Garden Street Project

Ballot Question on Funding for the Garden Street Connection (Segment A & Segment C)

The March 2, 2021 ballot asks voters whether the City may use TIF bond proceeds to fund Garden Street (at the Dorset Street end and the connector to Midas Drive and along Midas to Williston Road) as well as related costs. 


Shall the City Council be authorized to pledge the credit of the City and to borrow up to Four Million Two Thousand Five Hundred Fifty Dollars ($4,002,550) in order to build Vermont Economic Progress Council-approved City Center Tax Increment Financing District (TIF District) public infrastructure and capital improvements, specifically: engineering and construction of the Garden Street Project between Dorset Street and Williston Road and the upgrade of intersections at White Street/Midas Drive and Hinesburg Road/Patchen Road together with associated site work and project costs, and to pay related costs, specifically, approval for reimbursement of TIF eligible related costs incurred in the establishment, implementation and administration of the TIF District? To date, the cumulative amount of voter approved City Center TIF debt is $25,400,000.


Garden Street Locator for vote

Quick FAQs

What is the cost to construct Segment A and C of Garden Street?


What is the amount of bonded debt in Article III to construct Segment A and C of Garden Street?

$3,522,450 in TIF District Financing ($650,000 in impact fees will be used to offset the remainder of the cost) .

What does Article III authorize?

The authorization vote is for $3,522,450 (TIF bonded debt) for Garden Street and $480,000 for related costs (direct payment from the TIF fund).  While each of these are estimated amounts, the total combined may not exceed $4,002,550.

Will Article III increase my taxes?

No.  Debt to be issued under this authorization would not raise the tax rate. Debt will be serviced by TIF District Increment (75% of property tax revenue on property value growth in the TIF District collected every year for 20 years).  Article III if passed, would also allow the City to use TIF increment to pay for costs to create, implement, and administer the TIF District, not general fund revenues.

What are the sources of money that will pay for the Garden Street Project?

TIF District Financing Bond ($3,533,450 estimated) 15-18 year term
Impact Fees ($650,000)

TIF District Financing is serviced by revenues are generated from new development within the TIF District – revenues that did not exist prior to 2012 and most of which would otherwise be transferred from South Burlington to the State.  Learn more on the TIF 101 page.

All debt will be general obligation debt against the full faith and credit of the City.

At the time that the construction costs are known, the City Council will be asked to consider issuing debt. 

What are Related Costs and why are these Direct Payments and not a bond?

Related costs are costs incurred by the City in administering the TIF District.  The state requires certain studies, annual audits and state audits, and there are also fees associated with issuing debt, such as legal reviews and opinions.  The City has been accruing these costs and is allowed to reimburse these costs with funds from the TIF District, but only if approved by the voters.  The amount of the authorization anticipated to be related costs is estimated to be $480,000, and this would only paid to the City from the TIF Fund once all debt payments are made.

How much TIF District Financing has been issued to date?

$10,000,000 has been issued to date.  This includes $5,000,000 for City Center Park and Market Street and $5,000,000 for the South Burlington Public Library and City Hall (including the Senior Center).  An estimated additional $430,000 in debt will be issued to complete the Public Library and City Hall.

Why does Article III say that the Voter approved TIF debt to date is $25,400,000, but the TIF Debt to date is only $10,000,000?

When voters voted on the debt authorization for the South Burlington Public Library and City Hall the TIF Financing serviced debt (5,430,000 estimated total) and the Reserve Fund serviced debt (14,970,000 estimated total) were asked as one question.   For that project, only about 25% is eligible for TIF District financing, but the exact number will not be known until the completion of the project, so the whole authorization references TIF District Financing.  The amount of TIF Debt anticipated to issued under all authorizations to date is $10,430,000.  Article III, if passed, would bring this number to $13,942,450.

Isn't there a road already by Trader Joe's?

Yes. The roadway is in place but lacks utilities and pedestrian and bicycle facilities on one side.  Lighting, walk signals and some curb work is also planned for this segment.

Is more information available?

Yes. The City put together a detailed public information document including financial modeling of all debt to date and anticipated and revenues projected to be realized from the TIF District development.

What is the vision for Garden Street?

To create a new street for South Burlington that supports a downtown with a walking, biking, and transit friendly lifestyle.

Garden Street_S Burlington_Garden St_4a - Copy

Where is the Garden Street Project?

Garden Street is a partially built street in City Center and creates an alternative connection between Dorset Street and Williston Road crossing Market Street. This project includes intersection improvements at Williston and White Street and Williston and Hinesburg Road.  The central portion of the project, (identified below with the letter B) is under construction by the private sector, with the section north of Market Street completed.  
Garden Street Locator

What was the process?

The design for this project has taken multiple years. It started with a public outreach workshop and walkabout to receive your thoughts and ideas. The Planning Commission has considered and approved a purpose and need statement. Residents, businesses, property owners and others input was invited to consider alternatives.

A recommended alignment and typicals were presented to the City Council and a the Garden Street Prefered Alignment and Typicals were approved.  

Williston Road intersection short and long term improvements and typical for Midas Street were presented to the City Council and these preferred alternative recommendations were approved. Once the concept for this project had been approved by the City Council, the project team began to develop the engineering for the plans. 

Most recently, the City Council approved Notice of Survey for the Williston Road intersection portion - this initiates the process to evaluate what right-of-way might specifically be needed to build the planned improvements.

Project materials to date:

Project Definition Report - The report details existing conditions and community input; provides analyses of the alternatives and presents recommended actions.  The City's lead consultant presented the final Project Definition Report to the City Council on February 17, 2016.  The City Council adopted the typical section and alignment recommendations in a resolution on April 6, 2015 and the Williston Road intersection and Midas Street Drive resolution on February 17, 2016.

Project Alternatives Phase 2 - Stakeholder outreach was conducted with adjacent landowners regarding potential alternatives for the Williston Road intersections and Midas Drive.  Refined Project Alternatives were presented for the Williston Road intersections at White and Midas Drive and Patchen and Hinesburg Road.  These were presented to the public in a meeting in November 2015 and online as well as in stakeholder meetings, and tested against the purpose and need statement in 2015.  A recommendation was presented to the City Council in and adopted by resolution on February 17, 2016.

Project Alternatives Phase 1 - Project Alternatives were presented for the section of roadway between the bridge at Pier 1 and Midas Drive including the typical section and width.  These were presented to the public in a meeting and online as well as in stakeholder meetings, and tested against the purpose and need statement in 2014/2015.

Planning Commission Adopted Purpose and Need Statement 10/14/2014 - Planning Commission adopted the Purpose & Need statement - The purpose and need statement is the guiding document representing the community interest and needs. Project alternative concepts and design advances are tested against this document.

Garden Street Kick-Off Workshop 9/10/2014 - The consultant team met with the community to share the project status, learn about your ideas, vision and thoughts. It included a pre-workshop walkabout at Midas Drive and the Williston Road intersections.  See the Project Map.

  • Group Workshop Notes - Each table of workshop participants discussed and made comments on the future of Garden Street. The notes are a record of this brainstorming. Read Notes.
  • Best Ideas Generated - At the end of the workshop, after each group reported their comments, each person was asked what the best idea that they had heard was. This is a record of the best ideas participants heard.  Read Best Ideas.

Project Consultant Team

The City contracted with Stantec Consulting, an engineering firm, to lead the project in 2014.  The team includes Greenman-Pedersen, Inc (formerly ORW), a landscape design and planning firm, and Chester Engineering (formerly BioEngineering Group).  This consultant team will carry the project through project definition, engineering/project design, and permitting.  

More Info or Have Comments?

We want to hear from you!  Please contact Ilona Blanchard, Community Development Director at 802-846-4107.