Community Matters, Part III

Community Matters, Part III

Third and Final Community Visit, Monday, May 24

Marlboro Outback  6:30 – 9:00 PM

Marlboro Resident Polly Wilson votes at the Marlboro's Community Meeting (photo credit David Holzapfel)

This is a great opportunity to be part of the future planning for the town.



To Residents of Marlboro, Vermont

Come to the next meeting in the Community Visit process on Monday, May 24th from 6:30 to 9:00 at the Marlboro Elementary School. We’ll be looking at these 3 priorities:
Develop a Marlboro Community Center Building
– Improve Walk-ability and Expand Bike & Walking Paths
– Generate Energy

(Note that a meeting around the topic to “Advance New Zoning Bylaws to Include All Species” will be organized by VCRD and the Marlboro Planning Commission this coming fall)

VCRD will bring a new “Visiting Team” of state, federal, regional and non-profit leaders to Marlboro to develop task force work plans with action steps and resource lists that will help the town move forward.

Forrest Holzapfel, Marlboro Community Visit Chair
Paul Costello, VCRD Executive Director

Here’s some background and more detail:

On April 29th over 100 Marlboro residents gathered in a community meeting to consider the ideas that were discussed through the Marlboro Community Visit process and to set priorities for action.

At the meeting, the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) presented a list of all the key directions that residents had put on the table at the public forums on March 25th.

Following discussion, the top 2 priorities from the vote that night are those listed above. Community members also identified 2 ongoing priorities that need some fresh energy and they are also listed.

“A vision without a plan is just a dream. A plan without a vision is just drudgery. But a vision with a plan can change the world.” (Proverb)

"Dot Party" The Town Votes/photo credit: David Holzapfel

“We shape our buildings, then our buildings shape us.”

— Winston Churchill

Marlboro Priorities:
Develop a Marlboro Community Center Building
Residents could create a stronger sense of Marlboro and improve the connections with others in the community by building or adapting a facility to serve as a unifying Marlboro Community Center. Features of such a center could include programs and activities ranging from meeting rooms and senior services to a gym, tourist information and WiFi center, library and reading room, entertainment space, parent/children playgroup room, community kitchen, teen center, café, or even a pub. Provision for parking and connection by trails to neighborhoods, the college, and other center points will be crucial to success. A Community Center Task Force could evaluate existing buildings and opportunities (like the Skyline Restaurant) and work with other groups in town to design a structure for multiple community activities, from country dances to social service meetings, movies or senior meals.

Michelle speaks to the viability of Skyline, photo credit: David Holzapfel

Task Force Signups So Far:
Sally Andrews
Augusta Bartlett
Lauren Beigel
Fred Bisbee
Alan Dater
Casey Deane
Esther Fielding
Will and Paula Fielding
Lucy Gratwick
Mary Greene
Marcia Hamilton
Richard Hamilton
Michelle Holzapfel
Francie Marbury
Andrea Matthews

Jean Boardman addresses the room/photo credit: David Holzapfel

Peter Mauss
Ellen McCulloch-Lovell
Lisa Merton
Ed Metcalfe
Julianne Mills
Lauren Poster
Mike Purcell
Kelly Salasin
Ede Thomas
Peggy Tiffany
Felicia Tober
Allison Turner
Liz Vick
Wendy Webb

Improve Walk-ability and Expand Bike and Walking Paths
Bike and walking paths can contribute to community interconnection, public health and community sustainability. A multi-use path from the school to the Town Offices, for example, could lessen the need for short car trips. A committee of Marlboro residents could look at the model developed by Kingdom Trails in the Northeast Kingdom for biking, walking and ski trails either for in-town personal transportation or to develop recreational assets for tourists and residents alike. The task force could map existing trails at the college and other community center-points, link them, map them, and encourage their use as ways to get around town, get exercise, and lower the number of regular car trips.

Task Force Signups So Far:
Gail MacArthur
Julianne Mills
Barbara Parker
Mike Purcell
Vanessa Redfield
Brent Seabrook
Peggy Tiffany
Liz Vick


In addition, Marlboro residents wanted to strengthen two existing efforts by bringing in new volunteers and building momentum to:

Generate Energy
Marlboro’s well established Energy Committee has led significant efforts to expand efficiencies in buildings throughout the community. But more mutual public education is needed to expand efficiencies and to inform the public about the potentials to cost effectively produce energy. Marlboro should adopt a vision to make itself the “Distributed Energy Capitol of Vermont” and then implement it by systematically expanding the number of households, businesses, and public buildings that generate the power that they use and contribute to the community’s energy needs. Toward that end, Marlboro residents should:  explore the implementation of a local PACE program (Property Assessed Clean Energy) to support residents’ decisions to advance energy and efficiency projects; explore possibilities to build micro hydro sites in the town’s watersheds, evaluate the potential for a community wind project or extensive small scale wind development, and systematically expand solar panels to near ubiquity on houses in the community. Residents would like to see a Task Force raise the flag around a Marlboro identity as a state leader in energy creation and sustainability.

The Youngest Attendee (photo: David Holzapfel)

Task Force Signups So Far:
Peter Mauss
Jonathan Morse
Rose Watson

Advance New Zoning By-Laws to Include All Species

A meeting to move this priority forward will be organized by VCRD and the planning commission this coming fall and so won’t be on the agenda on the 24th.
Marlboro has an opportunity to plan for and build zoning to support long term strategic goals of creating a village district and advancing conservation.  Marlboro should adjust its town plan over time and develop new zoning ordinances to protect moose and bear corridors, to focus development density in a village area yet to be designed, and to preserve the rural nature of the town.  Residents suggest that those working on this should consider density development on RT 9 and between RT 9 and the College as potential village center.  Some suggest defining a limited area for commercial development on Route 9, and place for senior housing and for affordable housing for young families as part of focused development to build the village center.

Note: If you can’t make it Monday evening, you can follow the meeting LIVE on Twitter with the hashtag #VCRD or follow @kellysalasin.  Or you can return to this blog and follow the LIVE Twitter feed on the side bar or check back for the complete highlight post afterward.

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