The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 003 : Regional Planning Commissions(Cite as: 24 V.S.A. § 4345a)
§ 4345a. Duties of regional planning commissions
A regional planning commission created under this chapter shall:
(1) Promote the mutual cooperation of its municipalities and assist and advise municipalities, compacts, and authorities within the region to facilitate economic development programs for the appropriate development, improvement, protection, and preservation of the region's physical and human resources.
(2) Advise municipal governing bodies with respect to public financing.
(3) Provide technical and legal assistance to municipalities in the preparation and maintenance of plans, capacity studies, and bylaws and in related implementation activities.
(4) Cooperate with the planning, legislative, or executive authorities of neighboring states, regions, counties, or municipalities to promote coordination of planning for, conservation, and development of the region and adjoining or neighboring territory.
(5) Prepare a regional plan and amendments that are consistent with the goals established in section 4302 of this title, and compatible with approved municipal and adjoining regional plans. When preparing a regional plan, the regional planning commission shall:
(A) develop and carry out a process that will encourage and enable widespread citizen involvement;
(B) develop a regional data base that is compatible with, useful to, and shared with the geographic information system established under 3 V.S.A. § 20;
(C) conduct capacity studies;
(D) identify areas of regional significance. Such areas may be, but are not limited to, historic sites, earth resources, rare and irreplaceable natural areas, recreation areas and scenic areas;
(E) use a land evaluation and site assessment system, that shall at a minimum use the criteria established by the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets under 6 V.S.A. § 8, to identify viable agricultural lands;
(F) consider the probable social and economic benefits and consequences of the proposed plan; and
(G) prepare a report explaining how the regional plan is consistent with the goals established in section 4302 of this title.
(6) Prepare implementation guidelines that will assist municipalities and the regional commission in developing a planning process that will attain, within a reasonable time, consistency with the goals established in section 4302 of this title. Guidelines, which may be revised at any time, shall be prepared initially by July 1, 1989.
(7) Prepare, in conjunction with the Commissioner of Housing and Community Development, guidelines for the provision of affordable housing in the region, share information developed with respect to affordable housing with the municipalities in the region and with the Commissioner of Housing and Community Development, and consult with the Commissioner when developing the housing element of the regional plan.
(8) Confirm municipal planning efforts, where warranted, as required under section 4350 of this title, and provide town clerks of the region with notice of confirmation.
(9) At least every eight years, review the compatibility of municipal plans, and if the regional planning commission finds that growth in a municipality without an approved plan is adversely affecting an adjoining municipality, it shall notify the legislative body of both municipalities of that fact and shall urge that the municipal planning be undertaken to mitigate those adverse effects. If, within six months of receipt of this notice, the municipality creating the adverse effects does not have an approved municipal plan, the regional commission shall adopt appropriate amendments to the regional plan as it may deem appropriate to mitigate those adverse effects.
(10) Develop strategies specifically designed to assist municipalities in defining and managing growth and development that have cumulative impacts.
(11) Review proposed State capital expenditures for compatibility with regional plans.
(12) Assist municipalities to review proposed State capital expenditures for compatibility with municipal plans.
(13) Appear before District Environmental Commissions to aid them in making a determination as to the conformance of developments and subdivisions with the criteria of 10 V.S.A. § 6086.
(14) With respect to proceedings under 30 V.S.A. § 248:
(A) have the right to appear and participate; and
(B) appear before the Public Utility Commission to aid in making determinations under that statute when requested by the Commission.
(15) Hold public hearings.
(16) Before requesting the services of a mediator with respect to a conflict that has arisen between adopted or proposed plans of two or more regions or two or more municipalities located in different regions, appoint a joint interregional commission, in cooperation with other affected regional commissions, for the purpose of negotiating differences.
(17) As part of its regional plan, define a substantial regional impact, as the term may be used with respect to its region. This definition shall be given due consideration, where relevant, in State regulatory proceedings.
(18) If a municipality requests the assistance of the regional planning commission in coordinating the way that its plan addresses projects of substantial regional impact with the way those projects are addressed by its neighbors' planning efforts, the regional planning commission shall convene an ad hoc working group to address the issue. The working group shall be composed of representatives of all municipalities likely to be affected by the plan in question, regardless of whether or not they belong to the same region. With the assistance of a facilitator provided by the regional planning commission, the ad hoc working group will attempt to develop a proposed consensus with respect to projects of substantial regional impact. If a proposed consensus is developed, the results of the consensus will be reported to the planning commissions and legislative bodies represented.
(19) Undertake studies and make recommendations on the conservation of energy and the development of renewable energy resources.
(20) If designated as a clean water service provider under 10 V.S.A. § 924, provide for the identification, prioritization, development, construction, inspection, verification, operation, and maintenance of clean water projects in the basin assigned to the regional planning commission in accordance with the requirements of 10 V.S.A. chapter 37, subchapter 5. (Added 1987, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 21, eff. July 1, 1989; amended 1989, No. 280 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2009, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § G5; 2015, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2019, No. 76, § 5.)