LAND USE/ENVIRONMENTMENTAL ISSUES
Our members support the state and local environmental protection standards that are in place today. Those standards contribute to the quality of life we all enjoy in Vermont. Unfortunately, a patchwork of regulatory processes and land use designation procedures that have grown over the past few decades now threatens the very integrity of Vermont’s environmental protection standards. We agree with the “Challenges for Change” report to the Legislature issued in 2010 which states: “Streamlining bureaucratic processes could provide faster licensing and permitting without compromising quality standards.” We believe that the time has come for reformed growth center designation, permitting, and appeals processes that can make Vermont’s permitting process more efficient, predictable, and collaborative while still protecting the environment.
Our members are particularly concerned that the costs and time loss of permitting in existing developed areas create disincentives to building in those areas where we want growth to occur, thereby encouraging sprawl. Development in green fields and rural areas is often less costly and time-consuming and as a result, contributing to less sustainable and desirable development patterns. The numerous local and state permits that are required for a project, the timeliness of review, and the appeal process are vestiges of a dated system. Redundancies in the local and state processes result in project delays, increased costs and in many cases, abandonment of projects that could benefit communities with existing development. The Chamber’s recommendations include: special permitting for growth areas, economic benefit criteria, system analysis, presumptions, process improvements, and appeals process improvements.
Learn more about our position on Environment Issues
Recommendations for Permitting
Want More? Contact us! You can always reach our Government Affairs Team with questions or concerns. Dawn Francis or Cathy Davis.