Sunday, January 18, 2015

SOS-Burlington Summit Focuses on BC Land Deal

Burlington's Open Space Summit, convened as an all-wards Neighborhood Planning Assembly (NPA) meeting by SOS-Burlington, is a time for residents from across the city to gather and discuss how to save open land in the city, how growth can happen while conserving essential green space.
The proposed sale of the 32 acres presently owned by Burlington College for development into intensive mixed housing has aroused significant community opposition. The idea of filling one of the largest undeveloped waterfront green spaces in the city with houses, condos and apartment buildings and therefore necessarily with pipes, electric wires, driveways, roads, and cars does not work for Burlingtonians who have a vision of the city as a verdant community, accessible to all, embracing nature and able to contribute to local food production.

The development of the Burlington College land, as proposed, conflicts with Burlington's 2014 Open Space Protection Plan, the city's Climate Action Plan, and its Municipal Development Plan. It threatens fragile plant communities of state and local importance identified 14 years ago in a city-sponsored report.  It does not help solve the significant stormwater runoff problems the Department of Public Works is wrestling with. It interdicts wildlife corridors between the Intervale and Lake Champlain. It puts new demands on existing municipal infrastructure that is already overburdened. It will restrict or close access to a parkland used by Burlington residents over many years for walking, gardening, sledding, skiing and viewing Lake Champlain.  It contradicts the city's commitment to the preservation of open space as essential to a livable city.

Burlington has always voted for public land that is kept 'green' over that which is developed for private use.” said Diane Gayer, local architect and key convener of the group Save Open Space-Burlington. “We thrive as a city because we are willing to support municipal investment, but not at the expense of our common assets.”

This statement was developed and released by SOS-Burlington. Join the Facebook SOS Summit. For more information on Burlington's 2014 municipal open space protection plan, consult Open Space Protection Plan.  To reach SOS-Burlington, contact Andy Simon at (802) 999-5275, or sanschagrins@gmail.com

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