The Regional Priorities Survey was created by the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission (CVRPC) to inform the 2016 Regional Plan Update, Plan Central Vermont. The survey was formed by taking goals from the 2008 Regional Plan and adding additional goals from other regional plans in Vermont as well as other successful plan examples. Participants were asked to pick their top three goals within each of the 12 topic areas.
The purpose of the survey was to solicit feedback from residents of the Central Vermont Region on their priorities and inform the following in the Plan Central Vermont process:
- development of a vision and broad goals;
- identification of key topics for more detailed public discussion and input; and
- prioritization of goals, policies and strategies for Plan implementation.
The survey was open from Monday, November 25 until Thursday, December 12, 2013. There were 311 total responses, with 224 (72%) finishing the entire survey.
Who responded to the Survey?
Responses were broken down by the age group of the participant as well as how they categorized themselves.
Responses were also broken down by town, shown here as a percentage of the 2010 town populations.
The resulting top three goals by category are listed below.
Agriculture and Forestry:
Goal 1: Facilitate local food production and increased access to healthy food through planning, land use ordinances, and incentive programs.
Goal 2: Encourage coordination among towns, public, private, and non-profits involved in preserving and promoting the working landscape.
Goal 3: Decrease subdivision and fragmentation of productive forest and agricultural lands.
Environment and Natural Resources:
Goal 1: Maintain or enhance existing critical wildlife habitats.
Goal 2: Encourage the protection of significant natural and fragile areas.
Goal 3: Encourage watershed-based cooperation of towns, citizen groups and businesses in the protection and enhancement of surface water quality.
Climate Change, Hazard Mitigation and Flood Resilience:
Goal 1: Direct new development to safer locations and avoid new development in identified flood hazard and river erosion areas through local land use regulation, incentives and conservation.
Goal 2: Support initiatives, legislation, and actions for reducing and responding to climate change at the local, regional, and state level.
Goal 3: Slow, spread and sink floodwater throughout the watershed through protection of floodplains, wetlands, river corridors and upland forested areas.
Strong and Diverse Economy:
Goal 1: Preserve farms and forest lands by supporting the entire value-chain of the food system and natural resource economy.
Goal 2: Support redevelopment and infill to strengthen our downtowns, village and commercial districts.
Goal 3: Foster entrepreneurialism, support cottage industries and strengthen buy local efforts.
Safe and Affordable Housing:
Goal 1: Increase the opportunities for safe, energy efficient, affordable, and accessible housing for all types of households in mixed-income neighborhoods.
Goal 2: Promote preservation, rehabilitation and maintenance of the existing housing stock.
Goal 3: Promote the adaptive re-use of older and historic buildings for housing.
Energy Efficiency and Development:
Goal 1: Support efforts to reduce transportation energy demand and consumption through land use planning and promotion of non-motorized and public alternatives.
Goal 2: Encourage the generation and use of renewable energy resources, particularly those of local origin.
Goal 3: Energy conservation and efficiency measures should be taken during the siting, design, construction or renovation and maintenance of buildings.
Historic, Cultural and Scenic Resources:
Goal 1: Preserve significant scenic and aesthetic resources of the region for the benefit of current and future generations.
Goal 2: Promote sensitive economic development in areas of historic value such as in town centers, villages, and hamlets.
Goal 3: Promote access to a wide range of high quality cultural experiences for all sectors of the population.
Utilities and Infrastructure:
Goal 1: Continue to reduce the amount of solid waste and hazardous waste generated.
Goal 2: Ensure that water systems are not contaminated, depleted, or degraded, and that there is sufficient quantity of water available for current and future needs.
Goal 3: Ensure that remaining waste is disposed of in an environmentally sound manner.
Emergency Management and Public Safety:
Goal 1: Maintain a strong and effective system of public safety that is built on the concept of cooperation and mutual aid.
Goal 2: Support emergency preparedness and response planning and strengthen integration with traditional planning and resource allocation activities.
Goal 3: Maintain a high level of community awareness and involvement and in the delivery of emergency and public safety services.
Goal 1: Maintain and improve a high quality health care system that is accessible and affordable to all residents of the region.
Goal 2: Encourage development of shared use trails to connect communities, schools, and other facilities, and increase residents’ options for physical activity.
Goal 3: Encourage in-fill development and density to increase walkability and potential for alternative transportation options.
Goal 1: Integrate modes of travel in order to allow for their most effective use and ultimately reduce dependence on single occupant vehicles.
Goal 2: Promote a regional public transportation system.
Goal 3: Establish a transportation system that minimizes consumption of resources and maximizes the protection of the environment.
Future Land Use:
Goal 1: Sustain and support the region’s working landscape of agriculture, including farming, forestry, fishing and sugaring.
Goal 2: Direct new growth in the form of jobs, housing, commerce, utilities, industry, community facilities, and cultural activities to downtowns and villages.
Goal 3: Support the adoption of clear land use plans and implementation policies that will preserve historic settlement patterns, and prevent rural sprawl.