Our Work

Smart Growth Technical Assistance Project

Windham Region Local Plan and Bylaw Review

In 2005 VNRC will lead a new initiative known as the Windham Region Smart Growth Technical Assistance Project. Early this year, VNRC’s Steve Holmes and Jim Matteau, Executive Director of the Windham Regional Commission (WRC) based in Brattleboro, began discussions about how the Commission might work more closely with the Vermont Smart Growth collaborative of which VNRC is a member. VNRC and the Collaborative had worked with the WRC over the past year on a smart growth review of the Wilmington Zoning Bylaws for the Wilmington Planning Commission.

VNRC and WRC thought that a logical next step would be to extend the relationship between the Commission and the Collaborative by asking the Collaborative to review local plans and bylaws as they are submitted to the WRC for review for consistency with smart growth principles.

After several discussions over the summer and early fall, it was agreed that WRC would submit to the VSGC a list of towns going through the process each year.

In September 2004, the WRC submitted these proposed projects to the VSGC:

Dover – Recommend changes to Zoning Bylaw to include Transfer of Development Rights

Dummerston – Review Town Plan

Grafton – Review Zoning Bylaw

Guilford – Review Zoning Bylaw

Marlboro – Review Town Plan and Zoning Bylaw (Marlboro wants to become an “affordable housing-friendly” town)

Windham – Review Town Plan

Beginning in January 2005, the Collaborative will assemble teams of two reviewers coordinated by VNRC for each town, and will set a goal of completing the reviews by January 2006. Reviewers from the Collaborative will include: lawyers, land planners, historic preservation specialists, conservationists, housing, and transportation experts. They will work closely with WRC staff assigned to each of the towns and provide input on incorporating smart growth techniques and measures in the plans and bylaws.

If you know of a town that may be interested in this kind of assistance please contact Steve Holmes at 223-2328 Ext. 120, or email sholmes@vnrc.org.