In Rockingham Vermont, following the end of the plan for a proposed prison in town, the Selectboard has approved a temporary zoning amendment. The citizen’s group, Rockingham for Progress, which publicly opposed a proposed justice center in town last year into this year, called for a temporary zoning bylaw amendment that that would change the definition of public facilities for the entire town and make public facilities in the Riverfront 14 zoning district be under conditional use.
The Riverfront zoning district houses the former Liberty Mill Paper Company building, which was planned to be converted into a prison by Windham County Sheriff Keith Clark. The project was dropped when the building was deemed too unstable and deteriorated to be restored effectively.
The zoning bylaw, as proposed by Rockingham for Progress reads, “Any facility in which more than 18 people are incarcerated at any time or in which any person or persons are incarcerated for seven or more consecutive days is not compatible with the recreational potential of riverfront property.”
Residents will vote via an Australian ballot on May 17th at a special town meeting on nine articles, including the bylaw.