Milton and CLF settle on sewer dispute

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(Host) The town of Milton and a statewide environmental group have settled a long dispute that threatened to stall a new sewer project. The disagreement was over the possibility of sprawl development.

VPR’s John Dillon reports.

(Dillon) The Conservation Law Foundation and the town of Milton have worked out a deal that would allow the sewer project to go forward, provided it gets an Act 250 permit.

CLF has fought the project in Act 250 hearings. The group argued that a new sewer line extension would promote sprawl. CLF has now dropped its objections in the Act 250 hearings. And Milton – a suburban community north of Burlington — has agreed to plan for growth in the undeveloped areas along Route 7. Sandy Levine is a lawyer with CLF.

(Levine) “This settlement addresses the undeveloped areas along Route 7, which are a significant concern to CLF. And it targets the sewer to the downtown area, and it provides for a means for Milton to continue the good work they’ve already done in their zoning and land use to address sprawl impacts of the sewer project.”

(Dillon) Milton residents support the sewer project, which is designed to serve the downtown area and a nearby industrial park. But it failed to win an Act 250 permit three years ago. The Conservation Law Foundation also opposed it in this round of Act 250.

But the settlement means there’s no opposition in the Act 250 hearings. Gregg Wilson is the town’s lawyer. He says the town will now work to control sprawl in areas that could eventually be served by the sewer line.

(Wilson) “We’re talking about an area of undeveloped land that can be developed and can be developed using what are called smart growth concepts of clustering and preserving open space. That’s the goal and we can accomplish that with the help of the town’s planning commission and professional staff and anybody else who wants to participate.”

(Dillon) The town could implement new zoning or subdivision rules to control growth in the area.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m John Dillon.

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