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 12/9/2020, TRORC has 27 towns with approved plans, they include:

TownRegional Approval StatusLocal Adoption DateExpiration DateDetermination of Energy Compliance?
BarnardApproved8/24/20168/24/2024
BethelApproved11/13/202011/13/2028Yes
BradfordApproved1/28/20161/28/2024
BraintreeApproved12/5/201712/5/2025Yes
BridgewaterApproved9/25/20189/25/2026
BrookfieldApproved9/12/20169/12/2024
ChelseaApproved11/16/201511/16/2023
CorinthApproved10/21/201910/21/2027Yes
FairleeApproved1/21/20201/21/2028Yes
GranvilleApproved11/13/201911/13/2027
HancockExpired11/19/201311/19/2018
HartfordApproved6/4/20196/4/2027Yes
HartlandApproved5/15/20175/15/2025
NewburyApproved8/19/20158/19/2023
NorwichApproved3/7/20203/7/2028
PittsfieldApproved8/18/20158/18/2023
PlymouthApproved9/10/20199/10/2027
PomfretApproved8/17/20168/17/2024
RandolphApproved8/8/20198/8/2027
RochesterApproved4/27/20204/27/2028Yes
RoyaltonApproved3/3/20203/3/2028
SharonDid not seek approval4/6/20204/6/2028
StockbridgeApproved8/20/20158/20/2023
StraffordApproved9/27/20179/27/2025
ThetfordApproved9/11/20209/11/2028Yes
TopshamExpired9/25/20129/25/2017
TunbridgeApproved10/24/201710/24/2025
VershireApproved10/31/201710/31/2025
West FairleeApproved3/7/20173/7/2025
WoodstockApproved9/17/20199/17/2027Yes