At its March 21 meeting, the Burlington City Council and Mayor Miro Weinberger agreed on three transportation and housing initiatives, according to a statement from the mayor’s office.
North Winooski Avenue Bike Lanes
The City Council voted 8-4 to proceed with the Winooski Avenue Transportation Study to make improvements to bicycle safety on North Winooski Avenue, which is an important transportation corridor. The Parking Management Plan now recommends a phased plan, whereby parking changes would occur between Union Street and Riverside Avenue and reduces the immediate net parking loss by half – from 82 to 40 spaces – while still achieving the completion of continuous bike lanes between downtown Burlington and Winooski.
Short Term Rentals
In a 5-7 vote, the Council upheld the Mayor’s veto of the Short Term Rental Ordinance passed on February 22. In a memo to the Council, Mayor Weinberger expressed concern that the ordinance would have an unintended consequence of worsening our housing shortage by discouraging and presenting further barriers to the development of duplexes, multi-unit buildings, and accessory dwelling units. He also urged Council to quickly bring forward a new version of the ordinance without the specific problematic provisions that restrict homeowners from operating short-term rentals in their owner-occupied properties.
Shelter Pods on Elmwood Avenue
In an 11-1 vote, the Council supported the Administration’s plans to build a low-barrier emergency shelter pod community on Elmwood Avenue. Building a shelter pod community was one of the priorities presented as part of Mayor Weinberger’s 10 Point Plan to Fulfill the Promise of Housing as a Human Right. In the coming weeks, the City will take steps to improve the site on Elmwood Avenue to build up to 30 climate controlled shelters, as well as on-site toilets and showers, and a Community Resource Center.