When I picture South Burlington in my mind’s eye, I see the curb-to-curb traffic of Shelburne and Williston Roads, the shopping malls, the big parking lots, the land-gobbling subdivisions. I don’t usually think of the area pictured above — the southeastern part of SoBu, which is on the precipice of transformation from countryside to suburbia.
The area in that image is less than two miles wide, but a majority of South Burlington City Council lives comfortably within that frame. Three of the five councilors live within a mile of each other, and only one lives outside the city’s southeastern census tract.
Which explains why the letters section of VTDigger has recently been flooded by councilors and their allies slagging S.100, the bill that would ease regulatory restrictions on housing construction. The issue is literally at their front doors. The sprawl is oozing like The Blob around them, and they want to keep whatever power they have over the process.
It was little more than a year ago that South Burlington City Council voted to block development in large swaths of — you guessed it — the southeastern quadrant.Continue reading