Downtown Enosburg Falls

ENOSBURGH — In an effort to make things easier and more convenient for residents of both communities, the town has applied for a $22,000 grant to merge zoning bylaws with the Village of Enosburg Falls.

Town zoning administrator Jesse Woods said the merger has been years in the making. This year, the village’s bylaws have to be updated anyway in accordance with state law, so the timing is right.

Zoning bylaws outline permitted uses for various sections of land. For example, some parts of a town or village may be dedicated to industrial use, while others may be set aside for residential or commercial use only. A zoning ordinance may also regulate building height or restrict sound.

The Town of Enosburgh and Village of Enosburg Falls have already merged their planning commissions and zoning and development review boards, Woods said.

“[It’s] just a matter of ease because some people don’t know if they’ve been in the town or the village,” Woods said. “Now the Development Review Board and permits will be the same process regardless of where you live.”

There were already quite a few similarities between the town and village’s zoning bylaws, Woods said. However, a downtown section must be added for the village, among a number of subtle differences that need to be reconciled. Overall, Woods said there are a lot of things that can be merged and are applicable to both town and village development.

“We want to make things easier to interpret,” Woods said.

The town applied for the municipal planning grant through the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development on Nov. 1 to help with the cost of merging the bylaws. The competitive grant has a $3,000 match that would be split between the town and village, with the $22,000 award going toward the projected $20,000 cost of the project.

The award will be announced next month, Woods said.

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