The Vermont Approach in Action

The application of the vested rights doctrine by the Vermont Supreme Court is best understood through a consideration of it at different stages in the land use permitting process and in differing circumstances where the relative weights of developer and municipal interests may vary.  Thus, for ease of reference, this section is further divided into the following sub-sections:

No applicable land use plan or regulation – This section outlines the approach is a community does not have a land use plan or regulation requiring a permit when the developer begins the project.

Before adoption of amendments – This section outlines what happens is when amendments are adopted after a project has both properly applied for and been approved.

Before effective dates of amendments – This section outlines what occurs when a developer applies for a permit before  the effective dates of amendments.  This section provides information on what occurs at different points in the amendment process – before the town gives notice; after notice of hearing but before adoption; after adoption but before effective date; and after effective date of amendments.

After effective date of amendments – This section outlines what occurs after the effective date of an amendment.