#42969
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MountainBiker
Survivalist
member10

I know what you mean Tolik. The way in which Town Meeting gives locals control of zoning and such things is usually a good thing. In my former town Town Meeting passed zoning that precluded restaurants having drive-throughs. That kept out McDonalds and all the rest of the chains out, in turn helping protect the tourist industry that was so important to the community. Tourists didn’t come to town to see strip malls and fast food joints. Carefully worded zoning also kept out any kind of big box retail operation for the same reason. Whereas big out-of-town money might be able to buy politicians in many jurisdictions, it is all but impossible to buy an entire electorate at Town Meeting.

Here in VT, though Town Meeting has great control, certain things are deemed so important that the State exercises control of much of the commercial and suburban type development so as to protect the tourism industry (which is the State’s largest industry). The entire State is effectively a tourism zone and so for the past 50 years at least the State has worked to protect the look and feel of the State to the extent that they can, mostly with commercial development. Things like there not being any billboards along the roads and not letting farmland at interstate exits get converted to gas stations and fast food joints like you see nationwide. They more recently are trying to force commercial development into existing developed town areas so as to stop/slow the sprawl effect. Single family homes and trailers along existing roadways is entirely off-limits for the state though. Individual rights to live where and how you please are strongly protected. Many towns have no zoning at all. Those that do usually keep it pretty simple.