DANVILLE- The process of quinquennially updating Danville’s Town Plan has officially begun. Danville’s Planning Commission met last night to discuss potential changes to be further looked into. Every five years, the state of Vermont requires all towns to meet and update their Town Plan. This gives towns the ability to follow plans specific to the needs of the town.
The two big topics for Danville’s 2016 town plan: renewable energy and food production, according to the Chairman of Danville’s Planning Commission Jeffrey Paquet. Paquet explains in detail the specifics of the 2016 update.
"The majority of changes will just be trying to remove stuff that's not relevant anymore, to tweak anything that's been accomplished, and we have a couple of sections that will be revised,” Paquet said, “We're gonna try and add some information and goals around the food systems, local food movements, to take advantage of Danville's agricultural capabilities. Also, we're going to be dealing with renewable energy and sighting, and those sort of things."
On the topic of renewable energy, Paquet expresses the need to uphold the values of the town.
"We just want to make sure that any development that occurs is going to fit in with the original goals of the town plan, which are to maintain the historical character of the rural nature of the town of Danville”, Paquet said.
Danville’s Town Plan is far from being completed, however. Both the Planning Commission and the Selectboard of the town have to hold several public hearings, with the plan finally being adopted by the Selectboard. Paquet says the Planning Commission is an important part of any town, and explains what it does for the local community.
"The Planning Commission is sort of like the legislative branch of the town. We review zoning, we drop zoning, we are stewards of the town plan, and we assist the Selectboard with enacting zoning ordinances, rules, and regulations. The DRB, which is the Design Regulations Board, is sort of like the judicial part of the town that makes judgement as to whether people are conforming to zoning and town bylaws."
Although the Planning Commission is beginning the process of updating the town plan, Danville’s previous town plan back in 2011 was not fully revised until May of that year. Even so, Paquet says, it is very important that every town in Vermont creates their own individual town plan. Paquet explains what happens in the event of one not being adopted.
"What happens if you don't adopt a town plan is that the DRB, which is to judicial sort of entity of the town can no longer refer to the town plan when making decisions,” Paquet said, “It then has to default to a regional plan which is not specific to danville so we would have a town plan that is suspended essentially. It's like having your Constitution suspended.”
In the 2011 Town Plan, topics were discussed such as promotioning of Danville has a location for small businesses, assuring that services provided by the town were well managed, and maintaining a quality school system for current and future residents.
Danville’s next Selectboard Meeting will takes place April 7 at the Danville Town Hall.
To read Danville's 2011 Town Plan, click here.