Bylaw Modernization Grants awarded to 41 Vermont cities and towns

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Bylaw Modernization Grants awarded to 41 Vermont cities and towns

Wed, 01/12/2022 - 10:05am -- tim


Grants will help cities and towns increase housing choice, affordability, and opportunity.

Vermont Business Magazine The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced $500,000 in Bylaw Modernization Grants to align regulations that support more homes in great neighborhoods. The funding supports 23 projects in 41 municipalities to explore modernizing regulations and addressing the need for increased housing in downtowns, village centers, and surrounding neighborhoods.

“The most common housing constraints we hear about such as the cost of materials, limited workforce, and financing are irrelevant if you can’t get a permit to build,” said Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle. “This new grant program will help improve the local permitting process in cities and towns that want and need more housing.”

Municipalities will use this new funding to hire a regional planning commission or consulting staff to collaborate with local stakeholders and prepare bylaw updates that expand opportunities for new homes, confront the State’s housing crisis, and ready communities for unprecedented investments in housing and infrastructure. 

“Local leaders across Vermont increasingly recognize that zoning can limit or prevent bringing new homes online that are close to jobs, served by ready infrastructure, and accessible to daily destinations and public transit options,” said Housing and Community Development Commissioner Josh Hanford.

“Although zoning isn’t the only market force constraining the supply of available homes,” said Senator Michael Sirotkin, Chairman of the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs and legislative champion of these grants, “Outdated zoning can increase the cost of housing, delay construction, make it harder for companies fill job openings, and will keep Vermont’s economy from reaching its full potential.”

Among the 23 projects receiving the $500,000, 3 multi-town applications (serving a total of 18 municipalities) are partnering to meet local and regional housing needs.  The towns of Randolph, Shaftsbury, and St. Albans will reduce regulatory barriers to housing choice and affordability with support and leadership from the Bennington County Regional Commission, Northwest Regional Planning Commission, and Two-Rivers Ottauqueechee Regional Planning Commission.

From small villages like Shoreham, to Vermont’s largest city, Bylaw Modernization grants are ready to support communities where they are, like Burlington’s project, which will enable neighborhood-scale infill in residential areas in support and partnership with AARP-VT’s Livable Communities Program.

The grants support the implementation of the Department’s Zoning for Great Neighborhoods initiative of 2020, which produced a guide and model regulations designed to make little zoning updates that have a big impact, much easier for local planning commissions, selectboards, and city councils. 

Residents and neighbors ready to support increased housing choice, affordability, and opportunity are encouraged to get involved and support these projects.

For a full listing of all grant awardees see below.

FY22 Bylaw Modernization Grant Projects

Bylaw Modernization Grants will support local zoning bylaw updates that expand opportunities for needed homes in great neighborhoods, confront the State’s housing crisis, and ready communities for unprecedented investments in housing and infrastructure. Grants are awarded by the Department of Housing and Community Development. Municipalities will use $500,000 in one-time State funding to hire regional planning commission or consulting staff. The grants will support 23 projects in 41 municipalities, and reach all 11 regional planning commission regions, including 3 multi-town applications. The Department received a total of 31 applications requesting over $687K in funding. Descriptions of the FY22 projects are listed below.


Brattleboro will conduct a critical examination of its community preferences, needs, and underlying zoning bylaws to prepare amendments that achieve land use goals and address an undersupply of dwelling units.

For more information, contact Sue Fillion,

Grant Funds Awarded: $23,980


Bristol will survey existing conditions, consider amendments to the Village Planning Area districts, enhance live-work housing opportunities and strategies for complete streets, and explore State designations.

For more information, contact Kevin Hanson,

Grant Funds Awarded: $9,800


Burlington will prepare amendments to the City’s Development Ordinance to build on existing development patterns with in-kind support from AARP-VT’s Livable Communities Program, enabling neighborhood-scale infill and multi-unit infill along major transportation corridors.

For more information, contact Meagan Tuttle,

Grant Funds Awarded: $27,500


Chester will modernize the Town’s Unified Development Bylaws to implement the Town Plan and Village Center Master Plan, addressing housing needs and supporting village revitalization.

For more information, contact, contact Julie Hance,

Grant Funds Awarded: $16,500


Essex Town will model build-out of the sewer service area core and conduct robust public outreach to re-envision development patterns and draft new bylaws that set the stage for State designation.

For more information, contact Owiso Makuku,

Grant Funds Awarded: $16,500


Fairfax, a pilot community in the Zoning for Great Neighborhoods project, will engage stakeholders around bylaw amendments in the village area and prepare an application for a State neighborhood development area designation.

For more information, contact Amber Soter,

Grant Funds Awarded: $27,500


Hinesburg will analyze existing regulations and prepare revisions that enable the creation of more village area housing, especially for multi-unit dwellings and for redevelopment projects.

For more information, contact Alex Weinhagen,

Grant Funds Awarded: $20,570


Hyde Park will evaluate existing housing constraints in the current zoning bylaws and prepare amendments that will meet the municipal plan’s goals for affordable, senior, and workforce housing.

For more information, contact Ron Rodjenski,

Grant Funds Awarded: $8,450


Killington will prepare amendments to its bylaws to encourage higher density residential and mixed-use infill development along its commercial core, including the encouragement of cross-connections, affordable housing, and pedestrian friendly development.

For more information, contact Ed Bove,

Grant Funds Awarded: $11,000


Lincoln will conduct public outreach and update local zoning bylaws to mitigate obstacles to growth in the four village districts, encouraging affordable and diverse housing for people of varying incomes.

For more information, contact Ann Moreau-Kensek or Katie Raycroft-Meyer, |

Grant Funds Awarded: $9,000


Ludlow will modernize bylaws for the Village of Ludlow to address the community’s housing needs, revitalize the village, and implement the municipal plan and village center master plan. The project will focus on dimensional and density requirements, parking, and permitting processes.

For more information, contact Jason Rasmussen,

Grant Funds Awarded: $18,960


Newport City, one of the first Vermont communities to adopt form-based code in 2010, will engage stakeholders and prepare code updates to address recent insights and current housing needs in the city – including tests to assess on-the-ground implications and ways to support pedestrian mobility, enable mixed-uses and flexibility for housing development, and address evolving historic character.

For more information, contact Laura Dolgin,

Grant Funds Awarded: $27,500


Pawlet will update its bylaws with an emphasis on the West Pawlet Village Center to increase housing options and support economic development and revitalization. The project will consider dimensional requirements, a mix of uses, and accessory dwelling unit reforms to address the increasing need for housing options for locals and new residents.

For more information, contact Jessica Van Oort

Grant Funds Awarded: $11,250


Poultney will prepare updates to the Unified Bylaws primarily focused on boundaries, uses, dimensional standards, definitions, and other elements in the village’s zoning districts to support revitalization, increased housing choice and affordability and pedestrian-oriented development patterns.

For more information, contact Jaime Lee,

Grant Funds Awarded: $12,400


Randolph (with Bethel, Hartford, Rochester, Strafford, Thetford & Woodstock) are partnering with the Two-Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission to improve bylaws as a seven-town consortium. The project will address the region’s housing shortage and implement the ongoing Keys to the Valley initiative. This project will bring communities together for a common cause to make positive change in the way municipal officials and residents think of affordable housing.

For more information, contact Kevin Geiger,

Grant Funds Awarded: $66,000


Shaftsbury (with North Bennington, Old Bennington Village, Peru, Rupert, Sandgate & Stamford) are partnering with the Bennington County Regional Commission on bylaw updates that reduce regulatory barriers to housing development and bring bylaws into conformance with statute. The project implements the recent Regional Housing Bylaw Survey. Areas of focus include development of accessory dwelling unit regulations, reduction of minimum parking requirements for dwelling units, and regulatory changes that will encourage more density and infill development in downtown and village centers.

For more information, contact Cat Beyers,

Grant Funds Awarded: $54,000


Shoreham will modernize bylaws and produce Unified Development Regulations that support compact, mixed-used development in the Village Residential District, including clustered housing opportunities.

For more information, contact Linda Larrabee or Katie Raycroft-Meyer, |

Grant Funds Awarded: $11,000


St. Albans Town (with Enosburgh, Highgate, Montgomery & Sheldon) are partnering with the Northwest Regional Planning Commission to address the region’s need for smaller homes at affordable rates demanded by smaller households that make up today’s workforce. The project will hold discussions on region’s housing needs, audit existing regulations, and work with the five Planning Commissions to develop draft regulations that reduce regulatory barriers towards housing choice and affordability.

For more information, contact Greta Brunswick,

Grant Funds Awarded: $36,400


Stowe will hire a planning consultant to draft amendments to the zoning and subdivision regulations, including robust and inclusive public outreach to identify local housing needs and regulatory barriers that restrict development in Stowe’s designated downtown and lower village center.

For more information, contact Sarah McShane,

Grant Funds Awarded: $20,000


Waitsfield will study and recommend changes to the current zoning bylaws to address affordable housing needs, identify buildable areas in the smart growth area for infill, and improve walkways and paths for a safe and walkable village center.

For more information, contact JB Weir,

Grant Funds Awarded: $27,500


West Rutland will conduct public outreach and modify standards in specific village districts to recognize the historic pattern and allow flexibility for more housing opportunities.

For more information, contact Mary Ann Goulette,

Grant Funds Awarded: $8,050


West Windsor will update zoning and subdivision regulations to improve the permitting process for residential development and to support village center revitalization goals. The project will focus in and around the village and implement the Town Plan – working in partnership with the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust.

For more information, contact Jason Rasmussen,

Grant Funds Awarded: $8,640


Wilmington will evaluate existing zoning code as it pertains to the development of housing in and around the designated downtown, and propose amendments to ensure that the code is more amenable to additional housing development within the village and sewered portions of the commercial/residential area.

For more information, contact Sue Westa,

Grant Funds Awarded: $27,500


State Award Funding Totals: $500,000


Source: 1.12.2022. Montpelier, Vt. - The Department of Housing and Community Development