To support our traditional land use patterns, the state of Vermont has a program that “designates” downtowns, villages, growth centers, new town centers, and neighborhoods. The idea behind these so-called “designation programs” is to channel growth, through various incentives, into compact centers, thereby discouraging scattered development across Vermont’s valuable farm and forestland. VNRC is a strong supporter these laws and was instrumental in the passage of the growth centers law by the legislature. Smart Growth Vermont, which merged with VNRC in 2011, shaped and championed the creation of the Downtown Program.
VNRC works with partner organizations and state agencies to strengthen the state’s redevelopment and land use designation programs (e.g., downtowns, growth centers) with strategic process improvements and improved incentives. We monitor and participate in the process to ensure that the original intention of these programs is met so that we can maintain our distinctive community centers and the economic, environmental, and aesthetic benefits of the surrounding lands.