Essex Junction looks to amend zoning for more housing

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 8:52 AM EDT
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ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. (WCAX) - Essex Junction city leaders want to make some zoning changes to allow for more housing and they’re looking for input from residents.

The most significant change would be increasing the number of units allowed on residential lots and making the approval process for those expansions easier. The current draft would allow duplexes and triplexes in most areas, though a pending bill might force them to allow fourplexes.

There has been concern the city will be overrun with big developers building duplexes and triplexes, but city officials don’t expect that to be the case. However, they do want to be prepared for the future.

”From the experience of other cities, the change of bylaws that allows for duplexes and triplexes really does not immediately increase to massive change,” said Chris Yuen, the city’s community development director. “This is opening doors to gradual transition.”

“Household size has continued to shrink over time and we’re going to continue to see that because our demographics are shifting and changing specifically with folks continuing to age,” City Manager Regina Mahoney said in regard to the type of housing they may need going forward.

Other changes they’re looking at include expanding preservation standards, reducing the residential parking requirement, and requiring bike racks at most new developments.

City leaders want to hear from residents about the plans. Click here for the survey.

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