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Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 24 : Municipal and County Government

Chapter 117 : MUNICIPAL AND REGIONAL PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Subchapter 003 : REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSIONS

(Cite as: 24 V.S.A. § 4352)
  • § 4352. Optional determination of energy compliance; enhanced energy planning

    (a) Regional plan. A regional planning commission may submit its adopted regional plan to the Commissioner of Public Service appointed under 30 V.S.A. § 1 for a determination of energy compliance. The Commissioner shall issue an affirmative determination on finding that the regional plan meets the requirements of subsection (c) of this section and allows for the siting in the region of all types of renewable generation technologies.

    (b) Municipal plan. If the Commissioner of Public Service has issued an affirmative determination of energy compliance for a regional plan that is in effect, a municipal legislative body within the region may submit its adopted municipal plan to the regional planning commission for issuance of a determination of energy compliance. The regional planning commission shall issue an affirmative determination, signed by the chair of the regional planning commission, on finding that the municipal plan meets the requirements of subsection (c) of this section and is consistent with the regional plan.

    (c) Enhanced energy planning; requirements. To obtain an affirmative determination of energy compliance under this section, a plan must:

    (1) in the case of a regional plan, include the energy element as described in subdivision 4348a(a)(3) of this title;

    (2) in the case of a municipal plan, include an energy element that has the same components as described in subdivision 4348a(a)(3) of this title for a regional plan and be confirmed under section 4350 of this title;

    (3) be consistent with the following, with consistency determined in the manner described under subdivision 4302(f)(1) of this title:

    (A) Vermont's greenhouse gas reduction goals under 10 V.S.A. § 578(a);

    (B) Vermont's 25 by 25 goal for renewable energy under 10 V.S.A. § 580;

    (C) Vermont's building efficiency goals under 10 V.S.A. § 581;

    (D) State energy policy under 30 V.S.A. § 202a and the recommendations for regional and municipal energy planning pertaining to the efficient use of energy and the siting and development of renewable energy resources contained in the State energy plans adopted pursuant to 30 V.S.A. §§ 202 and 202b (State energy plans); and

    (E) the distributed renewable generation and energy transformation categories of resources to meet the requirements of the Renewable Energy Standard under 30 V.S.A. §§ 8004 and 8005; and

    (4) meet the standards for issuing a determination of energy compliance included in the State energy plans.

    (d) State energy plans; recommendations; standards.

    (1) The State energy plans shall include the recommendations for regional and municipal energy planning and the standards for issuing a determination of energy compliance described in subdivision (c)(3) of this section.

    (2) The recommendations shall provide strategies and options for regional planning commissions and municipalities to employ in meeting the goals and policies contained in statutes listed in subdivision (c)(3) of this section.

    (3) The standards shall consist of a list of criteria for issuing a determination of energy compliance that ensure consistency with the goals and policies contained in the statutes listed in subdivision (c)(3) of this section and the recommendations developed pursuant to this subsection.

    (4) In developing standards and recommendations under this subsection, the Commissioner of Public Service shall consult with all persons identified under 30 V.S.A. § 202(d)(1); the Secretaries of Agriculture, Food and Markets, of Commerce and Community Development, of Natural Resources, and of Transportation; and other affected persons.

    (5) The Commissioner of Public Service shall provide the Commissioner of Housing and Community Development with a copy of the recommendations and standards developed under this subsection for inclusion in the planning and land use manual prepared pursuant to section 4304 of this title.

    (e) Process for issuing determinations of energy compliance. Review of whether to issue a determination of energy compliance under this section shall include a public hearing noticed at least 15 days in advance by direct mail to the requesting regional planning commission or municipal legislative body, posting on the website of the entity from which the determination is requested, and publication in a newspaper of general publication in the region or municipality affected. The Commissioner or regional planning commission shall issue the determination in writing within two months of the receipt of a request for a determination. If the determination is negative, the Commissioner or regional planning commission shall state the reasons for denial in writing and, if appropriate, suggest acceptable modifications. Submissions for a new determination that follow a negative determination shall receive a new determination within 45 days.

    (f) Appeal. A regional planning commission aggrieved by an act or decision of the Commissioner of Public Service under this section may appeal to the Natural Resources Board established under 10 V.S.A. chapter 151 within 30 days of the act or decision. The provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 6024 regarding assistance to the Board from other departments and agencies of the State shall apply to this subsection. The Board shall conduct a de novo hearing on the act or decision under appeal and shall proceed in accordance with the contested case requirements of the Vermont Administrative Procedure Act. The Board shall issue a final decision within 90 days of the filing of the appeal.

    (g) Municipality; determination from DPS; time-limited option. Until July 1, 2018, a municipality whose plan has been confirmed under section 4350 of this title may seek issuance of a determination of energy compliance from the Commissioner of Public Service if it is a member of a regional planning commission whose regional plan has not received such a determination.

    (1) The Commissioner shall issue an affirmative determination of energy compliance for the municipal plan on finding that the plan meets the requirements of subsection (c) of this section. The Commissioner's review of the municipal plan shall be for the purpose only of determining whether a determination of energy compliance should be issued because those requirements are met.

    (2) A municipality aggrieved by an act or decision of the Commissioner under this subsection may appeal in accordance with the procedures of subsection (f) of this section.

    (h) Determination; time period. An affirmative determination of energy compliance issued pursuant to this section shall remain in effect until the end of the period for expiration or readoption of the plan to which it applies.

    (i) Commissioner; consultation. In the discharge of the duties assigned under this section, the Commissioner shall consult with and solicit the recommendations of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Food and Markets, of Commerce and Community Development, of Natural Resources, and of Transportation. (Added 2015, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. June 13, 2016.)