Planning and implementing a community’s vision for a sustainable, healthy future is largely a volunteer affair in many of Vermont’s smaller communities. Projects with two longstanding community partners, Burke and Bristol, highlight the critical nature of the state’s municipal planning grant program. Assistance and funding from private non-profits such as Smart Growth Vermont is just one piece of the patchwork communities must quilt together to get such work done. Another essential piece of that quilt is Vermont’s municipal planning grant program (MPG).
Burke’s volunteer planners achieved Village Center designation for two villages in the town in the last round of grant funds from the MPG program. Now the town seeks to determine how best to encourage new businesses and where they should be located, protect natural resources, update its town plan, and potentially create a state-designated Vermont Neighborhood. Work has already started with Smart Growth Vermont analyzing the results of a Town Meeting Day survey developed by the Selectboard.
The current project with Bristol will help them revise their Town Plan and update their zoning districts and standards to align with their goals and objectives in this new Plan. A key piece of this new project is extensive public outreach including a project website, public meetings, and local news publications.
For more information about Municipal Planning Grants, please go to the MPG Program section of the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Affairs website.
For more information about all our partner communities, please visit the Community Planning Partnership section of our website.