BFP - Act 250 @ 25 ends "anything goes" 1

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BFP - Act 250 @ 25 ends "anything goes" 1 - Sunday, May 28, 1995 Vermont 's Newspaper...
Sunday, May 28, 1995 Vermont 's Newspaper $1.50, six news sections CfieStiri!irigtoiniJfreeJ3ress W 1 -M -M juaiiuiiraijv 25 years later, dust still settling By Candace Page Capital Bureau Chief MONTPELIER Twenty-five Twenty-five Twenty-five years ago this Thursday, 36 ordinary Vermonters took on an extraordinary new task: deciding whether developments in Vermont Vermont measured up to the state's first-in-the-nation first-in-the-nation first-in-the-nation first-in-the-nation first-in-the-nation first-in-the-nation first-in-the-nation land-use land-use land-use control control law, Act 250. Before the year was out, they would decide the fate of a 6,000-year-old 6,000-year-old 6,000-year-old 6,000-year-old 6,000-year-old bog, a 2,000-lot 2,000-lot 2,000-lot subdivision, subdivision, shopping centers, trailer parks, industrial buildings and k . rf-w rf-w rf-w aci du ciiueu aiiyuwig goes era Mobil Oil's flying red horse. In some ways, their experience experience seems foreign to the citizen-regulators citizen-regulators citizen-regulators who sit on lengthy, complicated Act 250 cases today. In other ways, the battles of that summer and fall started a debate Vermonters still are having. having. How far can the state go in limiting private development? Does environmental protection help or hurt the economy? When does a little pollution become too much pollution? Today, Act 250 is as much a part of the Vermont landscape as Mount Mansfield. Then, it was as strange as a newly discovered species. s What is Act 250? 6A The bill, the bet, the booze, 6A "Nobody knew what the hell Act 250 meant when it started. Day by day we figured it out," said William Countryman of Northfield, one of the 36. Vermont was a quieter, more rural place in June 1970. Fewer than 450,000 people lived here. Paving companies were working that summer to complete the final 31 -mile -mile stretch of Interstate 89. Farmers still owned almost half of all the land in Chittenden County. But in southern Vermont, the urban legions were on the march, looking for a place in the country. During the late 1960s, developers developers bought up whole ranges of hills, carved them up into small lots and sold them off without proper roads, water systems or sewage disposal. A Republican governor, Deane Davis, and a Republican Legislature reacted by passing Act 250 in early 1970. The law said developers had to prove before they subdivided land that they wouldn't unduly pollute or blight the landscape or over- over- See ACT 250, 6A lmiui.j. .mil i r-- r-- r-- . ... w gagp 3 m sVrJl 1 JOHN KAROL, courtesy of the Vermont Natural Resources Council When developers began carving up southern Vermont hillsides like this one In Dover for vacation homes In the late 1960s, Gov. Deane Davis stepped in. He won passage of a law, Act 250, giving citizen boards the power to hold developments to tough environmental standards. - -' -' nr - SUi. "-."fi "-."fi "-."fi I . Jiaatt'frT-l. Jiaatt'frT-l. Jiaatt'frT-l. K .r. I

Clipped from
  1. The Burlington Free Press,
  2. 28 May 1995, Sun,
  3. Page 1

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  • BFP - Act 250 @ 25 ends "anything goes" 1

    bruce_post – 4 days ago

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