Rutland Herald: Vt. Court Ruling Favors Woodstock Affordable Housing

From Wednesday, October 31st, 2012:


BURLINGTON — The Vermont Supreme Court on Monday affirmed an Environmental Court decision to permit a 36-unit housing development in Woodstock.

The Woodstock Community Trust, a community nonprofit group, purchased an 8-acre parcel on Route 4 in West Woodstock to develop affordable housing. The Woodstock Development Review Board approved construction in June 2007, but neighbors near the proposed site appealed the decision.

The Environmental Court ruled in WCT’s favor in Oct. 2008 but neighbors appealed again. The Environmental Court ruled in WCT’s favor a second time in Oct. 2011 until neighbors took their case to the Supreme Court.

WCT is pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision and are moving forward with the project.

“The Vermont Supreme Court decided in favor of Woodstock Community Trust on all counts,” said Patsy Highberg of the Woodstock Community Trust. “It is a strong decision which puts us closer to our goal of providing attractive, affordable housing for families in our town.”

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Corwin Sharp on October 31, 2012 at 10:25

    Fantastic news! Congratulations to the Woodstock Community Trust and especially to Patsy Highberg for their/her determination to make available affordable housing to the current and future residents of Woodstock. At last we seem to finally have reached the conclusion of our own personal “Bleak House” saga!


  2. Posted by Molly on October 31, 2012 at 18:49

    Wonderful news for Woodstock. A big thank you to WCT and Patsy Highberg for
    doing the right thing despite years of delays and irrelevant objections to this
    much-needed project.


  3. Posted by VermonterforLiberty on November 1, 2012 at 07:46

    Aaagh, that’s unfortunate. I feel sorry for the neighbors who will be negatively impacted by the erection of Government Housing in their backyards. It was bad enough to lose the sports fields to this albatross, but I hope we can hold accountable the individuals who inflicted this fiasco on the community when the dust settles.


  4. Posted by Diana Brown on November 1, 2012 at 10:21

    Thank you, Corwin and Molly, for your comments-well said and truly spoken. I now can really see the vision become reality. Deserving families living near schools and the center of town, in comfy modern homes they can afford. Real choices with fair prices for those who choose to or need to rent. Great news for Woodstock. The Supreme Court ruled clearly and correctly.


  5. Posted by Joanne Boyle on November 1, 2012 at 13:09

    Your statement about “Government Housing” negatively impacting a neighbor hood is proven false by the the other “government housing” right smack in the Village of Woodstock. Mellishwood includes some lovely old homes right on Pleasant Street. They certainly don’t negatively impact the neighborhood full of B&B’s!

    The need for affordable rentals for families was vividly exposed after Irene. Local people who had been part of this community for a very long time needed a new affordable place to live. There was very little available.

    I am very grateful to everyone who is working to build these homes, but especially Patsy Highberg and look forward to the day when the entire community looks back on her enduring efforts with deep appreciation and respect!


    • Posted by VermonterforLiberty on November 2, 2012 at 09:16

      Thanks Joanne, for the example of Mellishwood. A senior center is a good instance of where Government Housing has a purpose. But I would contend that the Rock Church project is fundamentally different. Tax-payer-supported affordable housing as opposed to elderly housing. The project was nearly universally opposed by the people who live in the vicinity. I recently led a high school trip from the school to Mt Tom. Police had to be employed to guard our crossing… you have to question the wisdom in locating 36 new housing units in such a spot. If Ms. Highberg wanted to build her own apartment project there, more power to her. But of course that would never happen, not when there’s ‘free’ government money in the offing. It’s time that people realize the true root of the affordable housing crisis is high taxes, over-strict rules & regulations, and a legal system rigged against developers. No wonder the only building going on in Woodstock is MacMansions for wealthy out-of-staters. Oh, and the government of course.


  6. Posted by Mark G. on November 7, 2012 at 22:32

    From Mark Gitano:

    I hope the housing issue there does not negatively affect your beautiful Woodstock. I vacation in your wonderful town to get away from the crime and city life I live work and breath in. If its going to house working family’s that’s one thing. Here in southeastern MA, we are maxed out with gvt. housing that has become the domicile of our local gang population., their friends and family, most of whom refuse to work and love the government resort entitlement lifestyle, including monthly loaded EBT charge cards.(electronic benefit cards funded by us working stiff taxpayers ) . The shootings and robbery incidents here have been on the rise (often between rival gangs) as well as the citizens house breaks and car breaks. Now we try not to go to calls for service in housing areas without sending a two man patrol unit or waiting for additional units. I just hope and pray that VT and Woodstock stay the beautiful safe community I have come to love and adore and vacation too time and time again. God bless!


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