Articles 7 & 8 are not discriminatory

The South Hero Planning Commission has criticized Articles 7 & 8 on the upcoming Ballot as “discriminatory”, with the implication that affordable housing will no longer be an option in the 568 acres proposed to revert to their previous rural/residential or shoreland zoning .  This is not true.

In fact, our development regulations allow even greater density in the rural/residential (which includes farmland and forests) and shoreland zones than some downtown areas in Vermont that have access to water, sewer, transportation and jobs.

For reference, a Seven Days article for January 16, 2023 ** says Vermont Rep. Seth Bongartz is introducing a bill to clear the way for low- and moderate-income housing in downtown areas and to steer development away from farmland and forests. 
“Bongartz’s bill… would require towns to allow duplexes to be built anywhere that a single-family home is allowed — and fourplexes to be built in areas connected to water and sewer.”

But already, every  parcel in South Hero is permitted to build a duplex anywhere that a single-family home is allowed.  And fourplexes are also an option (with conditional approval and site plan review) even without pre-existing access to water, sewer, etc. 
For larger developments in the rural/residential zoning district, a parcel could be built up as a Planned Unit Development or PUD .  The PUD (see page 25***) has clustered development where contiguous tracts of open space or productive land are preserved.  There are very generous bonuses of additional housing units permitted when open space and accessible housing (see page 28***) are included in the plan.

***page 25 of the development regulations at

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