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“Cottage” Housing Development Planned

drawing of planned development surrounded by fields and trees.
This concept plan for "The Cottages at Stonewall Meadow" is planned by Aacred Development for the undeveloped lot at the end of Isabel Circle in Montpelier. It has not yet gone before the city for review. Image courtesy of Aacred Development.
MONTPELIER — Aacred Development Holdings LLC and Stonewall Meadows Phase II LLC will soon propose a new development to the City of Montpelier; The Cottages at Stonewall Meadows, to be built off Isabel Circle in Montpelier and include up to 36 units plus 16 additional single family home lots. 

The proposed development would be the first to be built under the Montpelier’s cottage cluster development standards. Each cottage would provide a three bedroom, two bath home in less than 1,400-square-feet of living space. In addition to the 36 cottages, an additional `sixteen single family home lots are included in the proposal. 

Cottage clusters orient the front doors of the homes to common greenspaces. By moving vehicles and parking to the periphery of the development site, they increase the sense of community and improve walkability. In keeping with the city’s zoning code, the cottages are meant to provide smaller, more diversified housing choices, with greater affordability. 

“We pulled together developers concerned about our housing crisis and set out to create a project that would meet the needs of the ‘missing-middle,’ those who earn too much to qualify for housing subsidies but are priced out of the current housing market,” said Managing Director Gabe Lajeunesse. 

One investor is Stu McGowan, a developer instrumental in revitalizing Burlington’s Old North End. McGowan said he wanted to be involved in this project to address housing affordability, “I bought and renovated all my houses with affordability in mind. After completely renovating old buildings into new quality rentals, I still never raise the rent if a tenant stays in their apartment. I have some tenants who have been in my places for decades, with no rent increases. It’s just the right thing to do.”

Barre-based real estate developers Thom and Karen Lauzon are also investors in the project. After decades without a significant housing project in Montpelier and with Vermont’s critical need for workforce housing to support growing businesses, they believe this project will fill important community and economic needs. 

New England-based contractor and developer Jay Lajeunesse of River Birch Builders, who has been advising on the project, said, “the vision and mission of the project team, along with the local zoning, will guide this project to positively impact the community in many ways.”

A meeting of interested residents will be held at the end of Isabel Circle on Circle on Thursday, May 12 at 4 p.m. to solicit feedback to allow adjustments as needed prior to submission to the City of Montpelier. The initial proposal for the project may be seen at aacred.com/cottages. Written comments or feedback may also be sent to gabe@aacred.com.