Our Work

New Scenic Resource Manual

The line of mountains that etches across the sky in northern Vermont forms some of the most iconic images of our state. Mount Mansfield is part of the Vermont crest and Camel’s Hump is featured on our state quarter. These mountains are more than a scenic backdrop. They are key to the character of Vermont and a mainstay for tourism, one of our largest industries. But what happens when buildings go up along scenic roadways and obscure these views for the general public? What can we do to protect these assets?

The towns of Essex and Jericho joined forces to address these issues by performing a comprehensive scenic assessment of their roads. The Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission assisted with mapping and data analysis. Based on the information they gained, and recommendations for bylaw language and scenic overlay districts provided by Smart Growth Vermont, the towns have put the platform in place to protect their scenic views for future generations.

“This is groundbreaking work for the protection of scenic viewsheds in Essex and Jericho,” said Essex Community Development Director Dana Farley. “The views to Mount Mansfield are emphasized in both towns, but the data collection and photo-inventory captured many features typical to roadside scenery across Vermont. The manual can be model for all our communities.”

The assessments, bylaw language and solutions for everything from parking to recommended siding and roof colors have been pulled together into Views to the Mountain: A Scenic Resource Manual, which can be downloaded from our website.