Town Plan (Comprehensive) Updates

Introduction

State law requires that a community’s Comprehensive Plan be updated or replaced on a regular basis. (Historically, updates were required at least every five years, however current law requires updating at least every eight years.) The basic contents of a Comprehensive Plan also are determined by state law. And per statute, the Plan must contain several "elements" or sections (which may be combined or arranged according to the Town's preferences).  Should a community wish for the Plan to make the community eligible for certain benefits, the Plan must also address a series of state wide planning goals.  Why do communities create Comprehensive Plans? That question has many possible answers. But at its core, a Comprehensive Plan answers important questions like "How should our community grow"? Using both text and maps, the Comprehensive Plan establishes municipal policies "to guide the future growth and development of the land, public services, facilities, and to protect the environment." 

Planning Commission Public Hearing on New Town Plan

The Planning Commission prepared the 2019 Shelburne Comprehensive Plan in anticipation of the expiration of a Plan adopted by the Selectboard in February of 2014. Although substantive in nature, changes to policy and narrative language embedded in the 2019 Plan are not considered dramatic by the Planning Commission. Rather, the most dramatic change to the Plan is its design and presentation.  (Modifications to the Plan’s “Composite Future Land Use Map” were largely intended to clarify and reinforce existing policies relating to the protection of natural resources and multimodal transportation.)  The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the proposed 2019 Shelburne Comprehensive Plan on Thursday, November  15, 2018. The result of the hearing was approval of a motion to forward the proposed Plan to the Selectboard for "its consideration and action." The materials forwarded to the Selectboard included maps and appendices, not unlike those included in previous plans.

Selectboard Hearing on New Town Plan

The Shelburne Selectboard received the Planning Commission’s proposed 2019 Plan at a meeting held November 27, 2018. It voted to conduct two public hearings on the Plan, one on January 22, 2019, and the other on February 12, 2019. Overall, response to the Plan was positive.  (A summary of comments made at the hearings and at Selectboard meetings prior to the hearings may be found in Selectboard meeting minutes.) After the close of the second hearing, the Selectboard voted unanimously to approve the proposed 2019 Comprehensive Plan.

For More Information

Questions about the Comprehensive Plan and/or the comment sessions should be directed to the Planning and Zoning Department. Feel free to contact Dean Pierce at 802-264-5033 or by email.