Town Plan Adoption and Approval
Towns in Vermont are not required to have a municipal plan, but if they do it must contain certain pieces (Title 24, §4382) and be adopted per statute (Title 24, §4385). For towns that do adopt plans, they can seek regional approval, which has specific benefits; TRORC encourages all towns to have a town plan.
Per V.S.A. Title 24, Chapter 117 §4350(A), a municipality may request approval of their Municipal Plan by the Regional Commission. When requested, the regional planning commission shall review the municipal plan to determine if the document is consistent with the State’s planning goals (Title 24, §4302), compatible with the policies of the Regional Plan, compatible with approved plans of neighboring municipalities and contains all the elements included in subdivisions 4382(a) of Title 24, Chapter 117. The TRORC Board of Directors will hold a duly 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
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 reduces the chance for conflict with Title 30 Section 248/energy.
As of 6/6/2017, TRORC has 24 towns with approved plans, they include: