Montpelier, VT — At the statehouse, lawmakers voiced their concern over the housing crisis. Their concern, Act 250, the state’s 52-year-old Land Use Law is supposedly slowing down development. Last Wednesday, lawmakers in Vermont’s House of Representatives approved a bill that would make changes to Act 250.

During Governor Scott’s news conference Tuesday, officials shared their concern over Act 250. The law encourages housing development in designated areas and protects natural resources.

“There is not denying how difficult and how expensive it is to build in Vermont I share the goal of preserving and protecting the environment, but we are faced with an unfortunate reality,” said Governor Scott.

The newly approved bill that was approved would alter the current law to make it easier for municipalities to access incentives under Act 250 and exempt projects in certain municipalities located in “development areas”. Governor Scott says the bill is slowing down development. “That is why I propose exempting downtown and village centers, the place where we want growth to happen from Act 250.”

The bill worries Mayor Miro Weinberger. “This is the opposite direction we should be going it is especially the opposite direction we should be going right now in the middle of a housing crisis.” Weinberger says this law makes it harder to build here. “That why almost every mayor in the state has come out against it and it is not good for the environment to make it more difficult to build in our cities and towns.”

Ted Brady, the Executive Director of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns says this is not an equal compromise. “You cannot go ahead and cut off areas for development without passing a law that is accompanied by aggressive moves to house human beings where we want them to be housed.”

The bill is on the Senate calendar for action and then it will be sent to the Governor’s desk for approval. DESK FOR APPROVAL.