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VERMONT LEAGUE OF CITIES AND TOWNS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Thursday, December 15, 2022

MINUTES

VLCT Board Members Present (in person):  President Jessie Baker, Bill Fraser, David Allaire, Mary Ann Goulette, Charlie Hancock, Lucrecia Wonsor, (via Zoom): Julie Hance, Delsie Hoyt, Ann Lawless, Ken Linsley, Joe Major, Miro Weinberger, and Georgette Wolf-Ludwig

VLCT Staff Present (in person): Executive Director Ted Brady, Seth Abbene, Jessi Hill, Karen Horn, Linda Mahns, Gwynn Zakov (via Zoom): Katie Buckley, and Abby Friedman. 

Others Present (in person): Charlie Baker, Executive Director of Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC), Representative Seth Bongartz, Chris Cochran, Director of Community Planning and Revitalization for the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Josh Hanford, DHCD Commissioner, Jacob Hemmerick, Barre City Mayor and DHCD Planning and Policy Manager, Senator Kesha Ram Hinsdale, (via Zoom):  Maura Collins, Executive Director of Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA), Alex Farrell, Deputy Commissioner of DHCD, Sabina Haskell, Chair, Vermont Natural Resources Board, Pollaidh (Polly) Major, Director of Policy and Special Projects, Representative Katherine Sims, Taylor Newton, Senior Planner at CCRPC, and Representative Megan Sullivan.

Agenda Item #1: Call to order by the President
President Jessie Baker called the meeting to order at 12:27 p.m. 

Agenda Item #2:  Additions and Deletions to the Agenda
Jessie Baker asked to move item #8 after the Organization Update and asked for other additions or changes. With nothing additional, Jessie Baker entertained a motion to adopt the agenda as amended David Allaire made a motion to accept the agenda as amended. Mary Ann Goulette seconded the motion. The agenda was adopted unanimously.  

Agenda Item #3:  Consent Agenda
The consent agenda, including the minutes from November 10, 2022, and the Personnel Report for November, and 2022 Q3 Financials, was motioned to approve by Lucrecia Wonsor and seconded by Mary Ann Goulette. Approved unanimously. 

Agenda Item #4: Organizational Update 
Ted Brady provided updates on the office space sublease discussions, the progress of the new AMS rollout and web refresh, finance updates, communication team upcoming marketing campaigns, 2023 work plans for VLCT and Equity Committee, NEMRC discussions, MAC, FFA, RMS, and VMERS updates. Ted also provided his takeaways from the recent NLC’s City Conference and provided dates and locations for upcoming Selectboard visits he has scheduled in the coming weeks.

Agenda Item #8: Rep. Seth Bongartz and Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale re: Local Zoning Bill 
Rep. Bongartz began the introduction of legislative housing proposals he and Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale have drafted and asked VLCT Board members for their feedback and input. Rep. Hinsdale then gave her presentation to the Board on the housing priorities in the Senate including more funding for housing, equitable homeownership, zoning regulation reform, vacancies and rental protections, rental registry, and reducing homelessness. VLCT Board members provided feedback based on their experiences in cities, towns, and villages, stressing that VLCT’s membership consistently have identified housing as a top issue. Multiple board members asked the legislators to consider broadening their reforms to include four key measures: modernizing local zoning, reducing duplicative and burdensome state land use regulations (such as Act 250 and wastewater permitting) in targeted growth areas, reforming the judicial and quasi-judicial appeals processes that often undercut local and state intentions by encouraging “NIMBY-ism”, and providing additional funding to incentivize housing development. . Several members of the Board and staff stated that they appreciated the legislators’ intention and looked forward to working with them but cautioned that the local zoning reforms alone wouldn’t be effective, noting that several communities have already implemented many of the suggested reforms – and the problems persist. The overall sentiment of the Board was that the proposals don’t   adequately address the housing needs their residents are experiencing. 

Agenda Item #7:  Break 
Jessie Baker entertained a break for all since the discussion above was lengthy. The break occurred from 2:20 pm to 2:35 pm. 

Agenda Item #5:  Legislative Preview
Karen Horn presented the final municipal priorities for the 2023 legislative session, included on the infographic found online at https://www.vlct.org/resource/municipal-priorities

Agenda Item #6:  VLCT Town Fair Finances Update
This item was tabled to January. 

Agenda Item #9:  Executive Session (if needed)
This was not needed.    

Agenda Item #10:  Other Business
The next meeting is scheduled for January 19, 2022, at 12:20 p.m.

The Board continued a short discussion on the bill that was presented earlier, stressing the desire to have more discussions with the House and Senate. 

Agenda Item #13: Adjourn
Jessie Baker entertained a motion to adjourn. Georgette Wolf-Ludwig made the motion and Ann Lawless seconded. The meeting adjourned at 3:42 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Mahns
Executive Administrative Assistant

Board or Committee: 
VLCT Board of Directors
Board/Committee Meeting Date: 
Thursday, December 15, 2022

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