The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 003 : Regional Planning Commissions(Cite as: 24 V.S.A. § 4350)
§ 4350. Review and consultation regarding municipal planning effort
(a) A regional planning commission shall consult with its municipalities with respect to the municipalities' planning efforts, ascertaining the municipalities' needs as individual municipalities and as neighbors in a region, and identifying the assistance that ought to be provided by the regional planning commission. As a part of this consultation, the regional planning commission, after public notice, shall review the planning process of its member municipalities at least twice during an eight-year period, or more frequently on request of the municipality, and shall so confirm when a municipality:
(1) is engaged in a continuing planning process that, within a reasonable time, will result in a plan that is consistent with the goals contained in section 4302 of this title;
(2) is engaged in a process to implement its municipal plan, consistent with the program for implementation required under section 4382 of this title; and
(3) is maintaining its efforts to provide local funds for municipal and regional planning purposes.
(b)(1) As part of the consultation process, the commission shall consider whether a municipality has adopted a plan. In order to obtain or retain confirmation of the planning process, a municipality must have an approved plan. A regional planning commission shall review and approve plans of its member municipalities, when approval is requested and warranted. Each review shall include a public hearing which is noticed at least 15 days in advance by posting in the office of the municipal clerk and at least one public place within the municipality and by publication in a newspaper or newspapers of general publication in the region affected. The commission shall approve a plan if it finds that the plan:
(A) is consistent with the goals established in section 4302 of this title;
(B) is compatible with its regional plan;
(C) is compatible with approved plans of other municipalities in the region; and
(D) contains all the elements included in subdivisions 4382(a)(1)-(12) of this title.
(2) A commission shall give approval or disapproval to a municipal plan or amendment within two months of its receipt following a final hearing held pursuant to section 4385 of this title. The fact that the plan is approved after the deadline shall not invalidate the plan. If the commission disapproves the plan or amendment, it shall state its reasons in writing and, if appropriate, suggest acceptable modifications. Submissions for approval that follow a disapproval shall receive approval or disapproval within 45 days.
(3) The commission shall file any adopted plan or amendment with the Department of Housing and Community Development within two weeks of receipt from the municipality. Failure on the part of the commission to file the plan shall not invalidate the plan.
(c) In order to retain confirmation of the planning process, a municipality shall document that it has reviewed and is actively engaged in a process to implement its adopted plan.
(1) When assessing whether a municipality has been actively engaged in a process to implement its adopted plan, the regional planning commission shall consider the activities of local boards and commissions with regard to the preparation or adoption of bylaws and amendments; capital budgets and programs; supplemental plans; or other actions, programs, or measures undertaken or scheduled to implement the adopted plan. The regional planning commission shall also consider factors that may have hindered or delayed municipal implementation efforts.
(2) The consultation may include guidance by the regional planning commission with regard to resources and technical support available to the municipality to implement its adopted plan and recommendations by the regional planning commission for plan amendments and for updating the plan prior to readoption under section 4387 of this title.
(d) During the period of time when a municipal planning process is confirmed:
(1) The municipality's plan will not be subject to review by the Commissioner of Housing and Community Development under section 4351 of this title.
(2) State agency plans adopted under 3 V.S.A. chapter 67 shall be compatible with the municipality's approved plan.
(3) The municipality may levy impact fees on new development within its borders, according to the provisions of chapter 131 of this title.
(4) The municipality shall be eligible to receive additional funds from the municipal and regional planning fund.
(e) Confirmation and approval decisions under this section shall be made by majority vote of the commissioners representing municipalities, in accordance with the bylaws of the regional planning commission. (Added 1987, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. July 1, 1989; amended 1989, No. 101, § 4; 1989, No. 280 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 87; 2009, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § G5, eff. June 1, 2010; 2015, No. 90 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)