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Proposed Town Plan Amendment

Pownal Planning Commission Report and
Public Hearing on
Revisions to the Town of Pownal Town Plan

A Public Hearing was held on January 22nd, 2019 at the Pownal Elementary School Library at 7pm.

The Pownal Planning Commission has prepared the following report, in accordance with 24 V.S.A.§4384(c) with regard to amending Chapter 8 (Energy Section) and a minor update to Section 3.2 regarding Village Designation. This report addresses the extent to which the plan, as amended, is consistent with the goals established in V.S.A. §4302.

The substantive changes concern energy siting for solar and wind to conform with VT Act 174, the Energy Development Improvement Act. By amending our plan, Pownal enhances this energy vision which defines current energy use and future targets of use across sectors aligned with County and State energy goals. It further clarifies pathways and actions needed to reach those goals. Most importantly, it enhances siting and subsequence map changes to guide renewable energy development.

While the majority of the section remains unchanged since plan adoption in May of 2018, the bulk of the changes commence on page 85, Pownal Energy Goal #4 and continue to the end of the section on page 87.

In summary we:
  1. added a revised date on the cover page of November 20, 2018,
  2. made the changes discussed above to Section 8, Energy,
  3. changed siting tables and maps accordingly (see map 17) and also provided guidance for potential constraints with regard to solar and wind sites, and
  4. updated section 3.2.5 to reflect successfully achieving three Village Center Designations which were still in the application process when we adopted the plan in May of 2018 (these areas are shown in Map #2).

These changes do not include any alteration of land use districts. Suitability of areas for solar and wind resources are based on maps prepared by the Bennington County Regional Commission in the Bennington County Energy Plan adopted in 2016. The Vermont Department of Public Service granted a Determination of Energy Compliance for the regional energy plan on June 21, 2017. Based on the mapping standards developed by the Department of Public Services, the Pownal Planning Commission determined that there were no areas suitable for wind development and identified preferred sites for solar development. These are described in the revised Town Plan.

The following is the Table of Contents from the revised Town Plan:
  1. Introduction
  2. Our Vision for Pownal
  3. Population, Housing and Economic Development
  4. Natural Resources
  5. Land Use Plan
  6. Transportation
  7. Community Facilities, Services and Utilities
  8. Energy
  9. Implementation
  10. References
  11. Review of Statutory Requirements

The full text may be examined here online or physical copies are available at the Village Market, Winchester's Store, Public Library and Town Hall.

View Proposed Town Plan Amendment.

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