City of Burlington, Vermont City of Burlington, Vermont

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Proposed DMUC Zoning

The proposed Downtown Mixed-Use Core Overlay (DMUC) zoning district codifies many of the central goals of planBTV Downtown & Waterfront, and would require that new development in this part of downtown must achieve a higher public benefit. Here are some of the key ways in which the proposed DMUC differs from the current zoning:

  Current "Downtown" Zoning Proposed "DMUC Overlay" Zoning Purpose for the change Other Details
Height 65 Ft. Maximum "by right," up to 105 Ft. Maximum using bonuses 160 Ft. Maximum "by right" planBTV identified core of downtown as appropriate for taller buildings; current bonus system is not utilized to achieve community benefits DMUC proposes allowing 4 stories and 55 Ft. higher than the current maximum, a difference less than the height of the new steeple being installed on the College Street Congregational Church. The proposed maximum height is only 25 Ft. taller than the Masonic Temple on Church Street.
Floor Area Ratio- FAR (FAR is a multiple of a site's area)

Up to 8.0 FAR (Or, for every 1 Sq.Ft. of land area, there can be 8 Sq.Ft. of building on the land)

Up to 9.5 FAR (Or, for every 1 Sq.Ft. of land, there can be 9.5 Sq.Ft. of builidng on the land) Permit appropriate massing of buildings in the district consistent with the proposed height.  This change would only allow 12% more building area in the whole overlay district than would currently be allowed. However, on the Burlington Town Center site, this would allow 12% less  building area than is currently possible due to the creation of two new street segments.
Project Design- Urban Design Standards Limited, subjective design guidance relies on DAB & DRB to provide feedback to applicants Prescriptive, objective design requirements consistent with the proposed Form Based Code; more predictable design outcomes for project applicants and for the community Achieve more community goals for active, vibrant, economically viable streets.  Because the Burlington Town Center site represents such a large redevelopment opportunity in downtown, the urban design standards are critical to ensure that new development activates the streets, and that there are no long, continuous blank walls. 
Parking No restrictions as long as in compliance with Article 8 of the CDO Prohibits surface parking; requires parking structures to be underground, behind a liner building, or above an active ground floor; requires parking at the edges of a building to be indistinguishable from other floors of a building; requires participation in a parking management district Visible parking in front of buildings and/or visible from a pedestrian's perspective is highly detrimental to vibrant, active streets  
Stormwater Manage stormwater runoff from 50% of new impervious surfaces Manage stormwater runoff from 100% of new impervious surfaces To address pollution, highest priorities are to slow down and reduce amount of stormwater runoff reaching Lake Champlain  
Green Buildings Not required New development and substantial redevelopment required to be LEED Gold Certified, or a nationally recognized equivalent Buildings in this district should achieve the highest degree of energy efficiency and environmentally-sensitive design  
Mixed Use Encourages mixed-use through optional bonuses New projects are required to include both residential and non-residential uses Significant new buildings should include a mix of uses to support the vision of planBTV  
District Boundaries All properties between Pearl, Main, Battery and Winooski (except City Hall Park) Applies only to Burlington Town Center properties (including the L.L. Bean building), the Free Press Building, Macy's Building, and College Street and Lakeside garages (City-owned)  planBTV identified this part of downtown as appropriate for taller buildings; closely aligns with Form Based Code Committee's area for taller buildings The proposed DMUC district applies to 8.7 acres of downtown, which is about 12% of the total downtown district. It applies to 7 properies and 4 property owners.
Official Map   Indicates new City Street connections at St. Paul and Pine Streets between Bank and Cherry Streets Gives the City legal authority to exercise its right to purchase property from a land owner before development can be approved The reconnection of St. Paul and Pine Streets was a very ambitious goal set forth in planBTV Downtown & Waterfront; this change gives the City a tool through which this could become a reality.

 


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