Time for a zoning code update, says town of Champlain

— “You have to have a law that you can hang your hat on,” for codes to be effective, he said.

Complicating matters is that a year ago, town and local ordinances were updated by a company called General Code. Now, those documents refer to the zoning law book by an organizational system that’s inconsistent with the zoning book. It needs to be updated to comply with the new reference system.

Some common themes recur frequently as zoning issues because they're not addressed in the zoning code. Single- and double-wide trailer homes aren't mentioned, but they need to be regulated. Some neighborhoods don’t want those residences, said Tetreault, but trailers need a place to exist.

Tetreault said the zones as they stand, in many instances, were set out specific to the owners of the properties when it was first made. A review, though not likely to happen soon as it seems a comprehensive plan update is needed, would hopefully remove that special interest bias from zone placement.

Bruce Seguin, who chairs the zoning board, noted that the current comprehensive plan is fairly vague, and wondered if there was some wiggle room so rezoning wouldn’t require a comprehensive plan rewrite.

Allen said his firm can make high-resolution zoning maps in digital .pdf form so the town can put that resource on its website, along with a digital copy of its zoning law for the public to use.

Tetreault said all the current information is readily available at the town hall, too.

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