Winooski aims to change zoning to make it easier to add housing in the city

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 5:31 PM EDT
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WINOOSKI, Vt. (WCAX) - There’s a push in Winooski to change zoning regulations and make it easier to add housing in the Onion City.

“Right now our residential zoning districts do not allow for multiunit dwellings. They limit it to single units or two-unit dwellings,” said Eric Vorwald of Winooski Planning and Zoning.

Winooski’s Planning Commission and City Council have been working on a plan for the last month to change the city’s residential district zoning restrictions as the need for affordable housing rises in the community.

“I don’t think there’s been a problem attracting people to live here or to move here. I think the challenge is the type of housing available for people. So right now a lot of the development people are seeing are single units or studio units. There are some two-bedroom units that are being built as well,” Vorwald said.

The Planning Commission’s goal is to allow multiunit homes with more than three bedrooms each. They also want to reduce parking requirements in nonresidential areas.

Julia Barrett lives in Winooski. She says she’s been going to council meetings and would like to see a change.

“People are looking for housing, you know, it’s really hard. Rent is high and low-income housing really helps at the moment, you know, it does. It really does,” Barrett said.

The Winooski City Council is holding a meeting Monday night to hear the public’s comments on their plan. If they vote on it, those changes could take effect in 21 days.

“Once it becomes effective, it’s part of our new land-use regulations and then it’s just a matter of seeing who takes advantage of it,” Vorwald said.

If the City Council does not approve it, they will come up with another strategy to add more housing in the Onion City.

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