Subdivisions are simply the process of dividing lots up into different lots. In Vermont, town permits are not required for subdivisions unless a local bylaw requires it. When required, the town body will review the subdivision according to local standards that usually relate to the size, shape, slope, access, and usability of the proposed lots. Good subdivision bylaw standards are the best way to prevent needless fragmentation of farmland and forests, and also can help avoid creating lots that are difficult to build on. In towns with zoning but no subdivision bylaws, a zoning permit is still required for creation of a lot to ensure it meets size standards. TRORC assists towns with crafting subdivision bylaws on a contract basis.
In addition to town permits, state subdivision permits (also known as a potable water and wastewater permit) are required when dividing lots in order to ensure proper septic disposal and water supply, but these can be waived if the land has a deed notice that no development may be able to occur. More information about the state process can be found through state regional offices. Access permits (aka curb cut permits) onto town or state highways are granted by the town or state, and often needed when creating a new lot.
For technical assistance or to contract with TRORC to draft subdivision regulations for your community, contact Kevin Geiger at [email protected] (802-457-3188 ext 124).