Planning Commission to update Town Plan

DUMMERSTON — Although the Planning Commission has made a few revisions to the Town Plan since its last version in February 2014, it's time for a complete update, according to Planning Commission Chair Joe Little.

The purpose of Dummerston's Town Plan is to “provide guidelines for planning the future of the Town of Dummerston so that community actions, whether private or public, will conform to the wishes of its citizens, avoid the adverse and sometimes irreversible effects often associated with purely random development [and] be in harmony with the planning measures of” the state and region.

Chapters cover such topics as land use, natural resources, community services, and education.

“It's about providing guidance for the direction of the town,” Little said, and noted, “we're not making regulations in this [document].”

He said the state requires a town to complete a full update on their Town Plan every eight years, “but you can revise it whenever you want.”

“We go through all the chapters,” Little said, and make sure maps, charts, and statistics are all current. He said Windham Regional Commission Senior Planner John Bennett was particularly helpful in this process. “He has an encyclopedic knowledge of town plans,” Little said.

Attentive readers won't notice much difference, Little said, noting “it's really just updating.”

One notable change in the post-Tropical Storm Irene landscape is the addition of a chapter on flood resilience to the town plan. The Planning Commission also did some work to the chapter on energy planning, use, and policies.

So far, the Planning Commission has held one public forum. The next one is on Aug. 29. “It's time to bring this maybe-final draft to the public,” Little said.

After commission members collect public comment and make any adjustments to the Town Plan, they vote on it, then send it to the Selectboard for final approval.

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