Towns in Vermont are not required to have a municipal plan, but if they do it must contain certain pieces and be adopted by the correct process. To help with adoption, towns are encouraged to use the adoption process checklist. For towns that do adopt plans, they can seek regional approval from TRORC’s Board, which has specific benefits. TRORC encourages all towns to have a town plan.

Per statute, a municipality may request approval of their plan by the Regional Commission. When requested, the TRORC staff reviews the municipal plan to determine if the document is consistent with the State’s planning goals, compatible with the policies of the Regional Plan, compatible with approved plans of neighboring municipalities, and contains all the required pieces. Both ‘consistent’ and ‘compatible’ are defined in 24 VSA section 4302(f). The staff then makes a recommendation to the TRORC Board of Directors, who holds a warned public hearing to collect public comment on the plan under review. If the plan meets the criteria outlined in state statute, the Board shall vote to approve it.

Town Plan Required Elements and Related Goals – Downloadable word docx

Adoption Process Checklist– Downloadable word doc

Why Have an Approved Plan?

When municipalities have an approved plan, they are able to utilize several state programs including the Municipal Planning Grant program, which funds planning projects for towns on a yearly basis. In addition, communities that seek to join the Vermont Downtown or Village Designation Program (a program that encourages revitalization through tax credits and incentives for commercial businesses) must have approved plans. Having a municipal plan that is consistent with the Regional Plan reduces the chance for conflicts between the two plans that can arise in the event of an Act 250 permit proceeding, and also gives the community a greater say in energy and cell tower permitting. 

As of 5/2/2022, TRORC has 28 towns with approved plans, they include:

TownRegional Approval StatusLocal Adoption DateExpiration DateExpiration YearDetermination of Energy Compliance?
BarnardApproved8/24/20168/24/20242024
BethelApproved11/13/202011/13/20282028Yes
BradfordApproved1/28/20161/28/20242024
BraintreeApproved12/5/201712/5/20252025Yes
BridgewaterApproved9/25/20189/25/20262026
BrookfieldApproved9/12/20169/12/20242024
ChelseaApproved11/16/201511/16/20232023
CorinthApproved10/21/201910/21/20272027Yes
FairleeApproved1/21/20201/21/20282028Yes
GranvilleApproved11/13/201911/13/20272027
HancockApproved02/15/202202/15/20302030
HartfordApproved6/4/20196/4/20272027Yes
HartlandApproved5/15/20175/15/20252025
NewburyApproved8/19/20158/19/20232023
NorwichApproved3/7/20203/7/20282028
PittsfieldApproved8/18/20158/18/20232023
PlymouthApproved9/10/20199/10/20272027
PomfretApproved8/17/20168/17/20242024
RandolphApproved8/8/20198/8/20272027
RochesterApproved4/27/20204/27/20282028Yes
RoyaltonApproved3/3/20203/3/20282028
SharonDid not seek approval3/21/20223/21/20302030
StockbridgeApproved8/20/20158/20/20232023
StraffordApproved10/13/202110/13/20292029Yes
ThetfordApproved9/11/20209/11/20282028Yes
TopshamExpired9/25/20129/25/20172017
TunbridgeApproved12/14/202112/14/20292029
VershireApproved10/31/201710/31/20252025
West FairleeApproved3/7/20173/7/20252025
WoodstockApproved9/17/20199/17/20272027Yes