Council Update: October 7th 2019

Council Update 10/7:

Two very significant items passed on Monday, though both still have further processes to go through before becoming policy. We also have some updates from Brookfield (CityPlace redevelopment) that we didn’t discuss at Council but that I will share below.

The first is a major housing policy package that includes five reforms related to housing policies in Burlington. The reforms deal with: energy efficiency (weatherization) in rental units, accessory dwelling units, minimum parking requirements, short term rentals (such as Air BnB), and increasing funding for the housing trust fund. The resolution, which passed 12-0, sends policy recommendations for each of these items to various committees. They will be developed in those committees and then sent back to Council for another vote. I’ve been most involved in developing the weatherization and parking policies, which both have serious implications not only for housing issues but also in terms of addressing the climate crisis. The resolution also initiates a review of recommendations for renter protections. To view the full resolution: https://go.boarddocs.com/…/City%20Council%20-%20Housing%20P…

The other major resolution that passed was in pursuit of giving the right to vote in local elections to all Burlington residents, regardless of citizenship status. This resolution goes to Charter Change Committee, who we have requested to put this item on the ballot for March elections. If voters approve the item, it will then go to the state legislature for final approval (or rejection).

In terms of Brookfield (developers of the downtown mall/hole), on Monday they settled all amounts owed to the City thus far, committed to reopening the public restrooms in the remaining portion of the mall, and have begun implementing a temporary parking plan. They will be giving an update at our next Council meeting, which supposedly (unlike the last two “updates”) will include actual substance about their plans for redevelopment of the property.

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