This week the Senate Natural Resources Committee focused mainly on amendments and wording changes to S.100 and the amendments being offered. These language changes dealing with definitions of downtown development districts, areas affected by municipal sewers infrastructure and wastewater systems.
The Committee no longer had possession of the bill so they were only taking straw votes on their amendments as the bill currently resides in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Senator McCormack was still very hesitant to support the Committee amendments or the underlying bill.
One of the amendments focused on the Designated Village Centers, which would allow these designated areas to apply for an "enhanced designation" which allows priority housing projects with less than 50 units to be exempt from Act 250. To receive this designation, Village Centers must have permanent zoning, sewer and water infrastructure, and adequate municipal staff. Under the bill, this provision would sunset in July 2026.
The Committee took a straw poll on the new language and all were in favor (McCormack reluctantly).
They also included language around a Neighborhood Development Area, which is an area that can be designated for development if it has municipal sewer infrastructure, a community or alternative wastewater system approved by the Agency of Natural Resources, or a public community water system.
The Committee has until next week to make final decisions while the bill is in the Appropriations Committee, so there is no rush to get official votes. The bill is expected to hit the Floor next week.
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Question… So a town with just municipal water (and not any municipal or community wastewater system) can designate a Neighborhood Development Area?