municipalities interested in adopting River Corridor regulations to limit development in hazard areas and qualify for the highest cost share of the Emergency Relief and Assistance Funds may initiate a process with ANR to finalize the local maps.  For additional information contact Kim McKee, mckee@cvregion.com.   
 
Below: The draft River Corridor for the Winooski River near Plainfield Village 

Laura Ranker and Gail Aloisio join CVRPC's staff!


Please join us in welcoming Emergency Management Planner Laura Ranker, and Assistant Planner Gail Aloisio to the CVRPC family! Gail joins us from a recent post as a planner at Northeast Vermont Development Association where she worked on various projects and programming related to brownfield redevelopment, flood resilience and hazard mitigation. Gail can be reached at aloisio@cvregion.com or 229-0389.

Laura returns to CVRPC to head up our expanding Emergency Management programs. She will be contacting towns to update their local emergency operations plans once Town Meeting has occurred.  She will also be assisting with local hazard mitigation planning, training and outreach, and coordination assistance to the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) 5.  Laura can be contacted at ranker@cvregion.com or 229-0389.

Sustaining Farms and Food in Your Community Event 


The Central Vermont Food Systems Council will be hosting a panel presentation entitled Sustaining Farms and Food in Your Community: Local action to grow farms, farmers and town food plans on Thursday, February 12 from 5:30-7:30PM at the Montpelier High School public library.  Presenters will share information regarding action to support agriculture, tools and resources for local food planning, and local success stories.  Community members interested in local action, planning commission and select board members and local growers/agricultural business owners are encouraged to attend for networking, information and vegetarian chili served by NECI.  RSVP via email to Kim McKee, mckee@cvregion.com.  

Road Diet Explained

During the  US 302-Berlin Bicycle & Pedestrian scoping study, one of the alternatives will provide bicycle lanes along the entire project area from the Wayside diner to Ames Plaza Drive. It will include reconfiguring the portion of US 302 that currently has 5 travel lanes so it has 3 travel lanes: one in each direction, and a center left turn lane. This type of treatment is often called a “Road Diet," and will provide ample room for buffered bicycle lanes. The bicycle lanes will be separated from the travel lanes with a painted buffer which could be upgraded to a physical or landscape buffer in the future.
 
This alternative was tested in detail with a traffic simulation model which found that the reconfiguration of US 302 will have only a minor effect on corridor travel times and delays. The model has been peer reviewed by VTrans, as well as another traffic engineering consultant on behalf of Pomerleau Real Estate (owner of the Vermont Shopping Center). Both reviewers concur with the model results. Another benefit of the road diet will be safety since reductions in several types of the most frequently occurring crashes on the corridor are expected.
 
As part of a US 302 paving project later this year,  VTrans will try the road diet configuration, for several months, using temporary pavement marking on the first pavement layer.  Performance measures, such as safety, travel times, and congestion will be observed during this trial period.  After this data is examined, a decision will be made as to whether the road diet will be permanent or the existing lane configuration will be restored with the final pavement layer.  A public outreach process has begun with public meetings and educational videos and brochures developed.

Check out the video link below for further explanation! 
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