By Guy Page
- Add “climate change” as a criterion for project review and approval. “The goal would be to minimize emissions of greenhouse gases and ensure that the design and materials used in development enable projects to adapt to climate change,” the commission said.
- Prevent woodland development causing forest fragmentation. “Protecting forest blocks [and wildlife migration corridors] not only protects the forests and their ecosystems but also relates to climate change because it protects areas that capture and absorb carbon dioxide,” the commission said.
- Encourage migration of rural Vermonters into compact urban centers. “The General Assembly should increase the alignment of Act 250 jurisdiction with the goals of supporting Vermont’s settlement pattern of compact centers surrounded by rural countryside and of protecting the State’s ecosystems and natural resources.”
- Give Act 250 jurisdiction over development at Interstate highway interchanges.
- Reactivate the executive branch Development Cabinet established by law in 2012 to ensure climate reduction throughout state government.
- Require municipal and regional plans conformity to the new Act 250.
The commission met Friday at the Statehouse to review this draft report. The final report is due to be presented to the Legislature next month.
Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.