Tools and Guides for Planning

  • Welcome Packet for New PC/DRB Officials – A useful information packet for new Planning Commission and Development Review Board planning officials giving an overview of roles, responsibilities, essential information regarding land use and other resource links.
  • Groundwater Protection in Your Town: A Guide  – VNRC has released “Groundwater Protection in Your Town: A Guide.” It provides an overview of Act 199 and provides model town plan and zoning bylaw language for groundwater protection.
  • Land Use Primer Presentation – For those interested in the basics of Land Use Planning and how it may relate to your community, we have created a land use primer. Please feel free to download the document (Land Use Primer document) and visual presentation materials (Land Use Primer Powerpoint). If you would like to invite us to your town to present the material to the public or one of your town commitees, please contact Kevin Geiger at our office.
  • TRORC Guide to Conducting Surveys and sample survey.
  • Adoption Process Checklist– Downloadable word doc
  • The TRORC Strategic Plan can be used to identify areas of strategic focus most likely to foster a thriving, resilient regional economy and high quality of life and to structure and nurture a regional planning capacity for accomplishing a shared regional vision in these strategic focus areas.

Town Planning Manual

The purpose of this manual is to provide a guide for municipal planning commissions in fulfilling their role and responsibilities as set forth in 24 V.S.A. Chapter 117, the Municipal and Regional Planning and Development Act. A major role of the municipal planning commission is to develop the municipal plan. The Planning Manual provides information that will help the planning commission with this complex task, from designing the planning program to adopting the plan. 


Module 1: The Municipal Plan 
New and up-to-date guidance to help citizen planners build consensus on the community’s top priorities and develop concrete action steps that local leaders can achieve. 


Module 2: State Designation Programs 
A concise guide on the five VT designation programs and their benefits — along with case studies that show how communities have used the designations to achieve their goals.


Capital Budgeting and Planning Training Program

Ecological and Natural Resources Training Program

TRORC developed an Ecological and Natural Resources Training Program with 2009 funding from the Wellborn Ecology Fund. Managed by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the Wellborn Ecology Fund is dedicated to promoting awareness of environmental and ecological issues in the Upper Valley.

TRORC developed this program to help us educate volunteer board members and commissioners on natural systems so they may be better integrated in municipal planning and bylaw administration. Our program provides practical training on basic ecology and natural resources inventories, and helps town officers introduce conservation principles into municipal plans and bylaw implementation. Notes are included to aid in delivery of these presentations by other users and they are available in two Power Point formats to allow them to be customized. By training town officials in the Two Rivers region to go beyond basic planning and proper administration of their bylaws, through local identification of natural resources and conservation planning, we hope to enable them to become citizen stewards.

Other Resources

  • VLCT Resource Library  – The VLCT Resource Library is a great source for model bylaws and plans.
  • Zoning Sign Permit Approval Poster – The Vermont Land Use Collaborative has created a Permit Approval poster for zoning administrators to give to landowners when they are issued a permit. The poster is available for download below. It will work best when printed on “11X17” paper.
  • Act 250 Guide –  An informational guide to Act 250 and Vermont’s Land Use Laws.
  • Conserving Vermont’s Natural Heritage (The Green Book) –  A guide to community-based planning for the conservation of Vermont’s fish, wildlife and biological diversity offered by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and the Agency of Natural Resources.
  • Community Strategies for Vermont’s Forests and Wildlife: A Guide for Local Action –  A guide to community-based forest stewardship for the conservation of the working landscape and habitat offered by VNRC.
  • Capital Budgeting Presentation –  The better one can do a proper Utility and Facility element in the town plan, the better grasp a town will have of its present and desired buildings, services and utilities, as well as the future costs of these.  The presentation also touches on how to fund needed capital projects over time in a way that avoids jumps in tax rates.  For more information and additional materials please contact Kevin Geiger A .pdf version of the powerpoint presentation can be found here.
  • Essentials of Land Use Planning Presentation – An informational training about land use planning and regulation in Vermont. The powerpoint can be found here.
  • Open Government & Ethics – Information on governmental ethics in Vermont from the Secretary of State.