To the editor:
As volunteer members of the Town’s Zoning Board of adjustment (ZBA), we want to thank everyone involved in recent dialogue around challenges with the Town’s zoning process.
The challenges were detailed in the October 29th issue of The Charlotte News regarding a recent application. But it’s not an isolated case; as a board we have seen frustration on all sides — residents, Town officials, ZBA members — in recent months in a number of proposed zoning proposals and appeals. The frustration has to do with the Town’s process and clarity for residents in direction on following the process.
We’re pleased the Selectboard has agreed to review our current zoning process and how it is administered in the town.
Charlotte’s zoning regulations have been carried over from a major zoning initiative undertaken by the Town over a generation ago. These regulations are known as our Land Use Regulations (LURs), a 144-page document adopted by residents in March 2016 to encourage the orderly and planned development of the Town.
The ZBA’s main goal is to ensure those zoning regulations are followed. However, as a board we apply those regulations with enough flexibility for requested projects that sometimes don’t fit the regulations completely. That’s the purpose of the ZBA: balancing those requests against the LURs.
We are fortunate to live in a town where our residents take these issues seriously, and as a board we are grateful — as residents, neighbors, volunteer board members — for the opportunity to help support you in your individual projects and ensure they align with the Town’s goals.
We hope all town residents pay attention to zoning issues and feel free to make your voice and opinions heard to the Selectboard as they continually review Charlotte’s LURs and endeavor to streamline the zoning administration process. That’s our best path to keep our zoning regulations dynamic to reflect the Town’s collective point of view.
In particular, we ask new residents to participate. The Town of Charlotte welcomes your input and our goal for the Town’s regulations is that they represent all residents’ interests.