Reports says Vermont not following sprawl policies

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(Host) A new report says the state is not following through on its own policies to contain sprawl.

Vermont’s policy is to support a pattern of compact villages and urban centers, separated by rural countryside.

But the Vermont Smart Growth Collaborative, a group of ten nonprofit organizations, says that policy often is not reflected in state spending decisions.

Sandra Levine is with the Conservation Law Foundation, and one of the authors of the new report.

(Levine) “Tax dollars are spent in ways that encourage development in some areas and not in others. And our state dollars should be used to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.”

(Host) The report says the Agency of Natural Resources has not followed a 2002 rule that targets state funding to sewer projects that serve downtowns.

Noelle Mackay is executive director of the Vermont Forum on Sprawl.

(Mackay) “And we’re really concerned about this 2002 sewer rule that really said that they did not want to use state revolving funds to support sprawl and really go to smart growth locations, and that really means enhancing our downtowns.”

(Host) Mackay says the state has made progress in some areas. She says the state has used tax credits to help promote projects in downtown areas.

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