Katie Langrock 

2017 City Council Candidate Questionnaire: Katie Langrock

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Thursday February 23, 2017

Katie Langrock
3 year term

Bachelor of Science in Personnel & Industrial
Relations from
Syracuse University

Occupation: Chief Operating Officer

Years as SB Resident: 23.5

1.What do you see as the single most pressing concern for the City of South Burlington, and how would you address that issue? (100 words)

Affordable and workforce housing shortages are an area of concern and are a regional issue faced throughout our county. The loss of homes in the Chamberlin neighborhood has increased our need for housing. Affordable housing is included as an element of our City Center, and our Affordable Housing Committee & Housing Trust Fund Committees work to include a range of housing in new developments. However, we have to continue to be creative to keep South Burlington as a city where the workforce can live. Ongoing partnerships with housing agencies and non-profits will be instrumental in doing so.  

2.Voter approval for the Market Street and Dumont Park Tax Increment Financing District (TIF) projects marked the start of City Center. What project(s) would you put forward as the next step in the development of City Center? What are the benefits/challenges of this project?(150 words)

The development of the City Center will include both public and private projects. The city has the ability to plan and time the public build out, but for the City Center to truly succeed we need developers and businesses to bring their business to our center. There are currently projects centered around housing in the planning stage. The next step in the public development phase is the Library. Also of interest, the South Burlington City Center for the Arts, a non-profit group, is currently working on a feasibility study with the hope to build a world class creative arts center.  This is such an exciting project for South Burlington!

3.South Burlington has a unique relationship with Burlington International Airport (BIA), The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Vermont Air National Guard (VTANG), and the airport’s owner – the City of Burlington.
A) What is the councilor’s role as these competing interests grapple with governance, taxes, expansion, land use, noise, and home buy-outs/ demolition? What is your vision for the future of the airport?
B) If you are elected, how would you balance the needs of airport neighborhood homeowners with the needs of the City of South Burlington ? (400 words total)

A. The councilor’s role is to balance all of these concerns, understand the complexities, implications, and work collaboratively with the other councilors and parties involved with the goal to make decisions that will best represent our city and our residents.

The city’s direct link to the airport is our seat on the Airport Commission. This representative is extremely important in the process of communication between South Burlington and the other members of the Airport Commission. It is imperative that the city councilors are able to think critically about the information that is presented at the commission meetings and use this information to think strategically about the future of our city and the airport that lies within its boundaries.

The Burlington International Airport is an important economic driver for our region. It is a transportation gateway that allows businesses to be based in Northern Vermont, allowing them easy access to greater metropolitan areas. The Vermont Air National Guard employs over a thousand Vermonters and contributes to the financial viability of the airport.

B. Transparent communication and information are needed so that the needs of the airport, VTANG and our city can be met. South Burlington needs the necessary information from the FAA and the Air Guard regarding the potential additional noise impact from the F35’s. We owe our residents clarity into their future options. They deserve to know if their homes will be deemed safe for residential use with or without additional sound insulation. Should it be determined that more houses are in an area deemed unsafe for residential use, South Burlington needs time to be able to plan how to best manage the loss of property tax income. I would prefer that our neighborhoods remain intact, but at some point we may need to understand that this may not be possible. I will do my best to make sure that our residents are listened to and represented well.   

The City of South Burlington needs to be able to protect its assets. With each home that is acquired by the airport the city loses. It loses the immediate and ongoing loss of the property tax for that once existing home, but also the loss of the sense of community that is created in neighborhoods like the Chamberlin area.  We lose future generations of Vermonter’s being able to afford housing in an area where they have easy access to public transportation, schools and shopping.

4.What are your views on growth in South Burlington regarding commercial and residential development, affordable housing, city services and infrastructure, and open space? (200 words)

South Burlington is a city that has wonderful open spaces, big box retailers, local businesses, vacant buildings, great senior housing, fantastic recreation/transportation paths along with some of the busiest intersections in the state. We literally have it all!  

We need to continue to identify and protect important land within the city that can be maintained as open spaces for our residents to enjoy for years to come. Keeping Vermont in South Burlington is important to me! However, we need a balance of open space, commercial businesses, retailers and housing to maintain a city that truly thrives. I believe that we can build a City Center that welcomes businesses and retailers, entities that will help to contribute to our tax base. We can continue to create dense housing that will allow our city to grow while also keeping our open spaces open.

I fully support the exploration of sharing services with other municipalities such as we have done with storm water permitting and the current discussion about consolidating 911 dispatch services. The initial research indicates that this consolidation could potentially provide an ongoing savings for the city while also reducing the response time in emergencies.

5. What is your long-term vision for the South Burlington community? If elected, what steps would you take in this direction?(100 words)

A city connected with paths where citizens can walk, run, bike from their homes to their places of work, retail shops and our City Center. An energy efficient center that is a vibrant meeting place hosting cultural events, and a destination for all of our residents. We need to move carefully forward with our city center to ensure that it is not “Generica” but instead becomes truly something special. I support the great work that our planning commission and other committees have done to bring the City Center concept to life.  

6. Closing Statement (100 words)

South Burlington is a wonderful city that I am proud to call home. I am confident that my business expertise will help bring balance and stability to the city council. Our city needs the reasonable, thoughtful, and respectful leadership that I can provide. I encourage residents to review the city’s 2016 Comprehensive Plan and to think about how they can help contribute to our future of our city. I look forward to continuing conversations with residents learning how they envision the future of our city.