Thursday June 18, 2015
The city recently added another award to its growing list of accomplishments, and it has a long list of dedicated citizens to thank.
The Vermont Planners Association (VPA) presented the South Burlington Development Review Board with the 2015 Citizen Board Award at this year’s Planning Awards held May 29 at its spring workshop in St. Johnsbury at the Catamount Film & Arts Center.
The VPA commended the South Burlington DRB for exemplary service.
“The Development Review Board of South Burlington is being recognized as the 2015 Citizen Board of the Year. A municipal Development Review Board (DRB) is responsible for all types of development review, including subdivisions, site plans, conditional uses, variances, and appeals of the zoning administrator’s decisions. The South Burlington DRB is among the busiest, if not the busiest in the entire state and has processed an incredible 427 different applications, or over 80 per year. The sheer volume of applications does not, however, tell the true story of this DRB’s work. Many larger applications span multiple, productive meetings, and each application includes individual quirks and needs. South Burlington’s Land Development Regulations include a total of fifty (50) different zoning districts and overlay zoning districts and Land Development Regulations exceeding 300 pages in length.
Understanding and applying standards within these districts, all in a community of 18,000 residents, is a massive undertaking for a volunteer board. While the board is quasi-judicial, with the power of decision, they always, as a matter of course, encourage applicants to work out differences toward successful outcomes within the confines for the regulations. Paul Conner, South Burlington’s Director of Planning and Zoning, finds the city’s DRB a pleasure to work with. ‘The city is fortunate to have a long tradition of extremely thoughtful members with a range of backgrounds and skills. This balance of different areas of expertise and perspectives has been one of the strengths of this board over the years.’”
The Development Review Board is a seven member volunteer board made up of South Burlington citizens who are appointed by the city council. The Development Review Board is charged with overseeing subdivision, site plan, conditional use, and all other board review applications. All meetings are open to the public and are typically held on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm in the City Hall Conference Room. The current board is chaired by Tim Barritt, and includes Vice Chair Bill Miller, Mark Behr, David Parsons, Jennifer Smith, John Wilking, and Brian Breslend.
SOURCE: Miranda Jonswold, Correspondent