by Andrew Martin
The Town and Village of Hyde Park now have one Comprehensive Development Plan. Various Hyde Park boards and governing bodies have been working on and reviewing the new joint plan in recent months. The document was officially adopted by the Hyde Park Village Trustees on December 12 and by the Hyde Park Selectboard on December 13.
The Hyde Park Planning Commission, which serves both the town and village, worked on the new plan for much of 2012, and joint public hearings were held by the selectboard and trustees on November 8 and December 12 in order to take public comments and discuss any necessary changes to the plan. No issues with the plan were raised at either meeting, leading to the adoption of the plan by both governing boards, thereby creating one definitive document for both municipalities. The new Hyde Park Town and Village Comprehensive Development Plan became effective as of December 13 and will remain so for a period of five years. Before the adoption of the new plan each municipality had their own development plan which were not always in agreement.
Officials in Hyde Park are now seeking approval of the new plan from the regional Lamoille County Planning Commission. If granted, regional approval allows the town to seek state planning grants while also requiring state planning documents to take into consideration the goals and recommendations of the Hyde Park plan.
The Hyde Park Planning Commission (PC) will continue the process of updating town documents in 2013 by reviewing and updating the zoning and subdivision regulations for both the village and town. The PC will be working with the Lamoille County Planning Commission and Hyde Park Zoning Administrator Ron Rodjenski to accomplish this new task, and in early December the project was awarded a $14,000 state planning grant to assist in the work.
The result of the planned work by the PC could potentially be that in the future Hyde Park could have a combined land use regulation document that would be called a unified code. This code would bring all current town regulations into compliance with state law while also providing residents of Hyde Park with one joint document that would contain all town and village zoning rules and regulations. To further aid their work, the Hyde Park PC has also begun examining the rules and regulations of other towns that have been able to “encourage economic development while preserving historic character and natural areas.” According to Zoning Administrator Rodjenski a number of public meetings and work sessions will be taking place throughout the next year in order to garner more public comment and input.
According to PC member Greg Paus the members of the commission hope to begin their next project in January and that the project has to be completed no later than May of 2014 since that’s the deadline for the grant that was awarded for the project.