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Planning Publications and Resources

The Department produces publications and data to support land use planning in Vermont.  All documents listed below are in PDF format unless indicated.  Note that the Department's name was changed in 2009 from Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) to Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development (DEHCD). In April 2013 the Department name was changed once more, to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). In addition to DHCD publications, several historical planning documents are also included below. 

Act 194 §22 Report on Rural Industrial Park Development (2018)
ACCD report to the Vermont General Assembly on rural economic development recommending regulatory and permitting incentives to businesses sited within master planned industrial parks.

Act 157 Report on Housing and Infrastructure (2017) 
ACCD report to the Vermont General Assembly on ways to improve the quality and quantity of housing and tools to finance infrastructure. 

Design Tool Kit for Downtowns and Village Centers (2015)
Designed to help any Vermont city or town, the Tool Kit provides an overview of why downtowns and villages matter, the elements that define them and offers ways to improve downtowns and village centers through design, education, planning and implementation.

Plan Today for Tomorrow's Flood 
The Community Planning and Revitalization Division continues to work with Vermont communities and partners to incorporate the lessons learned from past flooding to make communities safer, reduce the cost of future damage and protect vital areas of economic activity. This webpage provides an overview and gives links to tools, publications and projects such as the Vermont Economic Resiliency Initiative (VERI) and The Vermont Downtown Action Team [V-DAT].

Act 59 Report (2013)
DCHD report to the Vermont General Assembly on ways to improve and strengthen the state designation programs designed to promote compact development and the efficient use of resources.

Report of the Smart Growth Committee (2009)
Committee created by Act 176 of the 2007 Legislative Session

Wastewater Treatment Options for Vermont Communities (pdf)
Vermont’s goal of encouraging compact development in and around existing settlements and planned growth centers is challenged by a lack of wastewater treatment solutions. Failed septic systems are common in hundreds of village centers, and efforts to create new housing and businesses are often stymied by the lack of sewage treatment facilities. This 2008 publication offers alternative, cost-effective solutions for communities seeking to address wastewater issues.

Materials from the Village Wastewater Forum in Townshend on August 2, 2018:  Wastewater Solutions for Villages in the Windham Region (Department of Environmental Conservation); Organizing Wastewater Solutions - A Workbook for Local Leaders

Mobile Home Park Guidance (pdf)
A publication to help municipalities meet the statutory requirements for mobile home parks through local zoning and subdivision bylaws.

Essentials of Local Land Use Planning and Regulation (2007)
This 50-page manual, Essentials of Local Land Use Planning and Regulation, provides an overview of municipal roles and responsibilities and the fundamentals of local planning and permitting in Vermont - what every board and commission member needs to know. This is the second edition of the publication from May 2007.

Vermont Land Use Planning Implementation Manual (2007)
The Vermont Land Use Planning Implementation Manual is a package of 30 topic papers introducing a wide range of concepts, tools, and techniques for helping communities achieve their planning goal.

VT Interstate Interchange Planning and Development Design Guidelines (pdf)
Land around interstate interchanges are often subject to conflicting demands for development that require careful consideration. This 2004 publication provides guidance for communities in planning for these areas.

Status Report: 15 Years after Act 200 (pdf)
Act 200, a landmark growth management law passed in 1988, established the current statutory land use planning goals, requiring state agency plans related to land use, and required coordination between local, regional and state agency plans.  This report describes the successes and issues that have arisen over the first 15 years since passage of the Act.

Legislative Council Staff Report on Mechanisms to Address the Issue of Cumulative Growth (2002)
-Alan Boright

Planning Manual for Vermont Municipalities (1988 - Previous Edition)
Note: for the current 2016 Planning Manual, please go here.
The Planning Manual for Vermont Municipalities provides information that will help the planning commission with this complex task, from designing the planning program to adopting the plan.

Report of the Governor's Commission on Vermont's Future: Guidelines for Growth (1988)
-Commission established by Governor Kunin by Executive Order No. 50 in 1987

Vision and Choice: Vermont’s Future, The State Framework Plan (1968)
-Vermont Planning Council

Rural Vermont: A Program for the Future, (1931)
-Vermont Commission on Country Life. 

Town Planning: A Program of Civic Preparedness for Vermont Communities (1919)
-K.R.B. Flint