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ECOS: A Sustainable Future for Chittenden County


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During the 2017 National Regional Transportation Conference, Charlie Baker discussed the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission's work. The organization created ECOS, a regional plan linking together transportation, economic development, and more.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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ECOS: A Sustainable Future for Chittenden County

  1. 1. 2017 NADO Transportation Conference June 29, 2017 Charlie Baker, Executive Director Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission
  2. 2. Environment, Community, Opportunity, Sustainability
  3. 3. Generally • Many things are going well: • Numerous accolades: one of the best places to raise kids, healthiest, safest, outdoor recreation, volunteering, etc. – quality of life is high • We have choices for our future: • Where and how to develop, environmental improvement, working lands, education, health? • How do we grow our economy and workforce? 3
  4. 4. The future – ECOS Plan • 50,000 more people in Chittenden County?  Demands on: • Housing, transportation, habitats, water quality, sewer, education, health
  5. 5. 3 Plans 1 Collective Plan• The Regional Plan is…… A document that protects the County’s resources and guides its development. • The MTP is…… A document that identifies the short and long term (20 to 25 years) strategies, actions and projects that will lead to “an integrated multimodal transportation system to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of people and goods…” • The CEDS is…… A document developed by the community to inventory economic development activities taking place within the county to better understand the ways in which our county is growing and where it may be headed…” 5
  6. 6. ECOS Guiding thoughts • Don’t start planning from scratch • Leadership commitment • Data driven decisions • Alignment & Collective Impact – Shared strategies = shared success • Accountability The ECOS Project is both a process and a plan for managing sustainable growth in Chittenden County to achieve a more healthy, inclusive and prosperous community.
  7. 7. 7 1. Goals – distill from 60 plans – 1,000+ goals 2. Analysis – increase understanding 3. Indicators – how to measure achieving goals 4. Implementation Priorities – identify concerns 5. Develop ECOS Plan (regional plan, MTP, CEDS) – tie actions to strategic priorities 6. Monitoring – annual report of indicators and accomplishments ECOS Phases
  8. 8. 8 • Manufacturing Diversity • Industrial Sites • Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) • Decreasing Labor Supply • Housing Cost • Working Lands Loss Prosperity - Economic Concerns
  9. 9. 9 • Sprawl • Lack of Rental Housing • Affordable Homes • Maintain Housing • Supportive Housing • Congestion & Mode Share • Transportation System Investment & Funding • Energy Conservation • Renewables Siting • Water and Wastewater • Stormwater Investments Place - Built Concerns
  10. 10. 10 • Habitat Loss • Unstable Rivers • Non-point Source Water Pollution • Climate Change • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions • Climate Health Impacts Place - Natural Concerns
  11. 11. 11 • Tobacco Use and Substance abuse • Obesity • Emergency Preparedness • Kindergarten Readiness • Workforce Development • Disparities People – Social Concerns
  12. 12. Public Engagement 12 Insert combined mural
  13. 13. Circle of Prosperity 13
  14. 14. 14 Improve and strengthen the economic systems of our region to increase opportunities for Vermont employers and employees. 1. Retain, develop, and attract high wage, value adding employers. 2. Identify and Permit Industrial/Manufacturing Site Locations 3. Workforce Education and Skills Development 4. Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development 5. Promote and Develop the Creative Economy and the Arts 6. Working Lands 7. Support related Strategy Actions: education, housing, transportation Strategy #1 - Economy
  15. 15. 15 Economy • Lack of housing stymies job growth. 83% of Chittenden County businesses identified housing as the #2 obstacle to Job growth. • A low vacancy rate means housing is not available. Long-term rental vacancy rate in the county is far too low at 1.7% (a healthy rate is 3-5%). Average rate in 2016 is 3.25%; but new housing still fills extremely quickly. • Housing is not affordable. 56% of renters spend more than 30% of their income on housing (27% of homeowners). A retired couple receiving the standard Social Security benefit spends more than 60%. • 7,329 workers leave the county to find more affordable homes. While the number of jobs has remained steady, there are 7,329 fewer workers living in Chittenden County now than in 2002. Only 65% of county employees lived here in 2014, down from 75% in 2002.  We need to build 700 new homes each year to increase availability and affordability. This increase will establish a healthier housing market so residents have more available and affordable options, workers can stay in the county, and obstacles to job growth are reduced. Was averaging 450/year previously; increased to 658 in 2015, and over 700 in 2016. More Homes
  16. 16. 16 Strive for 80% of new development in the 15% of the County planned for growth. 1. Invest in Areas Planned for Growth 2. Municipal Planning and Zoning 3. Affordable Housing Development 4. Energy Consumption & Renewables 5. State/Local Permitting Coordination & Improvement 6. Metropolitan Transportation Plan Investments Strategy #2 – Smart Growth
  17. 17. Malletts Bay Avenue Today
  18. 18. Malletts Bay Avenue Tomorrow?
  19. 19. 19 Improve the safety, water quality, and habitat of our rivers, streams, wetlands and lakes in each watershed. 1. River Hazard Protection 2. Non-point Source Pollution Strategy #3
  20. 20. 20 Increase investment in, farms, forests, other valued ecological lands, and local food, while decreasing subdivision of working lands. 1. Habitat Preservation 2. Working Lands Implementation Strategy #4 - Rural
  21. 21. 21 Increase the opportunity for every person in our community to achieve optimal health and personal safety 1. Emergency Preparedness 2. Basic Needs 3. Obesity 4. Substance Abuse 5. Caregiving 6. Social Connectedness Strategy #5 – Public Health
  22. 22. 22 Equip our residents with the education and skills that they need to thrive. 1. Chittenden County Regional Initiative 2. Elementary Readiness and Comprehensive Student Needs 3. Student-centered, Proficiency-based, Flexible Pathways to Graduation 4. Consistency Across the System 5. Career Awareness/Skill Alignment 6. Teacher Preparation and Ongoing Professional Development 7. Postsecondary aspiration, continuation, retention and completion Strategy #6 - Education
  23. 23. 23 Develop financing and governance systems to make the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars and reduce costs. 1. Community Development Finance Tools 2. Affordable Housing, Energy, Transportation, Clean water financing 3. Monitor State and municipal tax burdens 4. County coordination and alignment 5. Multi-jurisdictional services Strategy #7 - Finance
  24. 24. 24 Ensure that the projects and actions in all ECOS strategies assess equity impacts, and that the design and development of programs are inclusive of all and engage under-represented populations. 1. Track and analyze inequities in all sectors. 2. Address inequities 3. Civic Engagement Strategy #8 - Equity
  25. 25. Strategic Action Plan • Tie specific projects to the general actions under each strategy. • Identify: • lead organization, • critical partners, • steps, • timing, & • cost 25
  26. 26. Annual Reporting • Ongoing commitment of partners to assist with indicators and actions annual-report/ • Annual update of indicators – monitor trends: ECOS Scorecard (results scorecard™) • Annual Report of progress in implementing projects (accomplishments) – measure performance • Quarterly meeting of ECOS Leadership 26
  27. 27. Economic Development 27 • Visit • Charlie Baker • • 802-846-4490 x23 • THANK YOU! The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under an award with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government. For More Info: