The SWCRPC offers a wide range of land use planning services for the Region based on our annual funding sources, which typically include the Department of Housing and Community Development, Municipal Planning Grants, local funding and other sources for planning activities. These land use planning activities include, but are not limited to, developing and maintaining an up-to-date Regional Plan, participation in permitting activities (e.g. Act 250 and Section 248), and local technical assistance with town plans, land use regulations, development review and education/training services for local boards.
The Southern Windsor County Regional Plan was updated and adopted on November 18, 2014. The SWCRPC is required to adopt a regional plan in accordance with the Act [24 V.S.A §4348]. Volume 1 and 2 of the Regional Plan are adopted together as one document. The Regional Plan is established for the purposes stated in 24 V.S.A. §4347, to include all required statutory elements [24 V.S.A. §4348a], and to be consistent with State Planning Goals [24 V.S.A. §4302]. The SWCRPC Board of Commissioners established a Regional Plan Subcommittee to help in the development and update of the Regional Plan. Click here to download our Regional Plan.
Act 250 and Section 248
Under state law, regional planning commissions are enabled to participate in various regulatory and non-regulatory proceedings. The SWCRPC takes a very active role in reviewing every Act 250 application that it receives in order to determine conformance with the Regional Plan. If a conflict exists between the local and regional plans, the regional plan will be given effect over the municipal plan if a proposed development has a “substantial regional impact.” The SWCRPC is also active in other proceedings that have a bearing on the Region, such as Section 248, wetland permits, and the review of proposed state agency rules. The SWCRPC Board of Commissioners established a Permit Review Committee to review projects of regional significance. See the Implementation Chapter of the Regional Plan for more information on implementing the plan in Act 250 and Section 248 proceedings, determination of substantial regional impact, and a summary of a review for compatibility with municipal plans and plans of adjoining regions.
Local Planning Technical Assistance
Staff are available to assist with a variety of land use planning initiatives including, but not limited to,
- Public involvement/outreach;
- Development of municipal plans, build-out analyses and other local planning documents;
- Preparation of non-regulatory municipal plan implementation tools (e.g. Capital Budget and Program, plans to support the municipal plan, advisory commissions, etc.);
- Development of land use regulations (e.g. zoning, subdivision and flood hazard area bylaws, impact fees under 24 V.S.A. Chapter 131, and municipal ordinances under 24 V.S.A. Chapter 59);
- Act 250 and legal requirements for adoption and enforcement of municipal plans, bylaws and ordinances;
- Telephone and written advisory opinions for zoning administrators, zoning boards of adjustment, and planning commissions regarding specific issues under review; and,
- Training for municipal staff and boards.
Local Planning Tools
- Town Plan Review Matrix: The SWCRPC routinely is requested by member municipalities to approve municipal plans and confirm local planning procedures in accordance with 24 V.S.A. §4350. The SWCRPC Board of Commissioners established a Town Plan Review Committee to determine if the statutory criteria for approval and confirmation are met, which are included in the review matrix.
- Required Town Plan Elements to Address Act 59
- Sample town plan excerpts for Downtown Designation
- Sample Excerpts for Village Center Designation (coming soon)
- Plan and Bylaw Adoption Tools
- How to Write Effective Land Use Decisions
- Essentials of Land Use Planning and Regulation Presentations:
- Town Plan Implementation Matrix Template
- Flood Hazard Application Templates (coming soon)
- Vermont Planning Information Center (VPIC)
- Common Town Plan Data Sources
- 2016 Vermont Planning Manual
- Mapping Resources (for more info see RPC Mapping Page)