Supporting Rural Enterprises - Resources for Municipalities and Farmers
Often, there is more happening on farms than just farming. Many farm entrepreneurs are also pursuing a variety of “rural enterprises” — activities on the farm that support the farm operation, but aren’t considered agriculture (for example, product tastings or value added operations). Now, several resources are available to help both municipalities and farmers know what questions to ask, and what resources are available, when it comes to supporting and managing these enterprises. These resources were developed by NOFA-VT working with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, Shelburne Farms and the Farm-Based Education Network.
Planning Manual for Vermont Municipalities
Provides information that will help the planning commission with the complex task of developing the municipal plan, from designing the planning program to adopting the plan and with information about state designation programs. Newly issued by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development in January 2016.
Thriving Communities: Building a Vibrant Inclusive Vermont
This site will serve as a platform providing resources, information and thought stimulating blogs sponsored by a statewide campaign of partner organizations coordinated by the Fair Housing Project of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO), for the purpose of promoting thriving, vibrant, inclusive and affordable planning, zoning and housing development patterns in Vermont -- by way of boosting affordable mixed income housing, and affirmatively furthering fair housing.
Agricultural Land Use Planning Modules
The Farm to Plate Agricultural Land Use Planning Task Force is pleased to release an updated agricultural land use planning guide for local and regional planners. The planning guide is an update to the original Sustaining Agriculture guide published by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture in 1994. Topics include farmland conservation, farm and property taxes, commercial composting, agritourism, and food system planning. The updated guide is available in a short series of modules.
Community Strategies for Vermont's Forests and Wildlife: A Guide for Local Action (September 2013)
There are many different ways that communities can help sustain forests and wildlife at the local and regional levels, and the Guide provides town officials and interested citizens with the tools – both regulatory and non-regulatory – to do just that.
Reading Vermont's Rivers (June 2013)
In this document you will find articles on rivers written by river scientists, state officials, planners, and road engineers. You will learn how rivers change and what those changes look like. We can have our cake and eat it too: we can manage rivers to reduce the risk of damage to property and even to public safety while at the same time keeping them clean, healthy and full of life. Perhaps most importantly, this publication is designed to help us understand how we can live in greater balance with our rivers, especially in light of recent, and no doubt future, extreme weather.
Resilient Communities Scorecard (February 2013)
The Resilient Communities Scorecard helps Vermont communities assess their resilience to the growing threat of community disruption caused by climate change and energy scarcity, among other challenges. The Scorecard focuses on key areas including land use, transportation, energy, and healthy community design. Knowing where your community stands is a first step toward developing goals, action steps, and investment strategies that build or reinforce resilience. This tool builds on the original Smart Growth Scorecard, which assessed how well municipalities were prepared for the pressures of changing settlement patterns, especially sprawl. The updated tool will help communities address today’s difficult challenges – like incremental and scattered development, rising energy costs, and climate change – and help position them to meet those challenges. The Resilient Communities Scorecard is made up of 12 checklists on topics ranging from energy to land use to business development. Each checklist has a series of questions that when answered, create a “score” for each topic.
Municipal Planning for Groundwater Protection: Act 199 & Options for Local Groundwater Management (May 2012)
This guide summarizes what Act 199 means to municipalities. Maintaining the quality and availability of current and future groundwater supplies will require vigilance and involvement by private citizens, local officials, and state regulatory bodies, and each group has a role to play. This guide is designed to clarify those roles and help towns understand how they may take action to manage their local groundwater resources.
Recognizing the need for all communities to address the increasing likelihood of extreme weather including more frequent flooding, the state legislature passed Act 16 (H.401) in 2013 – An act relating to municipal and regional planning and flood resilience. This law requires that all local and regional plans adopted after July 2014 address flood resilience. Resources to help municipalities plan for future flooding include the following:
Flood Ready Vermont
This site is a compilation of resources designed for municipalities preparing to address flood resilience in their plans.
Disaster Recovery and Long-Term Resilience Planning in Vermont
A 2013 guidance document for local flood resilience created with help from the EPA-Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) program. (See this page for more information: Rebuilding Stronger - Learning from the Mad River Valley.)
Preparing for the Next Flood: Vermont Floodplain Management
This 2009 publication by the Vermont Law School provides a short but thorough overview of the issues and terminology associated with municipal management of floodplains
Floodplain Fact Sheets
The Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC) presents a series of six fact sheets to help educate local officials and residents about flood hazards and floodplain management.
Flood Damage Mitigation Incentives for Municipalities under the New ERAF Rule
A summary by VLCT of the ERAF (Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund) rule defining the state-recommended mitigation measures for towns to become eligible for state funding on the match required for FEMA Public assistance grants.