On December 20, 2023

Hartland planners report survey results

By Curt Peterson 

The Hartland Planning Commission displayed results from its 2023 vision survey of residents and non-resident property owners. Mill Moore, who had organized the results, projected a very professional presentation that revealed many interesting and unexpected results. 

The town has about 3,400 residents, according to the latest census, including adults and children. Oversimplified, the 608 respondents to the survey represent a tad less than 18% of the total population, which is a very respectable response rate, and includes non-resident property owners who took part in the survey. All the percentages in the presentation referred to the 608 respondents. However, not all respondents answered all questions in the survey. Many questions had responses totaling just above 500.

Commissioners said, while the data is accurate, the survey organization and conclusions are still in “draft” form. Chair Rebecca Gordon said there will be a public introduction of the final commission-approved results when complete.

Hartland results were segmented into four groupings: Rural (60%), Three Corners (12%), Four Corners (16%) and North Hartland (12%) residents. Other categorizations were by length of residency and age of respondent.

Age groupings include Over 65 (44%), 40-64 (46%), 20-39 (10%). 

Moore said there are four “stress points”  or areas of non-consensus among the groupings: 

Desire for more services versus resistance to increased taxes.

Villagers’ opinions versus rural residents’ opinions.

Long-term residents (30 years or more) versus newer-comers.

Four-Corners residents versus everyone else.

Landowners represent 93% of the tally, non-resident landowners 2%, and renters 5%.

Asked what should be the most important long-term vision, 61% want Hartland to remain a “quiet, rural town”, 59% desire affordability for young families. Improvement of roads, lower taxes, investment in education, high speed internet for all, and preventing “mega-mansion” development are suggested.

Single- and multi-family houses are preferable, respondents said. Suggestions for affordable housing include tiny houses and cluster housing,  condos, “a few” apartment buildings, mobile homes and senior housing.

Respondents think villages and adjacent areas, and highways best for multi-family housing, and for commercial development, although 36% would prefer no commercial expansion in town. Industrial development got 55% thumbs down anywhere.

Equal numbers (41%) said “no” and “yes” to establishing zoning regulation in town.

Cell towers and wind towers got moderate support (46% and 31%). But there is pretty strong favorability for supporting expansion of ambulance services, health services, fire services and police services (49% to 54%).

Environmental issues, i.e. invasive species identification, stream and river buffer zones, wildlife conservation, critical habitat identification, and wetland identification, all received strong to medium prioritization.

Not surprisingly, flood mitigation ranks high on the list of survey participants’ priorities.

Biking and walking trails are prioritized among recreational opportunities. One respondent suggested an “award scheme” whereby environmental activists might be recognized for their personal investment. 

Weatherization and encouragement of renewables to produce electricity are favored ways to achieve energy and emissions goals. Suggestions include providing solar installation grants or rebates, and education about available programs.

Transportation is a well-recognized challenge for Hartlanders. The survey inspired suggestions of “better parking in Three Corners,” more bus stops and service, charging stations for electric vehicles and more multi-family housing. 

This is just a skeletal look at the very comprehensive survey result presentation. 

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Large turnout for Hartland school budget info session

May 23, 2024
By Curt Peterson The May 21 Hartland school budget information session may be the best-attended school board gathering in recent history — an estimated 40 people attended in person at Damon Hall in Hartland, and another 41 tuned in online. Hartland voters had already approved the $11,040,567 budget 320-311 on April 2. But a petition…

United Way of Rutland County names new exc. director

May 22, 2024
The United Way of Rutland County (UWRC) announced the appointment of Tina Van Guilder as its new executive director, May 17.  Van Guilder officially assumed her role as executive director May 6. With over seven years of direct non-profit leadership experience in the Rutland County area, coupled with recent roles focusing on grant coordination, budget…

Slate Valley school district to hold fourth vote on district budget

May 22, 2024
In response to the results of the last vote on May 9, and valuable community feedback during the school board meeting on May 13, the Slate Valley Unified Union School District will hold its fourth vote in an attempt to pass the budget on May 30. It will be a revote on the third FY25…

Where is the road construction this week? 

May 22, 2024
The Agency of Transportation produces this weekly report of planned construction activities that will impact traffic on state highways and interstates throughout Vermont. Hartford: Monday, May 20, through Friday, May 24, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., multiple concrete mixers will be moving in and out of the project area at either end of the…