South Burlington puts a two year freeze on new housing development

Source: WCAX.com, 6/20/11 “Janice Sabett’s family is digging in for their first summer at their new home in the Summerfield Neighborhood on Hinesburg Road. They moved here from Colorado and Sabett says the neighborhood developments are what attracted them to South Burlington. Sabett explained, “Our kids more prefer a neighborhood where they can meet friends and be near the U-mall, school and sporting events.” But Sabett’s neighbors down the road remember when all of this land was rolling hills. Sharron Greer, a lifelong resident of South Burlington said, “When I was growing up it was a dairy farm. There was 250 acres of just land and we had a lot of cows.” Greer still lives in the home she grew up in off Hinesburg Road originally known as Wright’s Farm. “With all of the building and everything, probably the early 80s,” Greer says it is hard to believe the changes they have seen in just 30 years. The farmland has been sold off as commercial real estate, and she has watched neighborhood developments pop up all along the road. Randall Kay of South Burlington’s Planning Commission explained, “The thing about open space is once it is gone, it is gone forever.” The city of South Burlington has enacted a development freeze on residential and mixed-use land, but city councilors say it will not affect already approved projects. City officials say they are putting on the brakes while they evaluate an aged set of zoning rules and guidelines. For example they’re looking at new height regulations. “It does not mean there will not continue to be development but there may be a different development pattern than there was 50 years ago,” said Kay. South Burlington City Manager Sanford Miller explained, “What this really is is an additional layer of review by the city council. Certain projects, if interim bylaws and zoning are passed, they could be reviewed by City Council before the stage of review by the Development Review Board or Act 250.” City officials say they want to protect the natural habitat that remains in the city…” Full Story/Video: South Burlington says no to housing development, for now

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