Major development continues in Winooski

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WINOOSKI, Vt. (WCAX) Development in Winooski, is happening fast.

“Development can be completely expedited in terms of a permitting process, some communities can take several months, years even, we can do it in 30 days,” said Winooski Planning and Zoning Manager Paul Dreher.

That's thanks to a 2016 decision to implement Form Based Code for the city. It has already helped bring in two new apartment complexes on Main Street. Both commercial and residential projects are in the works for East Allen Street as well.

“This is kind of both a city vision and it’s also by necessity. We need to get the power lines and telecom infrastructure underground,” said Dreher.

With the new projects starting, there were conflicts with power lines being close to business fronts. That, along with community engagement, helped spark The Main Street Revitalization project.

“What are the design elements the community likes, what are our aspirations as a community, how do we want our community to look and feel in the next 3, 5, 10, 15 years,” said City Manager Jessie Baker.

Residents packed the O'Brien community center Wednesday night, for round two of the discussion. New sidewalks, street trees, safer, slower roads, and more crosswalks are proposed in the plans.

“We will be looking at two alternatives for that design. We’ll hopefully move forward after this with what is the preliminary engineering report which really sets us up to get any future funding with moving forward with the project,” Dreher said.

The Old Soul Barbershop on Main Street, believes the project could greatly benefit them, and bring more patrons to their business.

“I think this part of Winooski is kind of lost a little bit, like a lot of the focus is down in the circle, and it would be awesome if more businesses came up here too. It is way more convenient, it’s easy to park up here, people like it,” said owner Christian DeBrul.