By Jess Wisloski
The last time residents convened to develop a vision for Williston village, the impending threat of commercial malls cropping up along the north part of Williston Road like unchecked weeds sent chills through the community, and big box stores had just begun to appear.
That was 25 years ago, and since then the village has had several buildings obtain federally protected status via the National Registry of Historic Places. The town has also defined the character of the village with the establishment of a Historic Preservation District and a recently formed Historic and Architectural panel that advises the Development Review Board on any applications or decisions related to proposed construction, alterations, reconstruction or subdivisions that would take place within the historic district.
And while the Town of Williston continues to update its Master Plan every five years, as the state requires, the vision for the village hasn’t been refreshed in decades. That’s about to change in early May.
“For a long time, the town plan has said we need to do a new one,” said Matt Boulanger, senior town planner. “That process really starts with checking in with the community today and asking everything from what are the issues you would like to have addressed in the village, to, if things change in the village how would you like them to change? Do you want them to change? How about the road? How about traffic? How about the sidewalks?”
Starting May 3, Williston will be hosting an open house for four weekdays in the Planning and Zoning offices, called “Village Vision.” From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, residents can visit the Town Annex and learn more about the Master Plan process, and weigh in with their thoughts. The office will also be open 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on May 7, distributing Green-Up Day bags for collection but also talking to those interested in the planning process.
“Is there something missing from the village? Is there something that’s here that you wish was here that wasn’t here? Maybe it’s the traffic. Maybe it’s a bike path that you wish would be here,” said Boulanger, who encourages anyone with a sense of civic duty or interest to come by.