Zoning is meant to protect the public. It can reduce safety hazards, help avoid nuisances between neighbors, and even serve to enhance the visual aspect of streetscapes. However, it can also lead to unnecessary requirements and lengthy processes that drive up the cost of housing without providing a benefit. The Keys to the Valley project identified the making it easier to build homes as one of the critical parts of addressing our housing crisis. The Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission is working with a seven-town consortium this year on a project to draft changes that will encourage housing and still protect public interests. We expect this process will result in towns allowing more types of housing, increased numbers of units per acre, and less permitting requirements, all concentrated on the developed areas of these seven towns. You can click on the link to each town’s page for town-specific progress.