Montpelier, VT – August 21, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor Jim Douglas was on hand as a local developer broke ground at the site of the first new neighborhood created under the housing bill passed last year.
In a ceremony at the future site of Village Haven, a 24-unit housing development off West Street in Essex Junction being built by Dousevicz, Inc., the governor praised the project as leading the way in an effort to get more housing built that working Vermonters can afford under the Vermont Neighborhoods program.
“This site is a great example of how we can work together to encourage housing that working families can afford. We can achieve this goal and at the same time uphold our strong environmental standards,” Douglas said. “And projects like are critical in this economy as they create jobs for Vermonters and stimulate our economy.”
The Vermont Neighborhoods bill was passed in spring 2008 to support and encourage new housing development within or contiguous to Designated Downtowns and Villages, where existing infrastructure already exists and where local zoning and planning are in place.
Projects which meet these requirements, as well as the Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s affordability requirements are exempt from Act 250, the state’s development control law, thus reducing the cost to both the developer and ultimately the buyer.
“This project is directly across the street from Hiawatha Elementary School, and is a short walk to Summit Street and Fleming Schools, as well as the designated village center,” Douglas said. “It will be hooked up to Village water and sewer, and there is already housing here making this the idea location for working Vermonters and growing families.”
Village officials supported the project, calling it well integrated within the existing residential neighborhoods.
“It includes access to commercial and civic services, as well as transportation networks,” said Village President Larry Yandow. “There will even be sidewalks for pedestrians.”
Brad Dousevicz said the Vermont Neighborhood designation not only meant that the cost of building the homes would be reduced, but that some of the savings would be invested in making them more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
“We are very pleased to be the first project designated in this fashion,” Dousevicz. “This new law means that we can build these houses without undue delays, and pass the savings on to families. And do so in a fashion that helps prevent sprawl.”
For more information please visit: http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/Planning/VermontNeighborhoods.htm