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Community Planning Toolbox Updated: Strip Development

In a rural state like Vermont, it might be tempting to assume we don’t experience sprawl or strip development. Strip development – auto-oriented development along highways outside our community centers – can negatively affect the vibrancy of those centers, the function and safety of our roads, and our state’s carbon footprint. This incremental development of gas […]

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Buckley Appointed to Downtown Board as Smart Growth Rep

Katie Buckley, town administrator for Guilford, was recently appointed to Vermont’s Downtown Development Board. This board oversees the state designation programs – including downtown development districts, village centers and growth centers – that have been an essential part of channeling growth and investment into villages and downtowns. Nominated by VNRC and the Preservation Trust of […]

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Burlington Town Center Supports Smart Growth

By Kate McCarthy, Sustainable Communities Program Director, VNRC The Vermont Natural Resources Council is a statewide environmental organization founded over 50 years ago that has always cared deeply about building strong human communities. We want places where we can we live and thrive, and VNRC works to accommodate change in ways that respect our environment […]

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Strip Development Prevention and Revitalization

During the 2014 legislative session, VNRC helped pass an important change to Act 250: the Criterion 9L update, which is meant to help prevent strip development in our rural areas, and to help revitalize areas where strip development already exists. But our work isn’t done just because the law is on the books. Now, we’re […]

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Act 250’s “Criterion 9L” – Frequently Asked Questions

Act 250’s “Criterion 9L” Frequently Asked Questions What is Act 250? Act 250 is an environmental review and permitting process. Its purpose is to review select projects for their potential impacts on the project site and the surrounding area. There are ten criteria, and several sub-criteria, used to evaluate a project, related to such issues […]

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Fresh Transportation Options Outlined for Chittenden County

A series of significant new transportation projects that will make it easier to get around Chittenden County were recently unveiled at a press conference in Williston. A range of stakeholders, including VNRC, helped select the 34 projects that will help a key area of the state move beyond the “Circ” highway and towards a more […]

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Smart Growth Vermont Embarks on A New Future

The Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) and Smart Growth Vermont (SGV) announced a strategic merger to more efficiently and effectively promote land use and community development policies that best serve the state’s ecological, economic and social needs. Effective July 1, 2011, SGV’s key programs will be consolidated with VNRC’s Sustainable Communities program. It is anticipated […]

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VNRC, Smart Growth Vermont Announce Merger

VNRC and Smart Growth Vermont recently announced a strategic merger to more efficiently and effectively promote land use and community development policies that best serve the state’s ecological, economic and social needs. “The merger is a logical integration of two organizations that have been working side-by-side for years and one that will create a unified […]

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Vermont Neighborhoods Law Expansion Enacted

The Vermont Neighborhoods law, which passed a few years ago, offers communities the chance to designate smart growth areas for new housing development. Act 250 is waived in those designated areas, subject to affordability and density requirements. Commissioner Mackay proposed and Smart Growth Vermont supported, a revision to this law that will allow housing developers […]

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Public Investment into Smart Growth Strategies

Two economic development public investment strategies that are key to our state’s future are the Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) and the Vermont Downtown and Village Center redevelopment incentives. Below is a summary of the status of these programs. Vermont Housing and Conservation BoardThe Vermont Housing and Conservation Board is a proven engine of smart […]

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