Village center designation supports the revitalization efforts of small and medium-sized historic centers. The designation brings financial incentives, training and technical assistance needed to attract new business and vitality to Vermont’s smaller communities.
Since the 1970s the state has promoted development policies and programs that maintain and enhance Vermont’s historic development pattern of compact centers surrounded by a rural landscape.
For municipalities that lack a historic downtown, Vermont statute 24 V.S.A § 2793b provides the option of designating a New Town Center. Designation requirements focus on planning, capital expenditures, and regulatory tools that promote a pedestrian-oriented development pattern similar to our historic downtowns.
Growth centers aim to align public infrastructure and private building investments with a local framework of policies and regulations to ensure that 20 years of future development will enhance the vitality of the designated commercial center, while protecting farm and forest land outside the growth center.
This community revitalization program helps to preserve the historic character and enhance the future of medium to large-sized historic centers.
Eight historic downtowns in Vermont, turned massive flooding into opportunities to improve their physical design, hone their marketing messages, and strengthen partnerships to achieve greater economic resilience and build back stronger than before the flood.
The Vermont Village Greens Initiative is restoring appreciation for village greens and raising awareness about the important cultural and economic role they play. Vermont’s village greens (and commons) serve as the physical, historic and cultural heart of many communities, hosting concerts, fairs, parades, seasonal festivals and farmers markets.
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.
The Charitable Housing Investment Tax Credit (“HITC”) is an opportunity to support affordable housing in Vermont and reduce your Vermont income taxes.