Timeline of Events that Resulted in Articles 7 & 8

The timeline below demonstrates that our Planning Commission (PC) did not address resident concerns about either the no minimum lot size or the large size of the Village Zoning Districts (VZDs) earmarked for high-density development until after they received the citizen petition to shrink the VZDs. Further, in our opinion, the proposed Village Neighborhood zoning districts the PC is now considering are still much too large.


  • ​June, 2022,​ ​a town survey conducted by the PC went live without any questions on preferences for lot sizes and setbacks. These two issues were known to be the most important and contested features of the current development regulations. Residents, including those who lived in the village zone and were most impacted by very dense village zoning, advocated repeatedly for these questions to be on the survey. The Planning Commission refused. A direct appeal to the Selectboard was ignored.
  • Late July, 2022, citizen volunteers–disappointed by not being heard– created a survey on these issues and began a campaign to go door-to-door to engage residents who lived in the Village Zoning Districts (VZD). 
  • August, 2022, Northwest Regional Planning Commission (not our own Planning Commission) proposes a special meeting to revisit concerns about zoning in the villages.
  • September 7, 2022, a 2-hr event at the Worthen Library on the subject of the village zones (including the no-minimum-lot-size zone) was well attended. Despite considerable testimony questioning the density encouraged by no minimum lot size and requests to remove all shoreland property from this zone, no concessions were made by the PC in follow-up discussions about this event.
  • November 16, 2022, Joan Falcao presented the results of the door-to-door survey of the VZD residents to the PC. The 57 responses obtained for this survey were more than the 23 responses that the PC’s official online survey obtained from residents living in the village zones. Overwhelmingly, survey respondents do not want the new zoning regulations promoting dense development in their neighborhoods.
  • December 7, 2022, at their meeting, the PC doubled down on promoting wide-spread high density and discouraged input and/or collaboration with residents, as recorded in the minutes… “S Gregg pointed out our focus is to develop a good town plan. We can reevaluate land use/village zoning as a goal in the [new] Town Plan.” NB: A goal means it may be dealt with later — or not.
  • December 14, 2022, the legal citizen petition on Articles 7 & 8 was given to the Town Clerk.  On that same day, the PC chair was notified by email that the petition was submitted, was given a soft copy of the petition, and the PC was asked to discuss the petition at its next meeting on December 21.
  • December 21, 2022, the Northwest Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) suddenly presented new maps suggesting minimum lot sizes where there had been none and removing all shoreland property from dense development zoning. Further, the proposed maps broke up each of the two VZDs into two new zoning districts – Village Cores and Village Neighborhoods.  This was a complete surprise to members of the public who had been following the PC’s work on the new Town Plan. Given the revisions proposed by NRPC, the PC Chair then asked Bob Fireovid and Joan Falcao, who were in attendance, if they would withdraw the petition “since the issues were already being addressed.”  Bob and Joan rightfully responded that they had no authority to make such a decision on behalf of the 111 other voters who signed the petition.
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