DHCD Announces 2016 Edition of the Planning Manual

DHCD is pleased to announce that the 2016 edition of the Planning Manual is now available for download on the DHCD Planning Manual webpage.  This edition comprehensively overhauls the last one written in 1988, and is designed to help communities identify the issues that matter most and to help them focus on developing action-oriented strategies to tackle them.

The purpose of this manual is to provide a guide for municipal planning commissions in fulfilling their role and responsibilities as set forth in 24 V.S.A. Chapter 117, the Municipal and Regional Planning and Development Act. A major role of the municipal planning commission is to develop the municipal plan. The 2016 Planning Manual provides information that will help the planning commission with this complex task, from designing the planning program to adopting the plan.

The 2016 update includes two modules:

  • Module 1 is The Municipal Plan that includes new concepts on developing a shared community vision, more concise and user-friendly plans, and effective implementation strategies. It gives advice on how to work with existing plans and includes a section on the role of the municipal plan in state Act 250 land use permits and Section 248 proceedings for electric generation facilities.
  • Module 2 details all five of the  State Designation Programs (downtown, villages, etc.) and includes case studies that show how cities and towns have used the programs to implement their plans and achieve their goals.

For VT planning history resources, the following interesting historical documents are available through the publications webpage:

Vision and Choice: Vermont’s Future, The State Framework Plan (1968)
-Vermont Planning Council

Rural Vermont: A Program for the Future, (1931)
-Vermont Commission on Country Life.

Town Planning: A Program of Civic Preparedness for Vermont Communities (1919)
-K.R.B. Flint