Jericho, Vermont

Chartered in 1763 
 

Commercial District Project

 

The Jericho Planning Commission aims to hire a consultant or team of consultants to work with Jericho’s Planning Commission to develop a Master Plan for the town’s Commercial District and to revise the Commercial District standards in the Jericho Land Use and Development Regulations.  Key to this project is public outreach and involvement.  

Funding for this project is being provided by a 2018 Municipal Planning Grant from the Department of Housing and Community Development along with matching funds from the Town of Jericho.  This request for qualifications (RFQ) is intended to aid the Town in the competitive selection of a qualified consultant.

This project’s goal is to ensure future development within Jericho’s Commercial District (CD) will balance the Town’s desires to protect the scenic views to the mountains and the town’s rural character, with the Town’s interest to provide an area distinct from the Village Centers, that is designed in an aesthetically-pleasing and well-functioning way, to support local businesses and sustainable economic development.

The Planning Commission envisions four project components/deliverables:

  1. Public outreach and engagement throughout the entire process
  2. Purpose Statement updated and “character of the neighborhood” standards developed for the CD
  3. Master Plan developed to illustrate the future potential of the CD
  4. Revised zoning regulations that will help to achieve the District’s Purpose and desired character and that are compatible with the Master Plan.

The Planning Commission hopes to have the consultant on board in April and begin the project soon after.  Stay tuned for further information on the project.

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A bit of history.....

You may recall that the Planning Commission also received a grant in 2016 for the revision Commercial District.  That project included a review of the permitted land Uses and the drafting of new building design standards and site design standards to protect the views, to facilitate pedestrian access, and prohibit strip development.  The project team didn’t spend much time discussing or questioning the Purpose of the District since the PC had just completed the update of the Town Plan, which had incorporated feedback from citizens.

The following is the Commercial District Purpose statement in the 2016 Town Plan, which is consistent with and did not change the Purpose statement of the prior project:

“The primary purpose of the Commercial District is to provide a location for minimum impact commercial enterprises that cannot or should not be located in the Village Center District. Generally, this refers to light industrial or commercial uses that rely on trucks and/or heavy equipment that would come into conflict with pedestrians and/or residential uses in the Village Center District.”

That project did produce some draft language and illustrations that could have formed the basis of an update to the zoning regulations for the CD, and there was some discussion of limiting permitted Uses in order to ensure future development would fit the District purpose. The PC did not proceed to recommend any zoning revisions because they concluded the process was incomplete, and there was not sufficient public support, understanding of, and participation in the process, up to that point. Several Commercial District property owners and some residents opposed the changes that were being discussed at the time, while other residents expressed support for the general direction of the changes being discussed. The PC determined more time, analysis and public participation would be needed for a more comprehensive approach.


 

For more information or to find out how to be involved in the project, please email Katherine Sonnick, Planning and Development Coordinator, at ksonnick@jerichovt.gov

 

Copyright 2003, Town of Jericho, Vermont