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S.175

AN ACT RELATING TO ENABLING COMMUNITIES AND THE STATE TO ADEQUATELY CONSIDER THE IMPACTS AND COSTS OF LARGE SCALE RETAIL DEVELOPMENT

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  24 V.S.A. § 4412 is amended to read:

§ 4412.  REQUIRED PROVISIONS AND PROHIBITED EFFECTS

Notwithstanding any existing bylaw, the following land development provisions shall apply in every municipality:

(1)  Equal treatment of housing and required provisions for affordable housing.

* * *

(8)  “Large-scale” retail uses.

(A)  Definition.  As used in this subdivision, “large‑scale” retail use means any single retail business having a gross floor area in one or more buildings at the same location of 75,000 square feet or more in which:

(i)  goods or merchandise is offered for retail sale to the general public or to members for personal, business, or household consumption; and

(ii)  services incidental to the sale of those goods are provided.

(B)  Conditional use review.  Large‑scale retail use, if allowed by a municipality in one or more zoning districts, shall be subject to conditional use review pursuant to subdivision 4414(3) of this section, in addition to any other review procedure proscribed in the zoning bylaw.

(C)  Community and regional impact study.

(i)  Prior to receiving any local permit or authorization for the project, any applicant for a new or expanded large-scale retail use shall provide the community with the funding necessary to complete a community and regional impact study of the projected costs and benefits to the community and region resulting from the project.  The study shall evaluate the fiscal and economic impacts of a large-scale retail use to determine if the use will have an undue adverse affect on:  the capacity of existing or planned community facilities; the character of the area in the municipality where the use is proposed; and traffic on roads and highways in the vicinity of the project.  In evaluating an application for a large-scale retail use as part of a conditional use review, an appropriate municipal panel shall examine the impact of large-scale retail uses on existing downtowns designated under chapter 76A of this title, existing village centers designated under chapter 76A of this title, and new town centers designated under chapter 76A of this title, based on the community and regional impact study and other evidence submitted in a proceeding on the application,  The purpose of examining regional impacts in the community and regional impact is to disclose the impacts of large-scale retail uses to all affected municipalities in the region.  An appropriate municipal panel shall base its decision on an application for a large-scale retail use on impacts within the municipality where the use is proposed.  This study shall be conducted by an independent consultant chosen by the appropriate municipal panel.  This study may be submitted by a party to a proceeding under 10 V.S.A. chapter 151 relating to a large scale retail use, and may be considered by the district environmental commission as evidence in the proceeding.

(ii)   Issues addressed in the community and regional impact study of the projected costs and benefits to the community and region resulting from the project shall include:

(I)  projected costs arising from the demand for and required improvements to public services and infrastructure;

(II)  the impact of these projected costs on the capacity of existing or planned community facilities;

(III)  the value of improvements that are to be provided by the project to public services and to public facilities;

(IV)  projected tax revenues to be generated by the project;

(V)  projected impact on property values in the community and region and the potential loss or increase in municipal tax revenues resulting from the proposed project;

(VI)  projected net job loss or creation caused by the project and the resulting potential loss or increase in tax revenues; and estimates of how much revenue generated by the project will be retained and redirected into the economy of the community and the region;

(VII)  the impact of large scale retail uses on existing downtowns designated under chapter 76A of this title, existing village centers designated under chapter 76A of this title, and new town centers designated under chapter 76A of this title;

(VIII)  traffic on roads and highways in the vicinity of the project.

(iii)  Upon completion, a copy of the community and regional impact study shall be provided to each adjacent municipality and the regional planning commission at least 15 days prior to the final public hearing to consider the large‑scale retail proposal, together with notification of the hearing date, time, and location.

Sec. 2.  24 V.S.A. § 4414 is amended to read:

§ 4414.  ZONING; PERMISSIBLE TYPES OF REGULATIONS

Any of the following types of regulations may be adopted by a municipality in its bylaws in conformance with the plan and for the purposes established in section 4302 of this title.

* * *

(3)  Conditional uses.

* * *

(D)  With regard to large‑scale retail uses, such uses shall not result in an undue adverse effect on the ability of adjacent municipalities to provide public services or facilities to the municipalities’ residents and property owners.

Sec. 3.  STUDY OF FISCAL IMPACT ON STATE PROGRAMS FROM

             LARGE-SCALE RETAIL USES

The legislative council shall perform a literature search with respect to the fiscal impacts on state programs caused by large-scale retail uses and shall report to the general assembly by January 15, 2007.

Sec. 4   EFFECTIVE DATE:

(a)  This act shall take effect on passage.

(b)  Section 1 of this bill shall not apply to any project where an applicant has applied for any local permit or authorization prior to the effective date of this legislation, notwithstanding whether such project may require one or more additional local permits or authorizations.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us