DUMMERSTON - Residents will have a chance to weigh in on an update to the town plan for the busy Route 5 and Route 30 corridors.
A public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Dummerston Congregational Church as the town planning commission continues its work to develop proposed changes in the town plan - and, eventually, Dummerston's zoning bylaws - to reflect changes in those corridors.
Officials stress, however, that any zoning changes will be the result of a separate process. For now, they're looking for feedback only on revising the town plan, though commission Chairman Sam Farwell said even that has been "challenging."
"It is clear that residents of Dummerston hold very disparate opinions about land use in these areas," Farwell wrote in an e-mail to the Reformer.
"The proposed amendments represent the commission's best efforts to take all the available information, previous recommendations and public opinions into account."
The task of examining the future of land use in the Route 5 and Route 30 corridors fell to the planning commission because an earlier review failed to produce a consensus.
When an updated Dummerston town plan was approved in 2010, it included instructions to "undertake a corridor study of the Route 5 and Route 30 corridors to determine appropriate land-use districting."
So the Selectboard appointed a seven-member committee to do just that. But the committee ended up handing over both a majority and minority report in 2011, and the Selectboard -- rather than choosing between them -- asked the planning commission to come up with a solution.
Farwell said the commission "has attempted to find a compromise between the recommendations in the two reports."
"This has been very challenging," he wrote. "The commission held two public forums, on June 4 and June 10, for feedback on the proposals."
Those sessions laid the groundwork for Tuesday's hearing in the church basement at the corner of East-West Road and Middle Road.
Farwell said the commission's work includes amendments to the future land use map as well as minor amendments to the plan's land-use section.
Proposed map changes are posted outside and inside the town office and are available for download on the planning commission's web page, www.dummerston.org/planning.
Proposed changes to the plan's land-use section include changing the name of a district from "historic settlement area" to "settlement area" and modifying several action steps, Farwell said.
Copies of those changes also are available at the town office and online.
In addition to hosting the public hearing, the planning commission is accepting written comments on the proposed updates until Sept. 30. Comments can be delivered to the town office at 1523 Middle Road, E. Dummerston Vt. 05346 or e-mailed to email@example.com.
The planning commission is making recommendations on the town plan to Dummerston Selectboard, which has final say on the matter.
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.