A working group that has been studying duplicate governing efforts in the town of Essex and the village of Essex Junction is recommending a joint planning commission serve the two municipalities. The Working Group For Thoughtful Growth In Action is set to present its findings at a forum next week.
The 24-member working group was formed over the summer. The group was tasked with studying planning governance options for the two communities. Currently Essex and Essex Junction have separate planning commissions and zoning boards of adjustment. The new recommendation is for a single planning commission and separate development review boards for the town and village.
"The TGIA Working Group studied several options for planning governance, from the status quo to a single planning commission and single development review board for the Town and Village," a press release stated. "Ultimately, the Working Group determined that a Joint Planning Commission and two development review boards would best allow the entire Essex community to plan for its collective future while retaining the identities of the Village and the Town outside the Village."
The public is invited to a presentation of the group's findings at 7 p.m. on Jan. 30 at Essex High School. According to the press release, "Participants will have a chance to ask questions and weigh in with their reactions to the information presented."
Next month the working group will provide a final report to the Essex Select Board and the Essex Junction Village Trustees. The two governing bodies are expected to discuss the findings at a joint meeting in March.