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Introduced by Senator Lyons of Chittenden District

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Municipal government; downtown program; new town center

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to amend the requirements for a municipality that is applying to have a new town center designated under the downtown program.  It proposes to repeal the requirement that the new town center be designed to accommodate a majority of the community’s growth needs for the next 20 years and to replace it with a requirement that no more than 125 acres may be encompassed within a new town center.  It also proposes to repeal a requirement that relates to the organizational structure and funding that must be contained within a community investment agreement submitted by an applicant municipality.


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

Sec. 1.  24 V.S.A. § 2793b(b) is amended to read:

(b)  Within 45 days of receipt of a completed application, the state board shall designate a new town center development district if the state board finds, with respect to that district, the municipality has:

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(2)  provided a community investment agreement that has been executed by authorized representatives of the municipal government, businesses, and property owners within the district, and community groups with an articulated purpose of supporting downtown interests, and contains the following:

(A)  A map of the designated new town center designed to accommodate a majority of the community's growth needs for the next 20 yearsThe total area of land encompassed within a designated new town center shall not exceed 125 acres.

(B)  Regulations enabling high densities that are greater than those allowed in any other part of the municipality.

(C)  Regulations enabling multistory and mixed use buildings and mixed uses which enable the development of buildings in a compact manner.

(D)  A capital improvement program, or a capital budget and program under this title, showing a clear plan for providing public infrastructure within the center, including facilities for drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, public space, lighting, and transportation, including public transit, parking, and pedestrian amenities.

(E)  A clear plan for mixed income housing in the new town center.

(F)  Evidence that civic and public buildings do exist, or will exist in the center, as shown by the capital improvement plan or the capital budget and program, and the official map.

(G)  An organizational structure necessary to sustain a comprehensive long-term development effort, including a local board or designation of the entity that will qualify as the downtown development nonprofit corporation under subdivision 2791(5) of this title, with funding provided as necessary to support the organizational effort.

(H)  Evidence that any private or municipal sewage system and private or public water supply serving the proposed new town center are in compliance with the requirements of chapters 47 and 56 of Title 10, and that the municipality has dedicated a portion of any unallocated reserve capacity of the sewage and public water supply necessary to support growth within the proposed new town center.  Any municipality proposing a municipal sewage system and public water supply to serve the proposed new town center shall provide evidence to the state board of a commitment to construct or maintain such a system and supply in compliance with requirements of chapters 47 and 56 of Title 10, or a commitment to construct, as applicable, a permittable potable water supply, wastewater system, indirect discharge or public water supply within no more than ten years.  A commitment to construct does not relieve the property owners in the new town center from meeting the applicable regulations of the agency of natural resources regarding wastewater systems, potable water supplies, public water supplies, indirect discharges, and the subdivision of land.  In the event a municipality fails in its commitment to construct a municipal sewage system or public water supply, or both, the state board shall revoke designation, unless the municipality demonstrates to the state board that all good faith efforts were made and continue to be made to obtain the required approvals and permits from the agency of natural resources, and failure to construct was due to unavailability of sufficient state or federal funding.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont