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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online


Title 24 : Municipal and County Government


(Cite as: 24 V.S.A. § 2793b)
  • § 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) A designation issued under this section shall be effective for eight years and may be renewed on application by the municipality. The State Board also shall review a new town center designation four years after issuance or renewal 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; 2017, No. 197 (Adj. Sess.), § 10.)