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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 24 : Municipal and County Government

Chapter 117 : Municipal and Regional Planning and Development

Subchapter 007 : Bylaws

(Cite as: 24 V.S.A. § 4417)
  • § 4417. Planned unit development

    (a) Any municipality adopting a bylaw should provide for planned unit developments to permit flexibility in the application of land development regulations for the purposes of section 4302 of this title and in conformance with the municipal plan. The following may be purposes for planned unit development bylaws:

    (1) To encourage compact, pedestrian-oriented development and redevelopment, and to promote a mix of residential uses or nonresidential uses, or both, especially in downtowns, village centers, new town centers, and associated neighborhoods.

    (2) To implement the policies of the municipal plan, such as the provision of affordable housing.

    (3) To encourage any development in the countryside to be compatible with the use and character of surrounding rural lands.

    (4) To provide for flexibility in site and lot layout, building design, placement and clustering of buildings, use of open areas, provision of circulation facilities, including pedestrian facilities and parking, and related site and design considerations that will best achieve the goals for the area as articulated in the municipal plan and bylaws within the particular character of the site and its surroundings.

    (5) To provide for the conservation of open space features recognized as worthy of conservation in the municipal plan and bylaws, such as the preservation of agricultural land, forest land, trails, and other recreational resources, critical and sensitive natural areas, scenic resources, and protection from natural hazards.

    (6) To provide for efficient use of public facilities and infrastructure.

    (7) To encourage and preserve opportunities for energy-efficient development and redevelopment.

    (b) The application of planned unit development bylaws to a proposed development may:

    (1) Involve single or multiple properties and one owner or multiple owners. Procedures for application and review of multiple owners or properties under a common application, if allowed, shall be specified in the bylaws.

    (2) Be limited to parcels that have a minimum area specified in the bylaws or a minimum size or number of units.

    (3) Be mandatory for land located in specified zoning districts or for projects of a specified type or magnitude as provided in the bylaws.

    (c) Planned unit development bylaws adopted pursuant to this section at a minimum shall include the following provisions:

    (1) A statement of purpose in conformance with the purposes of the municipal plan and bylaws.

    (2) The development review process to be used for review of planned unit developments to include conditional use or subdivision review procedures, or both, as specified in the bylaws.

    (3) Specifications, or reference to specifications, for all application documents and plan drawings.

    (4) Standards for the review of proposed planned unit developments, which may vary the density or intensity of land use otherwise applicable under the provisions of the bylaws in consideration of and with respect to any of the following:

    (A) The location and physical characteristics of the proposed planned unit development.

    (B) The location, design, type, and use of the lots and structures proposed.

    (C) The amount, location, and proposed use of open space.

    (5) Standards requiring related public improvements or nonpublic improvements, or both; and the payment of impact fees, incorporating by reference any development impact fee ordinance adopted pursuant to chapter 131 of this title.

    (6) Provisions for the proposed planned unit development to be completed in reasonable phases, in accordance with the municipal plan and any capital budget and program.

    (7) Provisions for coordinating the planned unit development review with other applicable zoning or subdivision review processes, specifying the sequence in which the various review standards will be considered.

    (8) Reviews that are conducted in accordance with the procedures in subchapter 10 of this chapter.

    (d) Planned unit development bylaws may provide for, as part of the standards described in subdivisions (c)(4) and (c)(5) of this section, the authorization of uses, densities, and intensities that do not correspond with or are not otherwise expressly permitted by the bylaws for the area in which a planned unit development is located, provided that the municipal plan contains a policy that encourages mixed use development, development at higher overall densities or intensities, or both.

    (e) Standards for the reservation or dedication of common land or other open space for the use or benefit of the residents of the proposed planned unit development shall include provisions for determining the amount and location of that common land or open space, and for ensuring its improvement and maintenance.

    (1) The bylaws may provide that the municipality may, at any time, accept the dedication of land or any interest in land for public use and maintenance.

    (2) The bylaws may require that the applicant or landowner provide for and establish an organization or trust for the ownership and maintenance of any common facilities or open space, and that this organization or trust shall not be dissolved or revoked nor shall it dispose of any common open space, by sale or otherwise, except to an organization or trust conceived and established to own and maintain the common open space, without first offering to dedicate the same to the municipality or other governmental agency to maintain those common facilities or that open space.

    (f) The approval of a proposed planned unit development shall be based on findings by the appropriate municipal panel that the proposed planned unit development is in conformance with the municipal plan and satisfies other requirements of the bylaws.

    (g) The appropriate municipal panel may prescribe, from time to time, rules and regulations to supplement the standards and conditions set forth in the zoning bylaws, provided the rules and regulations are not inconsistent with any municipal bylaw. The panel shall hold a public hearing after public notice, as required by section 4464 of this title, prior to the enactment of any supplementary rules and regulations. (Added 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 95.)