The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 009 : Adoption, Administration, and Enforcement(Cite as: 24 V.S.A. § 4442)
§ 4442. Adoption of bylaws and related regulatory tools; amendment or repeal
(a) Public hearings. Not less than 15 nor more than 120 days after a proposed bylaw, amendment, or repeal is submitted to the legislative body of a municipality under section 4441 of this title, the legislative body shall hold the first of one or more public hearings, after public notice, on the proposed bylaw, amendment, or repeal, and shall make copies of the proposal and the written report of the planning commission available to the public upon request. Failure to hold a hearing within the 120 days shall not invalidate the adoption of the bylaw or amendment or the validity of any repeal.
(b) Amendment of proposal. The legislative body may make minor changes to the proposed bylaw, amendment, or repeal, but shall not do so less than 14 days prior to the final public hearing. If the legislative body at any time makes substantial changes in the concept, meaning, or extent of the proposed bylaw, amendment, or repeal, it shall warn a new public hearing or hearings under subsection (a) of this section. If any part of the proposal is changed, the legislative body at least 10 days prior to the hearing shall file a copy of the changed proposal with the clerk of the municipality and with the planning commission. The planning commission shall amend the report prepared pursuant to subsection 4441(c) of this title to reflect the changes made by the legislative body and shall submit that amended report to the legislative body at or prior to the public hearing.
(c) Routine adoption.
(1) A bylaw, bylaw amendment, or bylaw repeal shall be adopted by a majority of the members of the legislative body at a meeting that is held after the final public hearing, and shall be effective 21 days after adoption unless, by action of the legislative body, the bylaw, bylaw amendment, or bylaw repeal is warned for adoption by the municipality by Australian ballot at a special or regular meeting of the municipality.
(2) However, a rural town as defined in section 4303 of this chapter, by vote of that town at a special or regular meeting duly warned on the issue, may elect to require that bylaws, bylaw amendments, or bylaw repeals shall be adopted by vote of the town by Australian ballot at a special or regular meeting duly warned on the issue. That procedure shall then apply until rescinded by the voters at a regular or special meeting of the town.
(d) Petition for popular vote. Notwithstanding subdivision (c)(1) of this section, a vote by the legislative body on a bylaw, amendment, or repeal shall not take effect if five percent of the voters of the municipality petition for a meeting of the municipality to consider the bylaw, amendment, or repeal, and the petition is filed within 20 days of the vote. In that case, a meeting of the municipality shall be duly warned for the purpose of acting by Australian ballot upon the bylaw, amendment, or repeal.
(e) Multipurpose hearings. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit any public hearing held under this chapter to be held for more than one purpose under this chapter. A municipality may prepare and adopt a plan, one or more bylaws, and a capital budget and program in the same proceedings. However, all the provisions of this chapter applicable to each purpose of the hearing shall be complied with.
(f) Unorganized towns and gores. A bylaw, amendment, or repeal of a bylaw of an unorganized town or gore shall be adopted by a majority of votes cast at a meeting of the regional planning commission in which the unorganized town or gore is located at which a quorum is present. However, a bylaw, amendment, or repeal of a bylaw of the unified towns and gores of Essex County, namely Averill, Avery's Gore, Ferdinand, Lewis, Warner's Grant, and Warren's Gore, shall be adopted by the board of governors.
(g) Time for action. If the proposed bylaw, amendment, or repeal is not approved or rejected under subsection (c) of this section within one year of the date of the final hearing of the planning commission, it shall be considered disapproved unless five percent of the voters of the municipality petition for a meeting of the municipality to consider the bylaw, amendment, or repeal, and the petition is filed within 60 days of the end of that year. In that case, a meeting of the municipality shall be duly warned for the purpose of acting upon the bylaw, amendment, or repeal by Australian ballot. (Added 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 100; amended 2005, No. 30, § 2; 2005, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 5, 2006; 2007, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; 2011, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 15.)