Department of Housing & Community Development

Land Use Planning

Vermont's distinctive sense of place is tied to its primary land use planning goal: to plan development so as to maintain the historic settlement pattern of compact village and urban centers separated by rural countryside. Through collaboration with our partners the Department works to further these land use goals by developing programs that provide communities with needed tools and resources. Below are some of the programs and guidance that can help communities integrate land use planning with energy, housing, economic development and transportation options. 

Municipal Planning Grants (MPG)  

State funds are allocated each year for a competitive program to support a wide range of local planning and implementation projects. Grant applications are due in the fall. 

State Designation Programs
Vermont targets additional resources to communities that meet designation requirements for compact centers. 

Prepare Today for Tomorrow’s Flood
The Community Planning and Revitalization Division is collaborating with local, regional, state and federal organizations to help flood affected communities rebuild and grow in a way that is safer and less vulnerable to damaging floods.

Planning Resources:

Planning Manual for Vermont Municipalities
The 2016 Edition of the Planning Manual includes new and up-to-date guidance for creating and updating municipal plans, as well as an overview of the state designation programs and their benefits. 

Vermont Planning Statutes & Rules
State statutes outline how municipalities can govern land use.  In addition to Chapter 117, the Planning and Development Act, a number of other, sometimes hard-to-find statutes, are listed.

Municipal Plan and Bylaw Submissions
Instructions and forms for municipalities to submit plans and bylaws to the Department as required by statute, and public access to a statewide plan and bylaw database.

Municipal Status Information (xls)
As of September 2015 – this spreadsheet provides data on the adoption of town plans, bylaws, development review boards, designations, and other information pertinent to local land use planning and regulation in Vermont. 

Helpful organizations with resources that can help you or your community in your land use planning and community development efforts.

Vermont Planning Information Center
Land use information essential to local boards and commissions is compiled on this website which was created and maintained by the Vermont Education and Training Collaborative

Planning Publications and Other Resources 
Publications and resources on a variety of topics related to land use are provided here.

Faith Ingulsrud, Planning Coordinator

John E. Adams AICP, Planning Coordinator