To tackle the housing crisis, Vermont lawmakers consider ending single-family zoning

Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale, D-Chittenden Southeast, center, and Sen. Ginny Lyons, D-Chittenden Southeast, right, listen to Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Baruth, D-Chittenden Central, at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Tuesday, Jan. 10. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

In hopes of alleviating Vermont’s housing crisis, a tri-partisan group of state lawmakers has endorsed a slate of zoning reforms that would remove barriers to denser development, particularly in town centers and areas served by municipal water and sewer systems.

The reform contemplated in legislation crafted by Rep. Seth Bongartz, D-Manchester, would effectively ban single-family zoning, a move that would make it legal to build at least a duplex anywhere a single-family home is allowed. In areas served by water and sewer, municipalities would have to also allow three- and four-unit homes. 

“If you just think about it, from an environmental perspective — or from any perspective — it makes total sense. One

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