Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 24: Municipal and County Government

Chapter 076A: HISTORIC DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT

  • § 2790. Legislative policy and purpose

    (a) The General Assembly finds that:

    (1) Economically strong downtowns are critical to the health and well-being of Vermont's communities and that downtowns are the natural location for both small businesses and other uses that together constitute the diverse fabric of communities that define Vermont's quality of life.

    (2) Vermont's distinctive character of historic downtowns and villages surrounded by working landscapes is recognized worldwide. This character defines Vermont's image, economy, and sense of place as well as its community spirit and identity, which are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. This distinctive character is among our most valuable assets, and investing in its health is a critical component of the State's overall economic well-being. The General Assembly recognizes the particular importance of Vermont's downtowns as historic regional centers providing services and amenities to nonresidents and further recognizes their need for targeted support in avoiding continued loss of commercial and residential land use to the surrounding area.

    (3) Investments made to revitalize the State's historic downtowns and village centers, to encourage pedestrian-oriented development within and around the commercial core, and to build upon the State's traditional settlement patterns support statewide goals concerning energy conservation, the efficient use of transportation and other public infrastructure and services, the protection of the working landscape, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

    (4) Strategies, programs, and investments that advance smart growth principles today will result in the long-term fiscal, economic, cultural, and environmental viability of the State.

    (b) It is therefore the intent of the General Assembly to:

    (1) support historic downtowns and villages by providing funding, training, and resources to communities designated under this chapter, to revitalize such communities, to increase and diversify economic development activities, to improve the efficient use of public investments, including water and sewer systems, and to safeguard working landscapes;

    (2) improve the ability of Vermont's historic downtowns and villages to attract residents and businesses by enhancing their livability and unique sense of place; by expanding access to employment, housing, education and schools, services, public facilities, and other basic needs; and by expanding businesses' access to markets;

    (3) coordinate policies and leverage funding to support historic downtowns and villages by removing barriers to collaboration among local downtown organizations, municipal departments, local businesses, and local nonprofit organizations and increasing accountability and effectiveness at all levels of government to revitalize communities and plan for future growth;

    (4) promote healthy, safe, and walkable downtown and village neighborhoods for people of all ages and incomes by increasing investments in those locations; providing energy efficient housing that is closer to jobs, services, health care, stores, entertainment, and schools; and reducing the combined cost of housing and transportation;

    (5) encourage investment in mixed use development and provide for diverse housing options within walking distance of historic downtowns and villages that reinforce Vermont's traditional settlement patterns and meet the needs of community members of all social and economic groups;

    (6) develop safe, reliable, and economical transportation options in historic downtowns and villages to decrease household transportation costs, promote energy independence, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote public health; and

    (7) reflect Vermont's traditional settlement patterns, and to minimize or avoid strip development or other unplanned development throughout the countryside on quality farmland or important natural and cultural landscapes.

    (c) [Repealed.]

    (d) The General Assembly finds that Vermont's communities face challenges as they seek to accommodate growth and development while supporting the economic vitality of the State's downtowns, village centers, and new town centers and maintaining the rural character and working landscape of the surrounding countryside. While it is the intention of the General Assembly to give the highest priority to facilitating development and growth in downtowns and village centers whenever feasible, when that is not feasible, the General Assembly further finds that:

    (1) A large percentage of future growth should occur within duly designated growth centers that have been planned by municipalities in accordance with smart growth principles and Vermont's planning and development goals pursuant to section 4302 of this title.

    (2) Designated growth centers, if properly located and scaled, will serve to support the State's downtowns, village centers, and new town centers by encouraging new residential neighborhoods and compatible civic, commercial, and industrial uses to locate within proximity to historic community centers.

    (3) Designated growth centers will provide a cost-effective means of allocating and targeting limited municipal and State resources to those areas specifically planned to accommodate and support concentrated development and a large percentage of future growth.

    (4) Designated growth centers will provide a mechanism for concentrating private investment in those areas targeted for growth and development through public investments and incentives, and by establishing a process that will effectively reduce cost and delay in the permitting and approval of development.

    (5) Designated growth centers will accomplish these goals if they are economically viable, they are appropriately planned to accommodate future growth needs and a mix of uses, they originate at the municipal or regional level, and they are recognized by the State under State planning, financing, and permitting programs. (Added 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2005, No. 183 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2013, No. 59, § 1.)

  • § 2791. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Community reinvestment agreement" means an agreement among municipal government officials, business leaders, and community groups pursuant to subdivision 2793(b)(2) of this title.

    (2) "Design review district" means a district created pursuant to subdivision 4414(1)(E) of this title.

    (3) "Downtown" means the traditional central business district of a community that has served as the focus of socio-economic interaction in the community, characterized by a cohesive core of commercial and mixed use buildings, some of which may contain mixed use spaces, often interspersed with civic, religious, residential, and industrial buildings and public spaces, typically arranged along a main street and intersecting side streets that are within walking distance for residents who live within and surrounding the core and that are served by public infrastructure such as sidewalks and public transit. Downtowns are typically larger in scale than village centers and are characterized by a development pattern that is consistent with smart growth principles.

    (4) "Downtown development district" or "downtown district" means a district delineated by the municipality and designated by the Downtown Development Board under section 2793 of this title.

    (5) "Local downtown organization" means either a nonprofit corporation, including a nonprofit corporation established by the Vermont Economic Development Authority, or a board, council, or commission created by the legislative body of the municipality, whose primary purpose is to administer and implement the community reinvestment agreement and other matters regarding the revitalization of the downtown district under subdivision 2793(b)(2) of this title.

    (6) "Historic district" means a district created pursuant to subdivision 4414(1)(F) of this title.

    (7) "Certified historic structure" means a certified historic structure as defined in the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 47(c).

    (8) "Special assessment" means a tax assessment pursuant to chapter 87 of this title or a municipal charter, among all commercial owners, or a significant portion thereof, within a downtown development district to impose an incremental tax assessment above the amount otherwise assessed, for the purposes of supporting downtown interests.

    (9) "Tax stabilization agreement" means a contract executed pursuant to either section 2741 of this title or 32 V.S.A. § 5404a to provide a stable and predictable tax rate or assessment on properties in a downtown development district.

    (10) "Village center" means the core of a traditional settlement, typically comprised of a cohesive mix of residential, civic, religious, commercial, and mixed use buildings arranged along a main street and intersecting streets that are within walking distance for residents who live within and surrounding the core. Industrial uses may be found within or immediately adjacent to these centers. Village centers are typically smaller in scale than downtowns and are characterized by a development pattern that is consistent with smart growth principles.

    (11) "New town center" means the area planned for or developing as a community's central business district, composed of compact, pedestrian-friendly, multistory, and mixed use development that is characteristic of a traditional downtown, supported by planned or existing urban infrastructure, including curbed streets with sidewalks and on-street parking, stormwater treatment, sanitary sewers, and public water supply.

    (12) "Growth center" shall have the same meaning as under section 2793c of this title.

    (13) "Smart growth principles" means growth that:

    (A) Maintains the historic development pattern of compact village and urban centers separated by rural countryside.

    (B) Develops compact mixed-use centers at a scale appropriate for the community and the region.

    (C) Enables choice in modes of transportation.

    (D) Protects the State's important environmental, natural, and historic features, including natural areas, water quality, scenic resources, and historic sites and districts.

    (E) Serves to strengthen agricultural and forest industries and minimizes conflicts of development with these industries.

    (F) Balances growth with the availability of economic and efficient public utilities and services.

    (G) Supports a diversity of viable businesses in downtowns and villages.

    (H) Provides for housing that meets the needs of a diversity of social and income groups in each community.

    (I) Reflects a settlement pattern that, at full build-out, is not characterized by:

    (i) scattered development located outside compact urban and village centers that is excessively land consumptive;

    (ii) development that limits transportation options, especially for pedestrians;

    (iii) the fragmentation of farmland and forestland;

    (iv) development that is not serviced by municipal infrastructure or that requires the extension of municipal infrastructure across undeveloped lands in a manner that would extend service to lands located outside compact village and urban centers;

    (v) linear development along well-traveled roads and highways that lacks depth, as measured from the highway.

    (14) "Important natural resources" means headwaters, streams, shorelines, floodways, rare and irreplaceable natural areas, necessary wildlife habitat, wetlands, endangered species, productive forestlands, and primary agricultural soils, all of which are as defined in 10 V.S.A. chapter 151.

    [Subdivision (15) repealed effective July 1, 2018.]

    (15) "Vermont neighborhood" means an area of land that is in a municipality with an approved plan, a confirmed planning process, zoning bylaws, and subdivision regulations, and is in compliance with all the following:

    (A) Is located in one of the following:

    (i) a designated downtown, village center, new town center, or growth center; or

    (ii) an area of land that is within the municipality and outside but contiguous to a designated downtown, village center, or new town center and is not more than 100 percent of the total acreage of the designated downtown, 50 percent of the village center, or 75 percent of the new town center.

    (B) Contains substantially all the following characteristics:

    (i) Its contiguous land, if any, complements the existing downtown district, village center, or new town center by integrating new housing units with existing residential neighborhoods, commercial and civic services and facilities, and transportation networks, and is consistent with smart growth principles.

    (ii) It is served by either a municipal sewer infrastructure or a community or alternative wastewater system approved by the Agency of Natural Resources.

    (iii) It incorporates minimum residential densities of no fewer than four units of single-family, detached dwelling units per acre, and higher densities for duplexes and multi-family housing.

    (iv) It incorporates neighborhood design standards that promote compact, pedestrian-oriented development patterns and networks of sidewalks or paths for both pedestrians and bicycles that connect with adjacent development areas.

    (16) "Neighborhood planning area" shall have the same meaning as under section 2793e of this title.

    (17) "Neighborhood development area" shall have the same meaning as under section 2793e of this title.

    (18) "Department" means the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development.

    (19) "District coordinator" means a district environmental coordinator attached to a District Commission established under 10 V.S.A. chapter 151.

    (20) "Infill" means the use of vacant land or property within a built-up area for further construction or development. (Added 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2001, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 28, 2002; 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 78, eff. Jan. 31, 2005; 2005, No. 183 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2007, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 28, 2008; 2009, No. 136 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2013, No. 59, § 2; 2013, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 27, 2014.)

  • § 2792. Vermont Downtown Development Board

    (a) A "Vermont Downtown Development Board," also referred to as the "State Board," is created to administer the provisions of this chapter. The State Board shall be composed of the following members or their designees:

    (1) The Secretary of Commerce and Community Development.

    (2) The Secretary of Transportation.

    (3) The Secretary of Natural Resources.

    (4) The Commissioner of Public Safety.

    (5) The State Historic Preservation Officer.

    (6) A person appointed by the Governor from a list of three names submitted by the Vermont Natural Resources Council and the Preservation Trust of Vermont.

    (7) A person appointed by the Governor from a list of three names submitted by the Association of Chamber Executives.

    (8) Three public members representative of local government, one of whom shall be designated by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, and two shall be appointed by the Governor.

    (9) A member of the Vermont Planners Association (VPA) designated by the Association.

    (10) The Chair of the Natural Resources Board or a representative of the Natural Resources Board designated by the Chair.

    (11) A representative of a regional planning commission designated by the Vermont Association of Planning and Development Agencies (VAPDA) and an alternate representative designated by VAPDA to enable all applications to be considered by a representative from a regional planning commission other than the one of which the applicant municipality is a member. The alternate designated by VAPDA may vote only when the designated representative does not vote.

    (b) [Repealed.]

    (c) The State Board shall elect a chair and vice chair from among its membership.

    (d) The Department shall provide staff and administrative support to the State Board and shall produce guidelines to direct municipalities seeking to obtain designation under this chapter.

    (e) [Repealed.]

    (f) [Repealed.]  (Added 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2005, No. 8, § 6b, eff. April 25, 2005; 2005, No. 183 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2007, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 16, 2008; 2007, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. May 28, 2008; 2009, No. 136 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2013, No. 11, § 25; 2013, No. 59, § 3.)

  • § 2793. Designation of downtown development districts

    (a) A municipality, by its legislative body, may apply to the State Board for designation of a downtown area within that municipality as a downtown development district.

    (1) For applications filed on and after July 1, 2014, the intention to apply for designation under this section shall be included in the plan of the municipality, and the plan shall explain how the designation would further the plan's goals and the goals of section 4302 of this title.

    (2) A preapplication meeting shall be held with Department staff to review the program requirements and to preliminarily identify possible designation boundaries. The meeting shall be held in the municipality unless another location is agreed to by the municipality.

    (3) An application by a municipality shall contain a map that accurately delineates the district and is consistent with the guidelines produced by the Department under subsection 2792(d) of this title. The application shall also include evidence that the regional planning commission and the regional development corporation have been notified of the municipality's intent to apply, evidence that the municipality has published notice of its application in a local newspaper of general circulation within the municipality, and information showing that the district meets the standards for designation established in subsection (b) of this section. Upon receipt of an application, the State Board shall provide written notice of the application to the Natural Resources Board. The Natural Resources Board and interested persons shall have 15 days after notice to submit written comments regarding the application before the State Board issues a written decision that demonstrates the applicant's compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

    (b) Within 45 days of receipt of a completed application, the State Board shall designate a downtown development district if the State Board finds in its written decision that the municipality has:

    (1) Demonstrated a commitment to protect and enhance the historic character of the downtown through the adoption of a design review district, through the adoption of an historic district, through the adoption of regulations that adequately regulate the physical form and scale of development that the State Board determines substantially meet the historic preservation requirements in subdivisions 4414(1)(E) and (F) of this title, or through the creation of a development review board authorized to undertake local Act 250 reviews of municipal impacts pursuant to section 4420 of this title.

    (2) Provided a community reinvestment agreement that has been executed by the authorized representatives of the municipal government, business and property owners within the district, and community groups with an articulated purpose of supporting downtown interests, and that contains the following provisions:

    (A) A delineation of the area that meets the requirements set forth in subdivision 2791(3) of this title and that is part of or contains a district that is listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 470a.

    (B) A capital budget and program pursuant to section 4430 of this title to improve or preserve public infrastructure within the district, including facilities for public transit, parking, pedestrian amenities, lighting, and public space.

    (C) A source of funding and resources necessary to fulfill the community reinvestment agreement, demonstrated by a commitment by the legislative body of the municipality to implement at least one of the following:

    (i) a special assessment district created to provide funding to the downtown district;

    (ii) authority to enter into a tax stabilization agreement for the purposes of economic development in a downtown district;

    (iii) a commitment to implement a tax incremental financing district pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 53 of this title; or

    (iv) other multiple-year financial commitments among the parties subject to the approval of the State Board.;

    (D) An organizational structure necessary to sustain a comprehensive long-term downtown revitalization effort, including a local downtown organization as defined under subdivision 2791(5) of this title that will collaborate with municipal departments, local businesses, and local nonprofit organizations:

    (i) to enhance the physical appearance and livability of the downtown district by implementing local policies that promote the use and rehabilitation of historic and existing buildings, by developing pedestrian-oriented design requirements, by encouraging new development and infill that satisfy such design requirements, and by supporting long-term planning that is consistent with the goals set forth in section 4302 of this title;

    (ii) to build consensus and cooperation among the many groups and individuals who have a role in the planning, development, and revitalization process;

    (iii) to market the assets of the downtown district to customers, potential investors, new businesses, local citizens, and visitors;

    (iv) to strengthen, diversify, and increase the economic activity within the downtown district;

    (v) to recognize and incorporate the map of the designated downtown district into the next update of the municipal plan; and

    (vi) to measure annually progress and achievements of the revitalization efforts as required by Department guidelines developed pursuant to subsection 2792(d) of this title.

    (E) Evidence that any private or municipal sewage system and private or public water supply serving the proposed downtown district is in compliance with the requirements of 10 V.S.A. chapters 47 and 56 and has adequately demonstrated an intent to reserve sufficient wastewater and water allocations to serve the future needs of the designated areas. Any municipality proposing a municipal sewage system and public water supply to serve the proposed downtown district shall provide evidence to the State Board of a commitment to construct or maintain such a system and supply in compliance with requirements of 10 V.S.A. chapters 47 and 56, or a commitment to construct, as applicable, a permittable potable water supply, wastewater system, indirect discharge, or public water supply within no more than ten years. A commitment to construct does not relieve the property owners in the district from meeting any applicable statute, rule, or bylaw regarding wastewater systems, potable water supplies, public water supplies, indirect discharges, and the subdivision of land.

    (3) A planning process confirmed under section 4350 of this title.

    (c) The State Board shall review a community's designation every five years and may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals. On and after July 1, 2014, any community applying for renewal shall explain how the designation under this section has furthered the goals of the town plan and shall submit an approved town plan map that depicts the boundary of the designated district. If at any time the State Board determines that the downtown development district no longer meets the standards for designation established in subsection (b) of this section, it may take any of the following actions:

    (1) require corrective action;

    (2) provide technical assistance through the Vermont Downtown Program;

    (3) limit eligibility for the benefits established in section 2794 of this chapter without affecting any of the district's previously awarded benefits; or

    (4) remove the district's designation without affecting any of the district's previously awarded benefits. (Added 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2001, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1a-3, eff. May 28, 2002; 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 79, eff. Jan. 31, 2005; 2007, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 16, 2008; 2013, No. 59, § 4.)

  • § 2793a. Designation of village centers by State Board

    (a) A town that has a duly adopted and approved plan and a planning process that is confirmed in accordance with section 4350 of this title may apply to the State Board for designation of one or more of its village centers. If an incorporated village of a town has an approved municipal plan and a planning process independently confirmed in accordance with section 4350 of this title, the incorporated village shall be the applicant for designation of its village center.

    (1) For applications filed on and after July 1, 2014, the intention to apply for designation under this section shall be included in the plan of the municipality, and the plan shall explain how the designation would further the plan's goals and the goals of section 4302 of this title.

    (2) A preapplication meeting shall be held with Department staff to review the program requirements and to preliminarily identify possible designation boundaries. The meeting shall be held in the municipality unless another location is agreed to by the municipality.

    (3) An application for designation under this section must include a map that delineates the boundaries of the village center consistent with the definition of "village center" provided in subdivision 2791(10) of this title and evidence that notice has been given to the regional planning commission and the regional development corporation of the intent to apply for this designation. The map shall be consistent with the guidelines produced by the Department under subsection 2792(d) of this title.

    (b) Within 45 days of receipt of a completed application, the State Board shall designate a village center if the State Board finds the applicant has met the requirements of subsection (a) of this section.

    (c) A village center designated by the State Board pursuant to subsection (a) of this section is eligible for the following development incentives and benefits:

    (1) Provided the proposal is eligible, priority consideration for municipal planning funds under section 4306 of this title for projects that are related to the designated village center.

    (2) Inclusion of a village center, as defined in this chapter, as a priority growth center in the State's consolidated plan for housing and community development programs.

    (3) The authority to create a special taxing district pursuant to chapter 87 of this title for the purpose of financing both capital and operating costs of a project within the boundaries established through village center designation.

    (4) The following State tax credits for projects located in a designated village center:

    (A) A State historic rehabilitation tax credit of ten percent under 32 V.S.A. § 5930cc(a) that meets the requirements for the federal rehabilitation tax credit.

    (C) A State code improvement tax credit of 50 percent under 32 V.S.A. § 5930cc(c).

    (5) Whenever the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services or other State officials in charge of selecting a site are planning to lease or construct buildings suitable to being located in a village center after determining that the option of utilizing existing space in a downtown development district pursuant to subdivision 2794(a)(12) of this title is not feasible, the option of utilizing existing space in a designated village center shall be given thorough investigation and priority, in consultation with the community.

    (d) The State Board shall review a village center designation every five years and may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals. On and after July 1, 2014, any community applying for renewal shall explain how the designation under this section has furthered the goals of the town plan and shall submit an approved town plan map that depicts the boundary of the designated district. If at any time the State Board determines that the village center no longer meets the standards for designation established in subsection (a) of this section, it may take any of the following actions:

    (1) require corrective action;

    (2) provide technical assistance through the Vermont Downtown Program;

    (3) limit eligibility for the benefits pursuant to subsection (c) of this section without affecting any of the village center's previously awarded benefits; or

    (4) remove the village center's designation without affecting any of the village center's previously awarded benefits. (Added 2001, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. May 28, 2002; amended 2003, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. June 12, 2004; 2005, No. 183 (Adj. Sess.), § 14; 2007, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 16, 2008; 2013, No. 59, § 5.)

  • § 2793b. Designation of new town center development districts

    (a) A municipality, by its legislative body, may apply to the State Board for designation of an area within that municipality as a new town center development district, provided no traditional downtown or new town center already exists in that municipality.

    (1) The State Board shall not approve an application filed by a municipality on or after July 1, 2014 unless the municipality has stated in its town plan that it intends to apply for designation under this section, and the town plan explains how the designation would further the plan's goals and the goals of section 4302 of this title.

    (2) A preapplication meeting shall be held with Department staff before an application is filed to review the program requirements and to identify possible designation boundaries. The meeting shall be held in the municipality unless another location is agreed to by the municipality.

    (3) An application for designation shall contain a map that delineates the boundaries of the proposed district and is consistent with the guidelines produced by the Department under subsection 2792(d) of this title. The application shall also demonstrate that the proposed district meets the requirements set forth in subdivision 2791(11) of this title, as well as the standards for designation established in subsection (b) of this section. The application shall verify that the regional planning commission and the regional development corporation have been notified of the municipality's intent to apply for designation.

    (b) Within 45 days of receipt of a completed application, the State Board shall designate a new town center development district if the State Board finds, with respect to that district, the municipality has:

    (1) A confirmed planning process under section 4350 of this title, developed a municipal center plan, and adopted bylaws and ordinances that implement the plan, including an official map, and a design review district created under this title or other regulations that adequately control the physical form and scale of development.

    (2) Provided a community investment agreement that has been executed by authorized representatives of the municipal government, businesses and property owners within the district, and community groups with an articulated purpose of supporting downtown interests, and contains the following:

    (A) A map of the designated new town center. The total area of land encompassed within a designated new town center shall not exceed 125 acres. In a municipality with a population greater than 15,000, the total area of land encompassed within a designated new town center may include land in excess of 125 acres provided that the additional area is needed to facilitate the redevelopment of predominately developed land in accordance with the smart growth principles defined under subdivision 2791(13) of this title and shall not exceed 175 acres.

    (B) Regulations enabling high densities that are greater than those allowed in any other part of the municipality.

    (C) Regulations enabling multistory and mixed use buildings and mixed uses which enable the development of buildings in a compact manner.

    (D) A capital improvement program, or a capital budget and program under this title, showing a clear plan for providing public infrastructure within the center, including facilities for drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, public space, lighting, and transportation, including public transit, parking, and pedestrian amenities.

    (E) A clear plan for mixed income housing in the new town center.

    (F) Evidence that civic and public buildings do exist, or will exist in the center, as shown by the capital improvement plan or the capital budget and program, and the official map.

    (G) [Repealed.]

    (H) Evidence that any private or municipal sewage system and private or public water supply serving the proposed new town center are in compliance with the requirements of 10 V.S.A. chapters 47 and 56, and that the municipality has dedicated a portion of any unallocated reserve capacity of the sewage and public water supply necessary to support growth within the proposed new town center. Any municipality proposing a municipal sewage system and public water supply to serve the proposed new town center shall provide evidence to the State Board of a commitment to construct or maintain such a system and supply in compliance with requirements of 10 V.S.A. chapters 47 and 56, or a commitment to construct, as applicable, a permittable potable water supply, wastewater system, indirect discharge, or public water supply within no more than ten years. A commitment to construct does not relieve the property owners in the new town center from meeting the applicable regulations of the Agency of Natural Resources regarding wastewater systems, potable water supplies, public water supplies, indirect discharges, and the subdivision of land. In the event a municipality fails in its commitment to construct a municipal sewage system or public water supply, or both, the State Board shall revoke designation, unless the municipality demonstrates to the State Board that all good faith efforts were made and continue to be made to obtain the required approvals and permits from the Agency of Natural Resources, and failure to construct was due to unavailability of sufficient State or federal funding.

    (c)(1) Upon designation by the State Board under this section as a new town center, a new town center and projects in a new town center shall be eligible for the authority to create a special taxing district, pursuant to chapter 87 of this title, for the purpose of financing both capital and operating costs of a project within the boundaries established through new town center designation.

    (2) Whenever the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services or other State officials in charge of selecting a site are planning to lease or construct buildings suitable to being located in a new town center after determining that the option of utilizing existing space in a downtown development district, pursuant to subdivision 2794(a)(12) of this title, is not feasible, the option of utilizing existing space in a designated new town center shall be given thorough investigation and priority, in consultation with the community.

    (d) The State Board shall review a new town center designation every five years and may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals. The State Board may adjust the schedule of review under this subsection to coincide with the review of a related growth center. If at any time the State Board determines the new town center no longer meets the standards for designation established in subsection (b) of this section, it may take any of the following actions:

    (1) require corrective action;

    (2) provide technical assistance through the Vermont Downtown Program;

    (3) limit eligibility for the benefits pursuant to subsection (c) of this section without affecting any of the new town center's previously awarded benefits; or

    (4) remove the new town center's designation without affecting any of the town center's previously awarded benefits. (Added 2001, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 4a, eff. May 28, 2002; amended 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 80, eff. Jan. 31, 2005; 2007, No. 69, § 1; 2007, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. May 16, 2008; 2007, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. May 28, 2008; 2013, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 27, 2014.)

  • § 2793c. Designation of growth centers

    (a)(1) Definition. As used in this section, "growth center" means an area of land that:

    (A) is within or adjoining a downtown, village center, or new town center designated under this chapter; and

    (B) has clearly defined boundaries that can accommodate a majority of commercial, residential, and industrial growth anticipated by the municipality or municipalities over a 20-year period.

    (2) Development and redevelopment within any growth center shall support Vermont's traditional land use pattern of compact centers separated by rural lands and shall meet the requirements set forth in subsection (b) of this section.

    (b) Requirements. To achieve the purposes and goals set forth in section 4302 of this title and conform to smart growth principles, a growth center shall meet each of the following requirements:

    (1) Size. The size of the growth center shall be sufficient to accommodate a majority of the projected development within each applicant municipality over a 20-year planning period, and:

    (A) shall be no larger than the area necessary to accommodate:

    (i) 150 percent of the projected dwelling units in the municipality over the period; and

    (ii) no more than 100 percent of the projected commercial and industrial development in the municipality;

    (B) shall not encompass an excessive area of land that would involve the unnecessary extension of infrastructure to service low-density development or automobile-dependent strip development; and

    (C) may include undevelopable land and land planned for green space or open space, as well as areas designed for infill and redevelopment.

    (2) Location. The area of land proposed for the growth center shall be located within or shall adjoin a designated downtown, village center, or new town center. If the growth center is to be adjoining, then the applicant shall demonstrate that an existing designated downtown, village center, or new town center located within each applicant municipality reasonably cannot accommodate the growth proposed to occur in the growth center.

    (3) Uses. The growth center shall support and reinforce any existing designated downtown, village center, or new town center located in the municipality or adjacent municipality by accommodating concentrated residential neighborhoods and a mix and scale of commercial, civic, and industrial uses that are consistent with the anticipated demand for those uses within the municipality and region. The growth center shall incorporate a mix of uses that typically includes or is planned to include the following: retail, office, services, and other commercial, civic, recreational, industrial, and residential uses, including affordable housing and new residential neighborhoods, within a densely developed, compact area.

    (4) Density, design, and form. The municipality shall adopt municipal plan policies and implementing bylaws and ordinances applicable to the growth center that conform with design guidelines developed by the Department pursuant to subdivision (d)(3) of this section, and that:

    (A) Allow net residential densities within the growth center greater than or equal to four single-family detached dwelling units per acre, exclusive of accessory dwelling units, or no fewer than the average existing density of the surrounding neighborhood, whichever is greater.

    (B) Ensure that all investments contribute to a built environment that enhances the existing and planned character and supports pedestrian use.

    (C) Ensure sufficient density, building heights, and building coverage or sufficient floor area ratio. A municipality may use bylaws that regulate adequately the physical form and scale of development to demonstrate compliance with this requirement.

    (D) Minimize the required lot sizes, setbacks, and parking and street widths.

    (E) Organize the proposed growth center development around one or more central places or focal points that will establish community identity and promote social interaction, such as prominent buildings of civic, cultural, or spiritual significance or a village green, common, or square.

    (F) Prohibit linear, automobile-dependent strip development along heavily traveled roads within and extending outside the growth center.

    (5) Capital budget. The applicant has adopted, in accordance with section 4430 of this title, a capital budget and program that includes existing and planned wastewater treatment, water, stormwater, and transportation infrastructure; public spaces; other infrastructure necessary to support growth center development; and a reference map.

    (6) General infrastructure. The existing and planned infrastructure shall be adequate to implement the growth center and meet the municipality's 20-year growth needs. The municipality shall have adopted policies on the extension of water and wastewater lines that include a defined service area and allocation plan to support the growth center.

    (7) Public spaces. The growth center shall incorporate existing or planned public spaces that promote social interaction, such as public parks, civic buildings such as a post office or municipal offices, community gardens, and other formal and informal places to gather.

    (8) Transportation. Existing or planned transportation infrastructure serving the growth center shall be adequate to implement growth center development over the 20-year period, and shall conform with "complete streets" principles as described under 19 V.S.A. § 309d; shall establish multi-modal access to the downtown, village center, or new town center; shall incorporate, accommodate, and support the use of public transit systems; and shall encompass a circulation system that is conducive to pedestrian and other nonvehicular traffic. The applicable municipal plans and bylaws shall include provisions that will result in street connectivity and aim to create a comprehensive, integrated, connected network for all modes.

    (9) Natural resources within growth centers. The growth center shall avoid or minimize the inclusion of important natural resources and identified flood hazard and fluvial erosion hazard areas. If an applicant includes an important natural resource or flood hazard or fluvial erosion hazard area within a proposed growth center, the applicant shall identify the resource or area, explain why the resource or area was included, describe any anticipated disturbance to the resource or area, and describe how the municipality's land use bylaws will avoid or minimize impacts to the resource or area. If impacts to the resource or area are necessary to achieve growth center goals, the applicant shall provide justification for why the disturbance cannot be avoided or minimized.

    (10) Natural resources outside growth centers. Municipalities applying for growth center designation shall ensure that the approved local plan, implementing bylaws, and other programs serve to minimize conflicts of development with agricultural and forest industries; minimize the conversion and fragmentation of farmland, forestland, or significant areas of habitat connectivity; and minimize impacts on important natural resources located outside the proposed growth center.

    (11) Historic resources. The growth center shall be compatible with and reinforce the character of sites that are listed or eligible for listing on the National or State Register of Historic Places, and other significant cultural and historic resources identified by local or State government in or adjacent to the growth center.

    (c) Application for designation of a growth center.

    (1) Before submitting a complete application to the Board, the municipal legislative body shall vote to apply for growth center designation according to the procedure established under sections 1972 and 1973 of this title.

    (2) The application for designation as a growth center shall:

    (A) be based on a 20-year plan for growth that is reflected in the municipal plan of the municipality involved;

    (B) include regional and local growth projections and shall identify targets for 20-year growth in various sectors;

    (C) include an inventory map and analysis of growth and development potential in the designated downtown, village center, or new town center that connects to the proposed growth center; and

    (D) quantify the type and amount of development and land area needed to support the proposed growth center beyond what is available in the designated downtown, village center, or new town center.

    (3) Each municipality involved in the application shall have a duly adopted and regionally approved municipal plan that describes the proposed growth center and a planning process that is confirmed in accordance with section 4350 of this title.

    (4) Each municipality involved in the application shall have adopted bylaws and regulations under sections 4414, 4418, and 4422 of this title and nonregulatory programs that will support and implement the growth center requirements of subsection (b) of this section.

    (5) Each application for designation as a growth center shall include:

    (A) A description from the regional planning commission in which each applicant municipality is located of the role of the proposed growth center in the region, and the relationship between the proposed growth center and neighboring communities.

    (B) Written confirmation from the applicable regional planning commission that the proposed growth center conforms with the regional plan for the region in which each applicant municipality is located.

    (C) A concept plan depicting the character of the streets and public spaces within the growth center, and depicting the size and placement of buildings envisioned in the municipal plan.

    (D) One or more maps that accurately delineate the boundaries of the growth center, and an official map, if one is adopted, of the growth center. The map or maps shall identify:

    (i) growth center boundaries in relation to the associated designated downtown, village center, or new town center;

    (ii) important natural resources, identified flood hazard and fluvial erosion hazard areas, National Register Historic Districts, National or State Register Historic Sites, and other significant cultural and natural resources identified by local or State government within the municipality;

    (iii) existing slopes of 20 percent or greater; and

    (iv) existing and planned public facilities, including public buildings, public spaces, wastewater and water services, roads, sidewalks, paths, transit centers, parking areas, parks, and schools within the growth center boundaries.

    (d) Designation process.

    (1) Preliminary application and meeting process.

    (A) Before submitting an application pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, a municipality shall submit a preliminary application to the Department consisting of a draft growth center map and a brief explanation of the planning and implementation policies the municipality plans to enact prior to submitting an application under subsection (c) of this section. These planning and implementation policies will be used to guide development within the growth center and preserve the rural character of the surrounding area.

    (B) The Department shall solicit comments on the preliminary application from State agencies and regional planning commissions. The Department shall evaluate the preliminary application for compliance with the requirements of subsection (b) of this section, identify potential issues related to the growth center boundary and implementation tools, and make recommendations to address those issues through adjustment of the growth center boundaries and revised or alternative implementation plans.

    (C) The Department shall schedule and conduct a preapplication meeting with the applicant.

    (2) Regional planning commission technical planning assistance. Regional planning commissions, pursuant to section 4345a of this title, are uniquely positioned to assist municipalities with growth center planning. To this end, at the request of a municipality contemplating growth center designation, the regional planning commission shall provide technical assistance in support of that designation.

    (A) Technical support shall include:

    (i) preparing population, housing, and employment growth projections for a period of not less than 20 years;

    (ii) mapping, including identification of development capacity, land use, existing and planned infrastructure and service areas, important natural resources and historic resources, and physical constraints to development and associated features; and

    (iii) analysis of whether the geographic area of proposed growth centers will accommodate a majority of the projected growth over a 20-year period.

    (B) These projections and analyses may be prepared on a municipal or regional basis.

    (3) Planning manual. The Commissioner of Housing and Community Development or designee shall ensure that the planning manual prepared under section 4304 of this title provides guidelines for municipalities and regional planning commissions planning for growth center designation. The manual shall identify State resources available to assist municipalities and shall include a checklist indicating the issues that should be addressed by the municipality in planning for growth center designation.

    (A) The manual shall address in appropriate detail:

    (i) methodologies for conducting growth projections and analyses;

    (ii) the methodology for determining the appropriate size and location of a growth center boundary;

    (iii) the methodology for calculating residential density in a growth center; and

    (iv) the methodology for determining the adequacy of infrastructure needed to support anticipated growth within a growth center.

    (B) The planning manual shall address defining appropriate boundaries that are not unduly expansive; enacting plan policies and implementation bylaws that accommodate reasonable densities, compact settlement patterns, and an appropriate mix of uses within growth centers; planning for infrastructure, transportation facilities, and open space; avoiding or mitigating impacts to important natural resources and historic resources; and strategies for maintaining the rural character and working landscape outside growth center boundaries.

    (4) Assistance by Department. The Commissioner of Housing and Community Development or designee shall provide ongoing assistance to the State Board to review applications for growth center designation, including coordinating review by State agencies on matters of agency interest and evaluating applications and associated plan policies and implementation measures for conformance with this section.

    (5) Planning grants. The Vermont Municipal Planning Grant Program, pursuant to subdivision 4306(b)(2) of this title, shall make funding for activities associated with growth center planning a priority, and the Vermont Community Development Program shall make funding for activities associated with growth center planning a priority under the planning grant program.

    (6) Designation decision. Within 90 days of the receipt of a completed application, after providing notice as required in the case of a proposed municipal plan or amendment to each person listed under subsection 4384(e) of this title and to the executive director of each adjacent regional planning commission, and after providing an opportunity for the public to be heard, the State Board formally shall designate a growth center if the State Board finds, in a written decision, that the growth center proposal meets the requirements of subsection (b) of this section. An application that complies with all of the requirements of subsection (b) of this section other than the size requirement set forth in subdivision (b)(1) may be approved by the State Board if the applicant presents compelling justification for deviating from the size requirement and provided that at least two-thirds but no fewer than seven of the members of the State Board present vote in favor of the application.

    (7) Conditions of designation. The Board, as a condition of growth center designation, may require certain regulatory changes prior to the effective date of designation. In addition, the growth center designation may be modified, suspended, or revoked if the applicant fails to achieve the required regulatory changes within a specified period of time. As an option, municipalities applying for growth center designation may make certain regulatory changes effective and contingent upon formal designation.

    (8) Request for reconsideration. Within 21 days of a growth center designation under subdivision (1) of this subsection, a person or entity that submitted written or oral comments to the State Board during its consideration of the application for the designated growth center may request that the State Board reconsider the designation. Any such request for reconsideration shall identify each specific finding of the State Board for which reconsideration is requested and state the reasons why each such finding should be reconsidered. The filing of such a request shall stay the effectiveness of the designation until the State Board renders its decision on the request. On receipt of such a request, the State Board shall promptly notify the applicant municipality of the request if that municipality is not the requestor. The State Board shall convene at the earliest feasible date to consider the request and shall render its decision on the request within 90 days of the date on which the request was filed.

    (e) Length of Designation.

    (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, growth center designation shall extend for 20 years. The State Board shall review a growth center designation no less frequently than every five years, after providing notice as required in the case of a proposed municipal plan or amendment under subsection 4384(e) of this title, and after providing an opportunity for the public to be heard. For each applicant, the State Board may adjust the schedule of review under this subsection so as to coincide with the review of the related and underlying designation of a downtown, village center, or new town center.

    (2) The five-year review shall include, at a minimum, an updated five-year capital plan that funds infrastructure improvements necessary to implement growth center development, updated development projections, a summary of growth within and outside the growth center to date, and any changes to the municipal plan, bylaws, or maps since the original growth center application or any previous review.

    (3) If, at the time of the review, the State Board determines that the growth center no longer meets the standards for designation in effect at the time the growth center initially was designated, the State Board may:

    (A) require corrective action;

    (B) provide technical assistance through the coordinated assistance program; or

    (C) remove the growth center's designation, with that removal not affecting any of the growth center's previously awarded benefits.

    (4) At any time, a municipality shall be able to apply to the State Board for amendment of a designated growth center or any related conditions or other matters, according to the procedures that apply in the case of an original application.

    (f) Review by the Natural Resources Board and issuance of Act 250 findings of fact and conclusions of law. Subsequent to growth center designation by the State Board, an applicant municipality may submit a request for findings of fact and conclusions of law under specific criteria of 10 V.S.A. § 6086(a) to the Natural Resources Board for consideration in accordance with the following:

    (1) In requesting findings of fact, the applicant municipality shall specify any criteria for which findings and conclusions are requested and the nature and scope of the findings that are being requested.

    (2) The Natural Resources Board shall notify all landowners of land located within the proposed growth center, entities that would be accorded party status before a District Commission under 10 V.S.A. § 6085(c)(1)(C) and (D), and all owners of land adjoining the proposed growth center of a hearing on the issue. The Natural Resources Board may fashion alternate and more efficient means of providing adequate notice to persons potentially affected under this subdivision. Persons notified may appear at the hearing and be heard, as may any other person who has a particularized interest protected by 10 V.S.A. chapter 151 that may be affected by the decision.

    (3) The Natural Resources Board shall review the request in accordance with and shall issue findings of fact and conclusions of law under the applicable criteria of 10 V.S.A. § 6086(a) which are deemed to have been satisfied by the applicant's submissions during the formal designation process, any additional submissions, as well as associated municipal plan policies, programs, and bylaws. Findings and conclusions of law shall be effective for a period of five years, unless otherwise provided. The Natural Resources Board, before issuing its findings and conclusions, may require specific changes in the proposal, or regulatory changes by the municipality, as a condition for certain findings and conclusions. These findings and conclusions shall be subject to appeal to the Environmental Division pursuant to 10 V.S.A. chapter 220 within 30 days of issuance.

    (4) During the period of time in which a growth center designation remains in effect, any findings and conclusions issued by the Natural Resources Board or any final adjudication of those findings and conclusions shall be applicable to any subsequent application for approval by a District Commission under 10 V.S.A. chapter 151 and shall be binding upon the District Commission and the persons provided notice in the Natural Resources Board proceeding, according to the rules of the Natural Resources Board, provided the proposed development project is located within the designated growth center.

    (5) In any application to a District Commission under 10 V.S.A. chapter 151 for approval of a proposed development or subdivision to be located within the designated growth center, the District Commission shall review de novo any relevant criteria of 10 V.S.A. § 6086(a) that are not subject to findings of fact and conclusions of law issued by the Natural Resources Board pursuant to this section.

    (6) The decision of the State Board pursuant to this section shall not be binding as to the criteria of 10 V.S.A. § 6086(a) in any proceeding before the Natural Resources Board or a District Commission.

    (g) Review by District Commission. In addition to its other powers, in making its determinations under 10 V.S.A. § 6086, a District Commission may consider important resources within a proposed growth center that have been identified in the designation process and the anticipated impacts on those resources, and may require that reasonable mitigation be provided as an alternative to permit denial.

    (h) Concurrent designation. A municipality may seek designation of a growth center concurrently with the designation of a downtown pursuant to section 2793 of this title, the designation of a village center pursuant to section 2793a of this title, or the designation of a new town center pursuant to section 2793b of this title.

    (i) Benefits from designation. A growth center designated by the State Board pursuant to this section is eligible for the following development incentives and benefits:

    (1) Financial incentives.

    (A) A municipality may use tax increment financing for infrastructure and improvements in its designated growth center pursuant to the provisions of Title 32 and this title. A designated growth center under this section shall be presumed to have met any locational criteria established in Vermont statutes for tax increment financing. The State Board may consider project criteria established under those statutes and, as appropriate, may make recommendations as to whether any of those project criteria have been met.

    (B) Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) incentives shall be provided to designated growth centers.

    (2) State assistance and funding for growth centers.

    (A) It is the intention of the General Assembly to give the highest priority to facilitating development and growth in designated downtowns and village centers whenever feasible. The provisions in this section and elsewhere in law that provide and establish priorities for State assistance and funding for designated growth centers are not intended to take precedence over any other provisions of law that provide State assistance and funding for designated downtowns and village centers.

    (B) On or before January 15, 2007, the Secretary of Administration, in consultation with the Secretaries of Natural Resources, of Transportation, of Commerce and Community Development, and of Agriculture, Food and Markets, shall report to the General Assembly on the priorities and preferences for State assistance and funding granted in law to downtown centers, village centers, and designated growth centers, and the manner in which such priorities are applied.

    (3) State infrastructure and development assistance.

    (A) With respect to State grants and other State funding, priority should be given to support infrastructure and other investments in public facilities located inside a designated growth center to consist of the following:

    (i) Agency of Natural Resources funding of new, expanded, upgraded, or refurbished wastewater management facilities serving a growth center in accordance with the Agency's rules regarding priority for pollution abatement, pollution prevention, and the protection of public health and water quality.

    (ii) Technical and financial assistance for brownfields remediation under the Vermont brownfields initiative.

    (iii) Community development block grant (CDBG) program implementation grants.

    (iv) Technical, financial, and other benefits made available by statute or rule.

    (B) Whenever the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services or other State officials in charge of selecting a site are planning to lease or construct buildings suitable to being located in a designated growth center after determining that the option of utilizing existing space in a downtown development district pursuant to subdivision 2794(a)(12) of this title or within a designated village center pursuant to subdivision 2793a(c)(5) of this title or within a designated new town center pursuant to subdivision 2793b(c)(2) of this title is not feasible, the option of locating in a designated growth center shall be given thorough investigation and priority in consultation with the legislative body of the municipality.

    (4) State investments. The State shall:

    (A) Expand the scope of the downtown transportation fund, as funds are available, to include access to downtowns with the first priority being projects located in designated downtowns, the second priority being projects located in designated village centers, and the third priority being projects located in designated growth centers.

    (B) Extend priority consideration for transportation enhancement improvements located within or serving designated downtowns, village centers, and growth centers.

    (C) Grant to projects located within designated growth centers priority consideration for State housing renovation and affordable housing construction assistance programs.

    (5) Regulatory incentives.

    (A) Master plan permit application. At any time while designation of a growth center is in effect, any person or persons who exercise ownership or control over an area encompassing all or part of the designated growth center or any municipality within which a growth center has been formally designated may apply for a master plan permit for that area or any portion of that area to the District Commission pursuant to the rules of the Natural Resources Board. Municipalities making an application under this subdivision are not required to exercise ownership of or control over the affected property. The District Commission shall be bound by any conclusions or findings of the Natural Resources Board, or any final adjudication of those findings and conclusions, pursuant to subsection (f) of this section but shall consider de novo any of the criteria of 10 V.S.A. § 6086(a) that were not subject to the final issuance of findings and conclusions by the Natural Resources Board pursuant to that subsection. In approving a master permit, the District Commission may set forth specific conditions that an applicant for an individual project permit will be required to meet.

    (B) Individual project permits within a designated growth center. The District Commission shall review individual Act 250 permit applications in accordance with the specific findings of fact and conclusions of law issued by the Natural Resources Board under this section, if any, and in accordance with the conditions, findings, and conclusions of any applicable master plan permit. Any person proposing a development or subdivision within a designated growth center where no master plan permit is in effect shall be required to file an application with the District Environmental Commission for review under the criteria of 10 V.S.A. § 6086(a). (Added 2005, No. 183 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2009, No. 136 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 236; 2013, No. 11, § 25; 2013, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 27, 2014.)

  • [Section 2793d repealed effective July 1, 2018.]

    § 2793d. Designation of Vermont neighborhoods

    (a) Designation authorized. The Vermont Downtown Development Board may designate a Vermont neighborhood in a municipality that has a duly adopted and approved plan and a planning process that is confirmed in accordance with section 4350 of this title, has adopted zoning bylaws and subdivision regulations in accordance with section 4442 of this title, and has a designated downtown district, a designated village center, a designated new town center, or a designated growth center served by municipal sewer infrastructure or a community or alternative wastewater system approved by the Agency of Natural Resources. An application for designation may be made by a municipality or by a landowner who meets the criteria under subsection (f) of this section. An application by a municipality or a landowner shall be made after at least one duly warned public hearing by the legislative body. If the application is submitted by a landowner, the legislative body shall duly warn a joint public hearing with the appropriate municipal panel, which hearing shall be held concurrently with the local permitting process. Designation pursuant to this subsection is possible in two different situations:

    (1) Per se approval. If a municipality or landowner submits an application in compliance with this subsection for a designated Vermont neighborhood that would have boundaries that are entirely within the boundaries of a designated downtown district, designated village center, designated new town center, or designated growth center, the Downtown Board shall issue the designation.

    (2) Designation by Downtown Board in towns without growth centers. If an application is submitted in compliance with this subsection by a municipality or a landowner in a municipality that does not have a designated growth center and proposes to create a Vermont neighborhood that has boundaries that include land that is not within its designated downtown, village center, or new town center, the Downtown Board shall consider the application. This application may be for approval of one or more Vermont neighborhoods that are outside but contiguous to a designated downtown district, village center, or new town center. The application for designation shall include a map of the boundaries of the proposed Vermont neighborhood, including the property outside but contiguous to a designated downtown district, village center, or new town center and verification that the municipality or landowner has notified the regional planning commission and the regional development corporation of its application for this designation.

    (b) Designation process. Within 45 days of receipt of a completed application, the Downtown Board, after opportunity for public comment, shall designate a Vermont neighborhood if the Board determines the applicant has met the requirements of subsections (a) and (c) of this section. When designating a Vermont neighborhood, the Board may change the boundaries that were contained in the application by reducing the size of the area proposed to be included in the designated neighborhood, but may not include in the designation land that was not included in the application for designation. A Vermont neighborhood decision made by the Board is not subject to appeal. Any Vermont neighborhood designation shall terminate when the underlying downtown, village center, new town center, or growth center designation terminates.

    (c) Designation standards. The Board shall determine that the applicant has demonstrated all of the following:

    (1) The municipality has a duly adopted and approved plan and a planning process that is confirmed in accordance with section 4350 of this title, and has adopted zoning bylaws and subdivision regulations in accordance with section 4442 of this title.

    (2) The cumulative total of all Vermont neighborhood land located within the municipality but outside a designated downtown district, designated village center, or designated new town center is not more than 100 percent of the total acreage of the designated downtown district, 50 percent of the village center, or 75 percent of the new town center.

    (3) The contiguous land of the Vermont neighborhood complements the existing designated downtown district, village center, or new town center by integrating new housing units with existing residential neighborhoods, commercial and civic services and facilities, and transportation networks, and the contiguous land, in combination with the designated downtown development district, village center, or new town center, is consistent with smart growth principles established under subdivision 2791(13) of this title;

    (4) The Vermont neighborhood shall be served by one of the following:

    (A) a municipal sewer infrastructure; or

    (B) a community or alternative wastewater system approved by the Agency of Natural Resources.

    (5) The municipal zoning bylaw requires the following for all land located within the Vermont neighborhood:

    (A) Minimum residential densities shall require all the following:

    (i) No fewer than four units of single-family, detached dwelling units per acre, exclusive of accessory apartments.

    (ii) Higher density for duplexes and multi-family housing.

    (B) Neighborhood design standards that promote compact, pedestrian-oriented development patterns that include the following:

    (i) Pedestrian scale and orientation of development. Networks of sidewalks or paths, or both, are provided and available to the public to connect the Vermont neighborhood with adjacent development areas, existing and planned adjacent sidewalks, paths, and public streets and the designated downtown, village center, or new town center.

    (ii) Interconnected and pedestrian-friendly street networks. Street networks are designed to safely accommodate both pedestrians and bicycles through the provisions of sidewalks on at least one side of the street, on-street parking, and traffic-calming features.

    (6) Residents hold a right to utilize household energy conserving devices.

    (d) Vermont neighborhood incentives for municipalities and developers. Incentives for Vermont neighborhoods include the following:

    (1) The Agency of Natural Resources shall charge no more than a $50.00 fee for wastewater applications under 3 V.S.A. § 2822(j)(4) where the applicant has received an allocation for sewer capacity from an approved municipal system. This limitation shall not apply in the case of fees charged as part of a duly delegated municipal program.

    (2) Act 250 fees under 10 V.S.A. § 6083a for residential developments in Vermont neighborhoods shall be 50 percent of the fee otherwise applicable. Fifty percent of the reduced fees shall be paid upon application, and 50 percent shall be paid within 30 days of the issuance or denial of the permit.

    (3) No land gains tax under 32 V.S.A. chapter 236 shall be levied on a transfer of undeveloped land in a Vermont neighborhood which is the first transfer of that parcel following the original designation of the Vermont neighborhood.

    (e) Length of designation. Initial designation of a Vermont neighborhood shall be for a period of five years, after which, the State Board shall review a Vermont neighborhood concurrently with the next periodic review conducted of the underlying designated downtown, village center, new town center, or growth center, even if the underlying designated entity was originally designated by the Downtown Board and not by the State Board. However, the Board, on its motion, may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals. If at any time the State Board determines that the designated Vermont neighborhood no longer meets the standards for designation established in this section, it may take any of the following actions:

    (1) require corrective action within a reasonable time frame;

    (2) remove the Vermont neighborhood designation, with that removal not retroactively affecting any of the benefits already received by the municipality or land owner in the designated Vermont neighborhood; and

    (3) prospectively limiting benefits authorized in this chapter, with the limitation not retroactively affecting any of the benefits already received by the municipality or land owner in the designated Vermont neighborhood.

    (f) Alternative designation in towns without density or design standards. If a municipality has not adopted either the minimum density requirements or design standards, or both, set out in subdivision (c)(5) of this section in its zoning bylaw, a landowner within a proposed Vermont neighborhood may apply to the Downtown Board for designation of a Vermont neighborhood that meets the standards set out in subdivision (c)(5) of this section by submitting:

    (1) a copy of the plans and necessary municipal permits obtained for a project; and

    (2) a letter of support for the project issued to the landowner from the municipality within 30 days of the effective date of a final municipal permit.

    (g) Termination of program; transition. Notwithstanding subsections (a)-(f) of this section:

    (1) On and after July 1, 2013, the State Board shall not grant a municipality a designation under this section unless the municipality filed a complete application for such a designation prior to July 1, 2013. Any such complete application filed prior to July 1, 2013 shall be approved or denied based on the requirements of this section.

    (2) On and after July 1, 2013, a Vermont neighborhood designated under this section shall be eligible for benefits pursuant to subsections 2793e(f) and (g) of this title.

    (3) On and after July 1, 2013, when the State Board reviews a Vermont neighborhood designated under this section either for purposes of renewal or on its motion, the State Board shall apply the requirements of section 2793e of this title. If the Board finds that those requirements are met, the Vermont neighborhood shall be redesignated as a neighborhood development area under section 2793e of this title. If the Board does not find that those requirements are met, the area shall have no designation under this section or section 2793e of this title. (Added 2007, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 28, 2008; amended 2009, No. 136 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2011, No. 52, § 23a, eff. May 27, 2011; 2013, No. 59, § 6.)

  • § 2793e. Neighborhood planning areas; designation of neighborhood development areas

    (a) Purpose. This section is intended to encourage a municipality to plan for new and infill housing in the area including and immediately encircling its designated downtown, village center, new town center, or within its designated growth center in order to provide needed housing and to further support the commercial establishments in the designated center. To support this goal, this section sets out a two-component process.

    (1) The first component is the automatic delineation of a study area, defined in this section as a neighborhood planning area, that includes and encircles a municipality's designated downtown, village center, or new town center or, in the case of a designated growth center, is within the designated center. The process established by this section allows a municipality with a designated center to identify those locations within a neighborhood planning area that are suitable primarily for residential development.

    (2) The second component is the application by a municipality for the designation of locations within this study area as neighborhood development areas that are suitable for residential development and will receive the benefits provided by this section.

    (3) The Department shall provide municipalities with designated downtowns, village centers, new town centers, and growth centers with grants, as they become available, and technical assistance to help such municipalities apply for and receive neighborhood development area designations.

    (b) Definitions.

    (1) "Neighborhood planning area" means an automatically delineated area including and encircling a downtown, village center, or new town center designated under this chapter or within a growth center designated under this chapter. A neighborhood planning area is used for the purpose of identifying locations suitable for new and infill housing that will support a development pattern that is compact, oriented to pedestrians, and consistent with smart growth principles. To ensure a compact settlement pattern, the outer boundary of a neighborhood planning area shall be located entirely within the boundaries of the applicant municipality and shall be determined:

    (A) for a municipality with a designated downtown, by measuring out one-half mile from each point around the entire perimeter of the designated downtown boundary;

    (B) for a municipality with one or more designated village centers, by measuring out one-quarter mile from each point around the entire perimeter of the designated village center boundary;

    (C) for a municipality with a designated new town center, by measuring out one-quarter mile from each point around the entire perimeter of the designated new town center boundary; and

    (D) for a municipality with a designated growth center, as the same boundary as the designated growth center boundary.

    (2) "Neighborhood development area" means a location within a neighborhood planning area that is suitable for new and infill housing and that has been approved by the State Board for designation under this section and associated benefits.

    (c) Application for designation of a neighborhood development area. The State Board shall approve a neighborhood development area if the application demonstrates and includes all of the following elements:

    (1) The municipality has a duly adopted and approved plan and a planning process that is confirmed in accordance with section 4350 of this title and has adopted bylaws and regulations in accordance with sections 4414, 4418, and 4442 of this title.

    (2) A preapplication meeting with Department staff was held to review the program requirements and to preliminarily identify possible neighborhood development areas.

    (3) The proposed neighborhood development area is within a neighborhood planning area or such extension of the planning area as may be approved under subsection (d) of this section.

    (4) The proposed neighborhood development area consists of those portions of the neighborhood planning area that are generally within walking distance from the municipality's downtown, village center, or new town center designated under this chapter or from locations within the municipality's growth center designated under this chapter that are planned for higher density development.

    (5) The proposed neighborhood development area consists of those portions of the neighborhood planning area that are appropriate for new and infill housing, excluding identified flood hazard and fluvial erosion areas. In determining what areas are most suitable for new and infill housing, the municipality shall balance local goals for future land use, the availability of land for housing within the neighborhood planning area, and the smart growth principles. Based on those considerations, the municipality shall select an area for neighborhood development area designation that:

    (A) Avoids or that minimizes to the extent feasible the inclusion of "important natural resources" as defined in subdivision 2791(14) of this title. If an "important natural resource" is included within a proposed neighborhood development area, the applicant shall identify the resource, explain why the resource was included, describe any anticipated disturbance to such resource, and describe why the disturbance cannot be avoided or minimized.

    (B) Is served by planned or existing transportation infrastructure that conforms with "complete streets" principles as described under 19 V.S.A. § 309d and establishes pedestrian access directly to the downtown, village center, or new town center.

    (C) Is compatible with and will reinforce the character of adjacent National Register Historic Districts, National or State Register Historic Sites, and other significant cultural and natural resources identified by local or State government.

    (6) The neighborhood development area is served by:

    (A) municipal sewer infrastructure; or

    (B) a community or alternative wastewater system approved by the Agency of Natural Resources.

    (7) The municipal bylaws allow minimum net residential densities within the neighborhood development area greater than or equal to four single-family detached dwelling units per acre, exclusive of accessory dwelling units, or no fewer than the average existing density of the surrounding neighborhood, whichever is greater. The methodology for calculating density shall be established in the guidelines developed by the Department pursuant to subsection 2792(d) of this title.

    (A) Regulations that adequately regulate the physical form and scale of development may be used to demonstrate compliance with this requirement.

    (B) Development in the neighborhood development areas that is lower than the minimum net residential density required by this subdivision (7) shall not qualify for the benefits stated in subsections (f) and (g) of this section. The district coordinator shall determine whether development meets this minimum net residential density requirement in accordance with subsection (f) of this section.

    (8) Local bylaws, regulations, and policies applicable to the neighborhood development area substantially conform with neighborhood design guidelines developed by the Department pursuant to section 2792 of this title. These policies shall:

    (A) ensure that all investments contribute to a built environment that enhances the existing neighborhood character and supports pedestrian use;

    (B) ensure sufficient residential density and building heights;

    (C) minimize the required lot sizes, setbacks, and parking and street widths; and

    (D) require conformance with "complete streets" principles as described under 19 V.S.A. § 309d, street and pedestrian connectivity, and street trees.

    (9) Residents hold a right to utilize household energy conserving devices.

    (10) The application includes a map or maps that, at a minimum, identify:

    (A) "important natural resources" as defined in subdivision 2791(14) of this title;

    (B) existing slopes of 25 percent or steeper;

    (C) public facilities, including public buildings, public spaces, sewer or water services, roads, sidewalks, paths, transit, parking areas, parks, and schools;

    (D) planned public facilities, roads, or private development that is permitted but not built;

    (E) National Register Historic Districts, National or State Register Historic Sites, and other significant cultural and natural resources identified by local or State government;

    (F) designated downtown, village center, new town center, or growth center boundaries as approved under this chapter and their associated neighborhood planning area in accordance with this section; and

    (G) delineated areas of land appropriate for residential development and redevelopment under the requirements of this section.

    (11) The application includes the information and analysis required by the Department's guidelines under section 2792 of this title.

    (d) Designation process. Within 45 days of receipt of a complete application for designation of a neighborhood development area, the State Board, after opportunity for public comment, shall approve a neighborhood development area if the Board determines that the applicant has met the requirements of this section.

    (1) When approving a neighborhood development area, the State Board shall consult with the applicant about any changes the Board considers making to the boundaries of the proposed area. After consultation with the applicant, the Board may change the boundaries of the proposed area.

    (2) A neighborhood development area may include one or more areas of land extending beyond the delineated neighborhood planning area, provided that at least 80 percent but no fewer than seven of the members of the State Board present find that:

    (A) including the extended area beyond the neighborhood planning area is consistent with the goals of section 4302 of this title;

    (B) residential development opportunities within the neighborhood planning area are limited due to natural constraints and existing development;

    (C) the extended area represents a logical extension of an existing compact settlement pattern and is consistent with smart growth principles; and

    (D) the extended area is adjacent to existing development.

    (e) Length of designation. Initial designation of a neighborhood development area shall be reviewed concurrently with the next periodic review conducted of the underlying designated downtown, village center, new town center, or growth center.

    (1) The State Board, on its motion, may review compliance with the designation requirements at more frequent intervals.

    (2) If the underlying downtown, village center, new town center, or growth center designation terminates, the neighborhood development area designation also shall terminate.

    (3) If at any time the State Board determines that the designated neighborhood development area no longer meets the standards for designation established in this section, it may take any of the following actions:

    (A) require corrective action within a reasonable time frame;

    (B) remove the neighborhood development area designation; or

    (C) prospectively limit benefits authorized in this chapter.

    (4) Action taken by the State Board under subdivision (3) of this subsection shall not affect benefits already received by the municipality or a land owner in the designated neighborhood development area.

    (f) Neighborhood development area incentives for developers. Once a municipality has a designated neighborhood development area or has a Vermont neighborhood designation pursuant to section 2793d of this title, any proposed development within that area shall be eligible for each of the benefits listed in this subsection. These benefits shall accrue upon approval by the district coordinator, who shall review the density requirements set forth in subdivision (c)(7) of this section to determine benefit eligibility and issue a jurisdictional opinion under 10 V.S.A. chapter 151 on whether the density requirements are met. These benefits are:

    (1) The application fee limit for wastewater applications stated in 3 V.S.A. § 2822(j)(4)(D).

    (2) The application fee reduction for residential development stated in 10 V.S.A. § 6083a(d).

    (3) The exclusion from the land gains tax provided by 32 V.S.A. § 10002(p).

    (g) Neighborhood development area incentives for municipalities. Once a municipality has a designated neighborhood development area, it may receive:

    (1) priority consideration for municipal planning grant funds; and

    (2) training and technical assistance from the Department to support an application for benefits from the Department.

    (h) Alternative designation. If a municipality has completed all of the planning and assessment steps of this section but has not requested designation of a neighborhood development area, an owner of land within a neighborhood planning area may apply to the State Board for neighborhood development area designation status for a portion of land within the neighborhood planning area. The applicant shall have the responsibility to demonstrate that all of the requirements for a neighborhood development area designation have been satisfied and to notify the municipality that the applicant is seeking the designation. The State Board shall provide the municipality with at least 14 days' prior written notice of the Board's meeting to consider the application, and the municipality shall submit to the State Board the municipality's response, if any, to the application before or during that meeting. On approval of a neighborhood development area designation under this subsection, the applicant may proceed to obtain a jurisdictional opinion from the district coordinator under subsection (f) of this section in order to obtain the benefits granted to neighborhood development areas. (Added 2013, No. 59, § 8.)

  • § 2794. Incentives for program designees

    (a) Upon designation by the Vermont Downtown Development Board under section 2793 of this title, a downtown development district and projects in a downtown development district shall be eligible for the following:

    (1) Priority consideration by any agency of the State administering any State or federal assistance program providing funding or other aid to a municipal downtown area with consideration given to such factors as the costs and benefits provided and the immediacy of those benefits, provided the project is eligible for the assistance program.

    (2) The following State tax credits:

    (A) A State historic rehabilitation tax credit of 10 percent under 32 V.S.A. § 5930cc(a) that meets the requirements for the federal rehabilitation tax credit.

    (C) A State code improvement tax credit of 50 percent under 32 V.S.A. § 5930cc(c).

    (3) A planning grant, in an amount not to exceed $8,000.00 per site, for an initial site assessment of a suspected contaminated site, if the site otherwise qualifies under the community development block grant program in 10 V.S.A. chapter 29.

    (4) Financing of transportation projects under the State Infrastructure Bank, created under 10 V.S.A. chapter 12.

    (5) Assistance from the Secretary of Natural Resources for current owners and prospective purchasers who otherwise qualify under the Brownfield Property Cleanup Program set forth in 10 V.S.A. chapter 159, subchapter 3, or in the case of current owners, who are innocent owners. For the purposes of this subsection, an "innocent owner" is an owner who did not do any of the following:

    (A) Hold an ownership interest in the property or in any related fixtures or appurtenances, excluding a secured lender's holding indicia of ownership in the property primarily to assure the repayment of a financial obligation at the time of any disposal of hazardous materials on the property.

    (B) Directly or indirectly cause or contribute to any releases or threatened releases of hazardous materials at the property.

    (C) Operate, or control the operation, at the property of a facility for the storage, treatment, or disposal of hazardous materials at the time of the disposal of hazardous materials at the property.

    (D) Dispose of, or arrange for the disposal of hazardous materials at the property.

    (E) Generate the hazardous materials that were disposed of at the property.

    (6) Technical assistance by the Department of Housing and Community Development with regard to planning and coordination issues, including adaptive reuse of buildings within the district, development of a marketing plan for the downtown district that includes a heritage tourism component, development of a program to encourage merchants and building owners to rehabilitate, restore, and improve building facades, and, in coordination with the Agency of Transportation, planning for multi-modal transportation needs of the community.

    (7) Hospitality training to be arranged by the Department of Tourism and Marketing.

    (8) Promotion of the downtown development district by the Department of Tourism and Marketing as part of the Department's Integrated Marketing and Promotion Program.

    (9) Consistent with the Department's available resources and subject to the Department's priority for ensuring public safety, technical support from the Department of Public Safety for the rehabilitation of older and historic buildings.

    (10) A rebate of the cost of a qualified sprinkler system in an amount not to exceed $2,000.00 for building owners or lessees. Rebates shall be paid by the Department of Public Safety. To be qualified, a sprinkler system must be a complete automatic fire sprinkler system installed in accord with Department of Public Safety rules in an older or historic building that is certified for a State tax credit under 32 V.S.A. § 5930cc(a) or (b) and is located in a downtown development district. A total of no more than $40,000.00 of rebates shall be granted in any calendar year by the Department. If in any year applications for rebates exceed this amount, the Department shall grant rebates for qualified systems according to the date the building was certified for a State tax credit under 32 V.S.A. § 5930cc(a) or (b) with the earlier date receiving priority.

    (11) Participation in the Downtown Transportation and Related Capital Improvement Fund Program established by section 2796 of this title.

    (12) Priority for locating proposed State functions by the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services or other State officials, in consultation with the legislative body of a municipality and based on the suitability of the State function to a downtown location.

    (13) A reallocation of receipts related to the tax imposed on sales of construction materials as provided in 32 V.S.A. § 9819.

    (14) The authority to create a special taxing district pursuant to chapter 87 of this title for the purpose of financing both capital and operating costs of a project within the boundaries of a downtown development district.

    (b) Prior to designation of a downtown as a downtown development district by the Vermont Downtown Development Board under section 2793 of this title, the Board may deem eligible any otherwise qualified owners or lessees of buildings within a downtown for the tax credits under 32 V.S.A. chapter 151, subchapter 11J if the Board finds that the legislative body of the municipality in which the property is located is intending to seek designation of the downtown as a downtown development district and has taken substantial actions and made substantial commitments in furtherance of that intent. (Added 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2001, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. May 28, 2002; 2005, No. 183 (Adj. Sess.), § 15.)

  • § 2795. Considerations for competitive-based incentives

    In awarding competitive-based financial incentives under section 2794 of this title, including a rebate and tax incentives, or in awarding grants or other assistance from the Downtown Transportation and Related Capital Improvement Fund under section 2796 of this title, the Vermont Downtown Development Board shall give consideration to the following factors:

    (1) the vacancy rate for existing buildings in the downtown district;

    (2) the current or projected unemployment rate for the labor market area in which the municipality is located;

    (3) ordinances or bylaws adopted by the municipality that support the preservation of the downtown's vitality, including:

    (A) an ordinance or bylaw requiring that new construction in the downtown development district shall be compatible with the buildings that contribute to the integrity of the district, in terms of materials, features, size, scale and proportion, and massing of buildings, and that exterior rehabilitation shall respect the historic and architectural significance and its exterior features; and

    (B) a conditional use provision in a town zoning ordinance that supports adaptive reuse of historic properties;

    (4) the integration of the proposed improvements with any coordinated plan for the downtown district and surrounding area;

    (5) the degree of any deficiency in the downtown district of transportation infrastructure including parking facilities;

    (6) the vulnerability of the downtown district to economic decline due to competing development in adjacent areas;

    (7) the immediacy of the benefits provided and the desirability of prompt action to secure those benefits for a downtown district;

    (8) the amount of investment from individual Vermont taxpayers that has been committed to projects in the downtown district. In considering this factor, the Board shall recognize the value of individuals participating in downtown projects by giving preference to applications for incentives from individual Vermont taxpayers, and projects coordinated by developers who have encouraged the participation of such investors. (Added 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1999, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 33.)

  • § 2796. Downtown Transportation and Related Capital Improvement Fund

    (a) There is created a Downtown Transportation and Related Capital Improvement Fund, to be also known as the Fund, which shall be a special fund created under 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5, to be administered by the Vermont Downtown Development Board in accordance with this chapter to aid municipalities with designated downtown districts in financing capital transportation and related improvement projects to support economic development.

    (b) The Fund shall be comprised of the following:

    (1) such State or federal funds as may be appropriated by the General Assembly;

    (2) any gifts, grants, or other contributions to the Fund;

    (3) proceeds from the issuance of general obligation bonds.

    (c) Any municipality with a designated downtown development district may apply to the Vermont Downtown Development Board for financial assistance from the Fund for capital transportation and related improvement projects within or serving the district. The Board may award to any municipality grants in amounts not to exceed $250,000.00 annually, loans, or loan guarantees for financing capital transportation projects, including construction or alteration of roads and highways, parking facilities, and rail or bus facilities or equipment, or for the underground relocation of electric utility, cable, and telecommunications lines, but shall not include assistance for operating costs. Grants awarded by the Board shall not exceed 80 percent of the overall cost of the project. The approval of the Board may be conditioned upon the repayment to the Fund of some or all of the amount of a loan or other financial benefits and such repayment may be from local taxes, fees, or other local revenues sources. The Board shall consider geographical distribution in awarding the resources of the Fund.

    (d) The Fund shall be available to the Department of Housing and Community Development for the reasonable and necessary costs of administering the Fund. The amount projected to be spent on administration shall be included in the Department's fiscal year budget presentations to the General Assembly. (Added 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2003, No. 66, § 237b; 2005, No. 6, § 64, eff. March 26, 2005; 2015, No. 58, § E.805.)

  • § 2797. Property Assessment Fund; brownfields and redevelopment; competitive program

    (a) There is created a Property Assessment Fund pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5 to be administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development for the purpose of providing financing, on a competitive basis, to municipalities that demonstrate a financial need in order to determine and evaluate a full assessment of the extent and the cost of remediation of property, or in the case of an existing building, an assessment that supports a clear plan, including the associated costs of renovation to bring the building into compliance with State and local building codes.

    (b) The Fund shall be composed of the following:

    (1) State or federal funds that may be appropriated by the General Assembly.

    (2) Any gifts, grants, or other contributions to the funds.

    (3) Proceeds from the issuance of general obligation bonds.

    (c) A municipality deemed financially eligible may apply to the fund for the assessment of property and existing buildings proposed for redevelopment, provided the Department finds that the property or building:

    (1) is not likely to be renovated or improved without the preliminary assessment;

    (2) when renovated or redeveloped, will integrate and be compatible with any applicable and approved regional development, capital, and municipal plans; is expected to create new property tax if developed by a taxable entity; and is expected to reduce pressure for development on open or undeveloped land in the local community or in the region.

    (d) The Department shall distribute funds under this section in a manner that provides funding for assessment projects of various sizes in as many geographical areas of the State as possible and may require matching funds from the municipality in which an assessment project is conducted. (Added 2003, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 49, eff. June 8, 2004.)

  • § 2798. Designation decisions; nonappeal

    The designation decisions of the State Board under this chapter are not subject to appeal. (Added 2013, No. 59, § 9.)