Mayor&Rsquo;S Office

June 2019 Update from Mayor Weinberger: Tackling Our Housing Crisis, Protecting Our Lake, and Staying Informed This Construction Season

June 2019

The trees are blooming, Jazz Fest is here, and once again this year, Marathon weekend marked the unofficial start of summer in Burlington. I ran the relay with a City team again this year, and it always amazes me how this event brings Burlingtonians out to run and cheer, shows thousands of visitors how special our City is, and kicks off a season of many more exciting events. This June, I’m thinking about housing supply and affordability, protecting our Lake, and investing in our roads and sidewalks.

Join the Housing Summit on June 11

I see our shortage of housing as the root cause of many of the most pressing issues that we face as a city. When we create more homes in our urban centers, we fight income inequality, strengthen our local businesses, structure our land use in a way that benefits our climate and natural areas, share the costs of our public services over a larger tax base, make it possible for our community to be more diverse, and much more. Yet, despite this, Burlington is one of many cities around the country where decades-old land use policies restrict new housing – and the walkability, affordability, and diversity that come with it.

Housing policy reform has been one of my top priorities over the last seven years, and we are beginning to make progress. However, we have much more work to do. On Tuesday, June 11, the City is hosting a Housing Summit to kick off a community conversation about Burlington’s housing challenges, opportunities, and key policy reforms. At the Summit, we will workshop five areas of unfinished business from the City’s Housing Action Plan that we are gearing up to deliver to the City Council for action this fall, and ask Burlingtonians for input about how to get these policy reforms right. Once we've moved forward in these five areas, we know there will be more work to do -- and there will be space at the Summit to hear from participants about what comes next, too.

The Summit will consist of a working meeting noon-5pm and a Town Hall meeting 6-8pm, and both events are open to all. For more information, head to this page on the City's website: I hope you’ll be able to join us.

Protecting Our Lake

Back in November, Burlington voters approved our Clean Water Resiliency Plan by an amazing 92 percent of the vote, authorizing a $30 million, multi-year plan to stabilize and upgrade Burlington’s wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and steward Lake Champlain. Since then, our Water Resources team has been working hard to implement the plan, and right now, they’re making some of the first investments: Improving the computer controls and replacing critical disinfection equipment in our wastewater treatment plants, replacing or updating the first two of 11 pump stations that we will rehabilitate through this plan, and updating our program to pre-treat water that comes from industrial users.

By implementing this plan, we are stewarding both our infrastructure and our Lake. If you want to know more about Burlington’s water resources, our team is also hosting open houses at our plants on the third Thursday of every month through October. Find out more through Facebook at the City of Burlington Public Works page under “events,” by email at, or by phone at (802) 863-4501.

Stay Informed This Construction Season

We’re in the middle of a generational reinvestment in Burlington’s infrastructure. By the end of this construction season, we will have: Re-paved 17 miles of roads over the last three years, approximately double the work of a typical three-year period; Rehabilitated nearly nine miles of sidewalks over the last three years, approximately triple the work of a typical period; Relined and replaced nearly eight miles of waterlines for the first time in generations; Rebuilt seven of the eight miles of our waterfront Bike Path, and much more.

These projects have a lot of long-term benefits, and I know that construction also has short-term impacts. The City keeps all information up-to-date in our Construction Portal so that you can see what work is being done, where, and how it might impact you. Check out the Construction Portal at

As always, I encourage you to join me at the Bagel Café on North Avenue on Wednesday mornings from 8-9 am to share your thoughts and questions about these or any other topics that are on your mind. We are also now live-streaming these coffees just about every week, so you can watch on Facebook and weigh in from home. I look forward to seeing you soon.