Vermont Downtown Program

The Vermont Downtown Program was established in 1994 to provide technical assistance and training to communities and help them develop skills and strategies for their downtown revitalization efforts. It is part of the Vermont Department of Historic Preservation.

Downtown Designation

The 1998 Downtown Development Act provides substantial support for downtown revitalization. Towns that receive downtown designation under the Act are eligible for a number of benefits, including tax credits, loans and grants from various state agencies. To qualify, towns must develop a comprehensive revitalization strategy for the downtown district and demonstrate broad-based community support. The strategy must involve a long-term commitment to enhancing economic opportunities, preserving historic buildings, and improving public spaces and infrastructure in the commercial district. Interested communities should contact the Vermont Downtown Program for more information. While participation in the Vermont Downtown Program’s Comprehensive Training Program is recommended, it is not required for downtown designation.

The following towns have Downtown Designation status in our region:

Town NameExpiration Date
RandolphSeptember 2021
White River JunctionOctober 2021

Village Center Designation

The Second Downtown Development Act (2002) created a new level of designation for Village Centers. Village centers are eligible for benefits including tax credits and priority consideration from other state programs and agencies.
Technical Assistance from TRORC

The Following Towns have Village Designation status in our region:

Town NameExpiration Date
BarnardNovember 2021
BethelMay 2021
BradfordMay 2021
ChelseaApril 2018
FairleeJanuary 2020
Upper and Lower GranvilleJuly 2019
HancockMarch 2019
June 2022
Hartland 3 Corners, Hartland 4 Corners & North Hartland
November 2022
PittsfieldNovember 2020
RochesterSeptember 2026
Royalton and South Royalton
March 2021
SharonJuly 2020
Strafford and South Strafford
September 2026
North Tunbridge, Tunbridge
February 2023
WoodstockMay 2021
Hartford Village CenterMarch 2022
Newbury January 2021
Wells RiverJanuary 2021

For more information on the Vermont Downtown and Village Designation program, go to the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Revitalization web site. Instructions on how a community can apply for Downtown or Village Designation can be downloaded from this site.

TRORC can help you apply for Downtown or Village designation. Most of the towns in our region are of a size where Village Designation is most appropriate. To date we have applied for and successfully received village designation for 19 villages and 2 downtowns throughout our region. We can assist you with the entire process, including education about the program, application and mapping free of cost.

Staff Contact

Chris Daminai, Planner, 802-457-3188 ext. 123