LUDLOW, Vt. – The Ludlow Planning Commission held a meeting at the town office on March 20, 2018 to begin discussion on potential changes to the town plan. The conference room was soon teeming with residents who were eager to participate in the public deliberation. Jason Rasmussen, director of the Southern Region Planning Commission, was tasked to help the town to make the revisions and was there to guide the discussion.
Alan Couch, planning commissioner, stated that the revision would last for the next eight years. “Its goal is to set clear goals for the future,” he explained. Jason Rasmussen continued by saying that “the current town plan isn’t a page-turner, and we want to put it in layperson terms.” The current document for Ludlow is 130 pages long, and the Planning Commission had received complaints about its complexity.
As the debate continued, residents voiced their concerns and suggestions for the new plan. Many spoke of their support for the promoting of new businesses in the area. Another topic that found its way into the conversation was the cost of living in Ludlow. Jamie Wilson, Ludlow resident, said, “I can’t imagine both working and living here. The jobs don’t pay well.”
Justin Hyjek, owner of Main and Mountain and Homestyle Hostel, believes that improvements to the town could bring in younger families. “We should try making it a place people want to live. Like, adding bike paths or dog parks,” he said.
Ken Tedford suggested that removing telephone poles could help beautify the town. “It’s clustered with telephone wires and poles,” he pointed out. Other suggestions included the promotion of community events such as the annual Penny Sale or hosting national events.
However, the most prevalent topic discussed was the sustainability of Ludlow. Richard Dunseith brought up the likelihood of the proposed changes. “I feel like we are playing the Sim’s City game. Without an increased tax base, we won’t be able to afford bike paths.” He added, “Without the mountain, this town is not sustainable. We need one to three larger businesses.”
The meeting continued to be a very publically involved one. Many suggestions were made, and Jason Rasmussen said the Planning Commission would list and prioritize the key points. “It’s really nice to have a crowd here,” Logan Nicoll expressed.
The Town Plan is scheduled to be revised by May 2019. More information can be found at www.ludlow.vt.us as well as the minutes of the meeting.