QUESTION: Updating Vermont's land use law, better known as Act 250, has become a perennial topic in Vermont politics. What changes would you like to see to that law (if any), and what would you do to ensure those changes are enacted?
ANSWER: Act 250 needs to be updated to reflect the need for more housing that is affordable and accessible. I have consistently advocated, and voted, for changes to relax restrictions on planned, thoughtful development. Anecdotally, potential homeowners in Franklin County have waited up to a year to have their permits approved, commercial builders have waited over 18 months, and permitting fees can be out of reach for many smaller businesses and individuals. This is unacceptable when we are in the midst of a nationwide housing crisis and are trying to attract new employers to Vermont. Reasonable climate mitigation and conservation efforts can, and should, be part of any development plan, but the current regulations go far beyond the balance of what is necessary and affordable yet protective of land and wildlife.