Thoughtful Growth in Action (TGIA) is exploring new approaches to planning and zoning processes in the community. A 24-person working group, which will develop recommendations for the Town Selectboard and Village Trustees, has spent the past few months learning how planning works in Essex today, looking at different options for board structures, and considering ideas that could improve community participation in planning. At its final session, the working group intends to come to agreement on its recommendation for the Selectboard and Trustees – no small feat for a diverse group with a wide range of experience and ideas. The final working group session will be held on December 9th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Essex Junction Parks and Recreation, 75 Maple Street.
For more information about TGIA, you can check out the project website at www.essextgia.com or contact Town Planner/Assistant Town Manager Greg Duggan at 878-1343 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Selectboard is holding its second public hearing on the Town Plan on Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Essex Police Department, 145 Maple Street, Essex Junction, Vermont.
The Town Plan contains the vision for growth (and conservation) in Essex over the next 5+ years, and the public hearing will be the last chance for residents to comment before the Town Plan goes to vote on Town Meeting Day. Click HERE for the latest version of the plan and the public hearing notice We also expect to have the graphically designed version ready within a couple of weeks; that will be posted online as well.
On November 3rd, residents in Essex and Westford voted in favor of a school district unification. This new district will be known as the Essex Westford Educational Community Unified Union School District, and will begin operations on July 1st of 2017. More info about what this means to education in the community is available on the RED Study Committee Website: https://redstudy.wordpress.com/
The Essex Junction Train Hop and Tree Lighting will be on December 11th from 6-8pm. Businesses and community partners from around Essex Junction will host model train displays and holiday activities for everyone to enjoy. Five Corners Farmers Market vendors will also be selling stocking stuffers, food and more. Come with friends and family to have some fun and support our local businesses! More info here.
The 5 Corners Farmers Market is in its first year of hosting a winter market, and it’s just as wonderful and diverse as the summer market. On December 5th, they will be hosting a holiday market, with plenty of gifts and goods to choose from. Between 10am and 2pm at Maple Street Park, you can find vendors selling cupcakes, maple products, jewelry, clothing, and more. So if you’d like to get some shopping done locally, and see some friends and neighbors, this is the place to be! More info here.
The Essex Community Justice Center focuses on crime prevention, conflict resolution, and meeting the needs of those affected by crime in our community. Funded through grants and comprised of staff and volunteers, the CJC works to repair the harm caused by crime and rebuild damaged relationships. Through mutiple programs, the Community Justice Center staff and local volunteers support victims, address local crime, and work with offenders to enhance community safety. Find out more on their website.
HEALTH & RECREATION
The recent decision to form a unified school district causes us to look at departments governed by the school districts. Essex Junction Recreation and Parks is currently regulated by the Prudential Committee, which will cease to exist under a unified district. So what will happen to EJRP? Village Trustee President, George Tyler states, "Given the huge popularity of both departments throughout the community right now, I think it would be madness to think we’re going to just be radically altering something here. From a user perspective, the transition should be 'seamless'. It’s just you’re moving how this is going to work at the top.”
You can read more on this in an article from The Essex Reporter.