Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Regulations and Maps

When speaking to a town commission, it is a good idea to quote the section number and read the text of the relevant regulations. Although it seems like this should be unnecessary, some commission members can be selective about which regulations they remember, and they need to be reminded about what their regulations say. In fact, you may be asked to stop speaking unless you can show that your testimony is relevant. Knowing the regulations better than the commission members do is an effective way to avoid this unpleasant scenario.

Town of Vernon Zoning Regulations in PDF format


4.23. Planned Mixed Use Development Zone:
4.23.1 The purpose of this district is to allow orderly development while taking into account the economic development and fiscal improvement of the community and potential negative impacts on traffic, conservation, neighboring residential areas and critical natural resources. [p. 55, Town of Vernon Zoning Regulations.]
4.23.5 The following special permit approval criteria shall be applied to uses in addition to the requirements of Section 17.3. The applicant must include demonstration of the revenue impact of a proposal using acceptable cost/revenue analysis techniques, demonstration of open space conservation and linkage to other open space, demonstration of traffic impact, demonstration of compatibility of uses within the site and with neighbors in the district as well as neighbors abutting the district. When the proposal includes a use or a mix of uses, which in sum are net tax revenue negative to the Town or only marginally net revenue positive, the commission shall make a finding that other considerations outweigh the negative fiscal impacts. All developments shall be required to be compatible with the Vernon Plan of Conservation and Development and be supportive of the public health, general welfare and safety of the community, including adequate provision of public facilities and a minimization [sic] of the number of access points on existing roads.

Town of Vernon "Inland Wetlands and Water Courses Regulations" in PDF format


4.5.4: In order to grant a permit, with or without restriction, the Commission must find: That a feasible and prudent alternative does not exist, and That no preferable location on the subject parcel exists, or, in the case of a significant activity, that no other location would reasonably be required and That no further technical improvements in the plan or safeguards for its implementation are possible or be required and That the public benefit of the proposed activity justifies any possible degradation of the wetlands and/or watercourse.
4.5.5: In the event the Commission does not receive sufficient information to make a decision within the time required in Section 4.6.1 and 4.6.2, it shall deny the permit. [p. 13, Inland Wetlands and Water Courses
Regulations of the Town of Vernon.]

Vernon Plan of Conservation & Development


In general, several common themes emerged at the meetings. These themes included:
  • Need to preserve open space for perpetuity in a positive, planned manner with adequate financial resources devoted to this program. A goal of 20% open space might be considered.
  • Retail development should be limited to prevent Vernon from becoming another Manchester in the Route 84 corridor or like the Berlin Turnpike along other major corridors in Town. Attention should be given to how development looks as well as the measurable reports such as increased traffic.
  • Older properties and buildings should be re-utilized rather than developing vacant land possibly through the use of regulatory incentives.
  • Multi-family housing should be limited in the future with an emphasis on single family homeownership.
  • The water quality of the Town's lakes and rivers as well as groundwater should be protected.
  • Several areas which currently give the Town its rural character such as Valley Falls Road and Park, Belding property, farms, Newhoca Camp, Shenipsit Lake, Hockanum River, Risley Reservoir and other areas should be protected.
  • Rails to Trails concept should be extended.
  • There should be a review of how non-residential and residential areas interface and resulting impacts.
  • The Town should be willing to spend money to protect the quality of life.
  • The Plan of Conservation and Development should propose specific actions, assign responsibility for carrying out these actions and monitor progress towards achievement on a regular basis.
  • The issue of blighted buildings in Rockville must be addressed and new businesses must be attracted to Rockville Center.
  • Additional parking is needed to support overall neighborhood revitalization in Rockville.
  • Need more attractions for Rockville and continue to work to reverse the negative perception of the area.