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Zoning for Great Neighborhoods

Enabling Better Places: A Zoning Guide for Vermont Neighborhoods

A NEW guide for municipalities to support local bylaw updates for homes in walkable places.

The Guide recommends incremental changes to bylaws and offers sample language for local boards and commissions to consider.  Updating zoning and other local land use regulations for a wider range of housing types can grow opportunities for homes in convenient places.  Cities, towns, and villages of any size can make incremental changes to their zoning.  Use this guide to learn about techniques that allow a wider range of housing and help address the mismatch between Vermont’s available homes and the changing needs of Vermonters.

Training Videos & Slide Deck

AARP Vermont and the Department sponsored a sold out training in January 2021.  It was built upon Enabling Better Places: Zoning for Great Neighborhoods with the Congress of the New Urbanism (CNU).  Videos produced as part of the training are available here.  Slides from the presentations are available in PDF format here.  We invite you to build your knowledge on incremental code reform with these great resources.

Supporting Documents

Equal Treatment of Housing Chart – At-a-glance recommendations for meeting the fair housing requirements of 24 VSA § 4412 (1) when adopting bylaws.

Gentle Infill Street – Slide presentation showing how more homes can easily fit into a typical Vermont neighborhood.

Accessory Dwelling Unit Checklist – A comprehensive list of all the steps required for creating an ADU.

These resources are part of a Housing-Ready Toolbox for Vermont Communities, compiled at


DHCD launched Zoning for Great Neighborhoods to help municipalities improve their zoning regulations and incrementally remove unnecessary barriers to creating more homes.  With national expertise from CNU through its Project for Code Reform and the local knowledge of Vermont's Regional Planning Commissions, typical Vermont bylaws were analyzed and best practices recommended. 

This work was underwritten with generous support from the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, AARP-VT, and the Vermont, Green Mountain, and National Association Realtors.

Stakeholder Survey

Stakeholder Survey Report from July 2019 - Barriers to Housing (all three documents combined)
Executive Summary
Results and Findings


One-pager on Zoning for Great Neighborhoods

Public Meetings

Vermont Digger Article October 30, 2019 - Vermont Program Aims to Modernize Local Zoning Rules

November 4, 2019 DHCD Presentation - The Homes We Need vs. What We Have

November 7, 2019 CNU Presentation - Enabling Better Places: An Incremental Approach to Code Reform

July 10 2019, Kickoff Meeting with Stakeholders

Agenda and Barriers to Housing Presentation
CNU Presentation
Meeting Summary on VHFA Website