“There’s a lot to like in Lamoille County, right? We have.. grocery stores, we’ve got a hospital, we’ve got some light industrial and commercial activity happening. So it is a pretty large hub, and people are drawn to those services.”– Grant Wieler, Local Real Estate Agent.
While Morristown, Vermont isn’t home to a ski resort within its town boundaries, it is close to numerous skiing destinations. The following ski areas are within an hour of Morristown: Stowe Mountain Resort, Smugglers Notch, Bolton Valley, and Jay Peak Resort. The surrounding outdoor activities, along with being home to sporting and industrial goods companies, have led to the housing boom. Vermont Public Radio reports that 134 housing units are currently under construction in the town, and 400 units are in their future plans. This has made Morristown the second-fastest growing area in Vermont in terms of new addresses outside of Chittenden County, which is home to Burlington. Unfortunately, the flaw to this growth is that not many of these new housing units are devoted to affordable housing.
In 2010, the Town of Morrisville appointed Todd Thomas as the town’s planner and zoning administrator. When he was hired, the town told him “to grow the town by the same rate as inflation in a bid to keep taxes from rising.” They were able to add more housing to older downtown buildings by easily changing zoning requirements. Out of all the new people that have moved in, a third are out of staters, a third are commuters to Burlington that have been priced out of Chittenden County, and a third are transplants from the Northeast Kingdom that are looking for more economic opportunities. The result has been a rapidly growing town with new restaurants and stores like a CVS and Tractor Supply. Morristown has even earned the nickname Movegas by locals.
Unfortunately, demand is still outpacing supply, especially when it comes to affordable housing. The Lamoille Housing Partnership has built a variety of affordable housing projects in the area, including a new 24-unit complex(shown in the picture above) that is currently being built in downtown Morristown. Alas, this is the only affordable housing project that is currently being built in the town. There were five hundred applications for their affordable housing units in the town last month, and with seven turnovers, supply is very limited. Here’s to hoping they keep building new housing, and increase the number of affordable units in their future plans too.
Image Credits: Town of Morristown, Vermont Public Radio