by Guy Page
A couple of Fridays ago, Vermont Daily Chronicle printed a boring photo of empty parking spaces. Specifically, they were the three spaces reserved for legislative carpooling at the State House. Today, the House passed H736, the Transportation bill, which (among many other provisions) requires employers to develop a carbon-reducing commuter plan for their employees.
Also recently approved by the House was H606, setting a goal that by 2050, 50% of total Vermont area will be off-limits to development. The bill, sponsored by House Natural Resources Chair Rep. Amy Sheldon (D-E. Middlebury), explicitly includes Vermont as promoting a U.N. “50 by 50” global biodiversity initiative. If successful, half of all Vermont land area would be ineligible for any development – about double the current acreage of national and state forest, wetlands, land trust, and other property where development is not a permitted use.
This bill has been eagerly received by the slow-growth members of the General Assembly. Below are satellite photos of the homes (marked by pins courtesy of Google Maps) of four Vermont House and Senate leaders in the forefront of land conservation and preservation. Their names and hometowns are not included, and where possible identifying highways are cropped out. The point is….. well, the viewer may draw his or her own inclusions. That’s what boring pictures are all about.