The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 006 : PROCEDURAL MATTERS(Cite as: 24 App. V.S.A. ch. 101, § 37)
§ 37. Ordinances
(a) Town legislation shall be by ordinance. The Selectboard shall constitute the legislative body of the Town, except as otherwise provided herein, to adopt, amend, repeal, and enforce ordinances. Each ordinance, when introduced, shall be in writing and shall be identified by a short title. The enacting clause of each ordinance shall be “The Selectboard of the Town of Barre hereby ordains” and the effective date of each ordinance shall be specified not less than 15 days after final passage by the Selectboard, except that if the ordinance is conditioned upon the approval of the voters, then the ordinance shall be effective upon favorable vote of a majority of those voting thereon.
(b) Each proposed ordinance shall be introduced by one or more members of the Selectboard at a duly convened meeting of the Board and, with the consent of a majority of the Board, introduction may be “by request” with no obligation on the part of the Selectboard causing the proposed ordinance to be introduced to support that ordinance or work for its passage. At the time of introduction, the ordinance shall be read for the first time and, by majority vote of the Board, the reading may be by title only. At the time of the first reading, the Selectboard shall call a public hearing to consider the ordinance not less than 10 nor more than 21 days from the date of the first reading. They shall further order that notice of the hearing be given by posting the notice in at least five conspicuous public places in the Town and publishing the notice at least seven days prior to the date of the hearing in a newspaper having general circulation within the Town. The notice shall specify the date, time, and place of hearing and shall state that the hearing is called for the consideration of the ordinance in question. Unless the Selectboard finds that publication of the full text of the ordinance would be unduly cumbersome, expensive, or otherwise inexpedient, the full text of the proposed ordinance shall also be included in the notice; if the full text is not published, then a brief explanation of the purpose of the ordinance shall be given together with information as to where and when any citizen of the Town may obtain a copy of the complete ordinance. The copies shall be available from the Town Clerk’s library, without charge, at least seven days prior to the date set for the hearing.
(c)(1) At the time and place advertised, the ordinance shall be read for the second time. If the Selectboard shall find that sufficient copies of the proposed ordinance have been made available to the citizens, by publication or otherwise, and that no person would be prejudiced by failure to read the full text of the ordinance, the Board may, by majority vote of its members, order that reading shall be by title only; otherwise the full text shall be read. All voters and all other persons whose legal interests may be directly affected by the ordinance shall have an opportunity to be heard at the hearing. If the Board shall see fit, the hearing may be adjourned from time to time, and from place to place. After the hearing, the Selectboard may:
(A) advance such ordinance to a third reading, which shall be held not less than five and not more than 10 days from the time of such advancement; or
(B) vote against adoption of the ordinance, in which case no further action shall be taken on the proposal; or
(C) vote to make such changes or amendments in the proposed ordinance as they shall see fit, in which case they shall then order that another public hearing be held and shall cause notice of said hearing to be given in the manner set forth.
(2) The public hearing procedure, and the procedure for the vote of the Selectboard on second reading, shall be followed as many times as may be necessary either to advance the proposal to a third reading without any changes in its form as publicly noticed before hearing, or until a vote not to adopt the ordinance is passed.
(d) If a proposal is advanced to a third reading, the Selectboard shall, at the time of such advancement, specify the date, time, and place at which third reading and final consideration will take place. At the third reading, the ordinance shall be read either in full or, if a majority of the Board shall so vote, by title only. The Board may, in its discretion, hear the comments of any citizens interested in the ordinance, but they are not required to do so. Following any discussion as the Board may deem appropriate, it shall either vote to adopt or reject said ordinance, and if the vote shall be in favor of adoption, the Chair of the Selectboard and the Town Clerk shall thereupon authenticate the original copy of the ordinance, and it shall become effective as herein provided, except if rescinded by a Town meeting in the manner specified in subsection (g) of this section.
(e) All ordinances when finally passed shall be permanently recorded by the Town Clerk in the form adopted, as authenticated by the signature of the Chair of the Selectboard and the Clerk. The Clerk shall also record each ordinance adopted in the manner he or she shall find will provide the Town with a current, useable codification of all Town ordinances, excising repealed provisions, adding newly adopted material in an appropriate place, and organizing and indexing all the material in the manner as may best facilitate its intended use. For this purpose, the Clerk may employ the services of the Town Attorney at Town expense. The resulting product shall be maintained by the Town Clerk in his or her office, shall be known as the “Barre Town Code,” and shall be available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours. The Selectboard may by resolution direct that the entire Barre Town Code, or only certain portions thereof, be printed and copies made available, either free of charge or at a cost not in excess of the Town’s cost of preparation and printing.
(f) The Selectboard shall cause the entire text of each adopted ordinance to be published one time in a newspaper having general circulation within the Town; the publication shall be at least seven days prior to the effective date of the ordinance. If the Selectboard shall find that publication of the full text of an adopted ordinance would be unduly cumbersome, expensive, or otherwise inexpedient, they may cause to be published a brief explanation of the purpose of the ordinance together with information as to where and when any citizen of the Town may obtain a copy of the complete ordinance. This subsection, however, shall not require the publication of any standard code of technical regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions of subsection (i) of this section.
(g) An ordinance adopted by the Board in the manner set forth above shall be subject to rescission by a Town meeting in the manner set forth in this subsection. If a petition signed by not less than 10 percent of the voters is filed with the Town Clerk on or before the effective date of the ordinance, the Clerk shall call for a vote to be held within 45 days of the filing, at the annual Town meeting or at a special Town meeting duly warned to consider the question of rescission of the ordinance. Until the vote and the question of rescission is held, the ordinance shall not become effective. If a majority of votes cast shall be in favor of rescinding the ordinance, the same shall be rescinded, and no further action shall be taken on it. If a majority of votes cast shall be opposed to rescission, the ordinance shall become effective as of 12:01 a.m. on the day following such vote.
(h) To meet a genuine public emergency affecting life, health, property, or the public peace, the Board may adopt one or more emergency ordinances. The emergency ordinances may not levy taxes, set the rate charged by the Town for any services, authorize the borrowing of money, or raise revenue in any manner. An emergency ordinance shall be introduced in the form and manner prescribed for ordinances generally, except that it shall be plainly designated as an emergency ordinance and shall contain, after the enacting clause, a declaration stating that an emergency exists and describing it in clear and specific terms. An emergency ordinance may be adopted with or without amendment or rejected at the meeting at which it is introduced, but the affirmative vote of at least four members of the Selectboard shall be required for adoption. After its adoption, the ordinance shall be published and printed as prescribed for other adopted ordinances. It shall become effective upon adoption or at a later time as it may specify. Every emergency ordinance automatically stands repealed as of the 61st day following the day on which it was adopted, but this shall not prevent reenactment of the ordinance in the manner specified in this section if the emergency still exists. An emergency ordinance may also be repealed by adoption of a repealing ordinance in the same manner specified in this section for adoption of emergency ordinances.
(i) The Board may adopt any standard code of technical regulations by reference in an adopting ordinance. The procedure and requirements governing the adopting ordinance shall be as prescribed for ordinances generally, except that the requirements of this charter for filing of copies of the ordinance shall be construed to include copies of the code of technical regulations as well as of the adopting ordinance, and a copy of each adopted code of technical regulations shall be authenticated and recorded by the Chair of the Selectboard and the Town Clerk pursuant to this charter. Prior to adoption, the copies shall be available from the Town Clerk’s library without charge. After adoption, copies shall be available from the Town Clerk either without charge or for purchase at a reasonable price, as determined by the Board.
(j) The general penalty for violation of an ordinance of the Town shall be a fine not to exceed the sum of $500.00 for a single offense or, in the case of a continuing offense, a fine not to exceed the sum of $100.00 per day for each day a violation shall continue unabated. Any ordinance may contain a provision setting penalties for the violation of the ordinance, provided that the penalties are not in excess of the general penalty. If an ordinance does not contain any specific provision for a penalty, then the general penalty shall apply. No ordinance of the Town of Barre shall provide for the imprisonment or incarceration of any person for the violation thereof, except as the same may be imposed as a civil remedy for contempt of court. The Selectboard may authorize the Town Attorney to bring an action in the name of the Town of Barre for any relief, including injunctive relief, that the Town Attorney may deem appropriate for the enforcement of any Town ordinances. (Amended 2019, No. M-1, § 2, eff. April 19, 2019.)