The Town and community of Williston has a longstanding desire to see the Taft Corners area develop into a vibrant, mixed use downtown with a strong pedestrian orientation. This goals has be expressed in the Town Plan for over 30 years. The practical application of our past standards (since 2009) has been a challenge and the development during this time has failed to meet community expectations (particularly in regards to building form). This project resulted in a form-based code that is integrated into the existing Unified Development Bylaw as an appendix. A form-based code helps ensure that streets and buildings constructed in the future contribute to diverse, interesting, walkable streetscapes in the Growth Center.
Following extensive public input in March-May 2021, a Vision Plan was created in July/August 2021 that sets a template for Taft Corners future. Using the community input and Vision Plan, the consultant team prepared a draft "Form-Based Code." Following the Selectboard’s review of the final Vision Plan document and transmittal memo in late July, the Planning Commission worked with Geoff Ferrell from October 2021-January 2022 to write and revise the code.
The Planning Commission held a public hearing across 3 meetings in February and March 2022. They voted 5-1 to transmit the Code to the Selectboard On March 15, 2022. The Selectboard held a hearing on July 5, 2022. Following 3 works sessions, the Selectboard decided on substantial changes to the code requiring another public hearing. The Selectboard held a public hearing on October 4, 2022 and voted 4-1 to adopt the Code. A petition was filed but did not have the required number of signatures so it failed. The Williston Form-Based Code became fully-actionable on October 25, 2022.