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Burlington City Council Modifies Inclusionary Zoning

An aerial photo of downtown Burlington and Lake Champlain

Since 1990, the City of Burlington has implemented an inclusionary zoning (IZ) program designed to require developers to include a set percentage of affordable units in new market-rate housing developments of 5 or more homes. 

In its original form, the law required developers to produce inclusionary units at the same bedroom ratio as the market-rate units located in the same project.  The intention of this piece of policy was to ensure that developers were producing inclusionary units with similar bedroom numbers as the market-rate options in a particular project. 

It wasn’t until 2015 that the City Council decided to revisit the ordinance as part of a Housing Action Plan that contained proposals for “building a more affordable, inclusive, livable, walkable, sustainable and vibrant community.”  As part of the findings and suggestions from this study, three ideas were presented to the council, all with varying levels of effort and reward.

With a lack of affordable housing options exacerbated by the unprecedented increase in post-covid buyer demand, the Burlington City Council finally took action on the aforementioned recommendations and recently amended the IZ requirements to allow for developers to better meet the new demands for affordable housing within Burlington city limits.

For more information check out the article “Inclusionary zoning changes coming to Burlington” on or read the full ordinance HERE

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