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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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S.287

Introduced by   Senator Lyons of Chittenden District and Senator Miller of Chittenden District

Referred to Committee on             

Date:

Subject:  Planning; council of regional commissions; office of planning coordination

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to establish an office of planning coordination within the agency of administration, that would coordinate planning efforts among the various levels of government, review certain actions of regional planning commissions, maintain all current plans of all regions and municipalities, and report annually on the consistency of state agency, regional, and municipal plans with the state’s planning goals.  It proposes to rename the development cabinet as the planning cabinet, and to provide that it shall be staffed by the office of planning coordination.  The bill proposes to amend requirements regarding state entity planning so that the requirements apply exclusively to state agencies and independent departments reporting directly to the governor.  It proposes to repeal the council of regional commissions and to provide that the office of planning coordination shall review regional plans and amendments for compatibility with the certain plans of others and for consistency with the state goals, and shall review and comment on regional planning commission decisions regarding the confirmation of municipal planning efforts and the approval of municipal plans.  It proposes that determinations with regard to the sufficiency of regional plans be made by the environmental court instead of the regional review panel of the council of regional commissions.  The bill proposes that state entities that are required to plan shall evaluate the extent to which their plans are compatible with the plans of other state agencies and departments and with applicable regional plans and approved municipal plans.  If a state agency plan is not compatible with these other plans and consistent with the state goals, the agency is required to prepare a statement providing certain explanations.  The bill proposes that prior to preparation of the governor’s annual budget request, the office of planning coordination shall review these explanatory statements and report on whether the plans contain any incompatibilities or inconsistencies with other plans and state goals, and shall advise whether the explanatory statement provided by a particular agency or department provides a satisfactory justification.  The bill proposes to require the secretary of administration to review these reports, and if the secretary finds that a required state agency or department plan is incompatible or inconsistent, the secretary shall not deliver the budget estimate to the governor unless the secretary finds that the explanatory statement of the agency or department provides a satisfactory justification for the incompatibility or inconsistency.  Finally, the bill proposes that appeals with regard to the sufficiency of a regional plan or amendment shall be heard before the environmental court, under rules established by the supreme court.

AN ACT RELATING TO COORDINATING PLANNING AMONG THE VARIOUS LEVELS OF STATE GOVERNMENT

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

Sec. 1.  3 V.S.A. § 2102 is amended to read:

§ 2102.  POWERS AND DUTIES

The governor's cabinet shall adopt and implement a program of continuing coordination and improvement of the activities carried on at all levels of state and local government, including furtherance of the state planning purposes and goals established by 24 V.S.A. § 4302(a)–(d), as provided in 24 V.S.A.

§ 4302(e).

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 2104 is amended to read:

§ 2104.  PLANNING

The central planning office and its state planning functions are transferred hereby to the office of the governor. The governor, by executive order, may specify the duties, responsibilities, and organization of the office as he deems necessary for the proper execution of its functions. The office shall be headed by a director of planning who shall be appointed by the governor to serve at his pleasure. The director of planning with the approval of the governor may:

(1) coordinate the planning activities of departments of the executive branch;

(2) make studies, surveys and reports concerning that program;

(3) accept, contract for, and administer under this chapter and for its objectives and purposes contributions, capital grants, appropriations, gifts, services, and other financial assistance from or for any individual, association, corporation or other organization having an interest in planning and development, this state, and the United States, and any of their agencies, political or administrative subdivisions, and instrumentalities, corporate or otherwise; and

(4) perform such other acts as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the objectives and purposes of this section.

(a)  An office of planning coordination is created within the agency of administration.  The office shall be headed by a director who shall be a professional planner and shall be appointed by, and report directly to, the secretary of the agency.  The director shall be exempt from the classified service.

     (b)  The office of planning coordination shall:

(1)  Coordinate among all levels of government to ensure consistent and wise development of state, regional, and municipal plans that will integrate planning to ensure coordinated administration of government policies addressing the multitude of issues posed by the state's continued growth and development and to ensure consistency with the state planning goals established by 24 V.S.A. § 4302.  Specifically, the office of planning coordination shall:

(A)  Coordinate state agency and department planning to assure consistency with the state planning goals and compatibility among state agency and department plans and with applicable regional and municipal plans.

(B)  Compile and review all proposed regional plans and amendments, and, at the request of a municipality, review regional planning commission decisions on the confirmation or approval of municipal plans, to determine the consistency of regional plans and decisions with the state planning goals, and the compatibility of regional plans and decisions with state agency plans and the plans of other regions and municipalities.

(C)  Maintain and make accessible to state, regional, and municipal planning bodies all current municipal plans, whether approved or not; compile and maintain an analysis and summary of the degree to which those plans are consistent with the state planning goals.

(D)  Prepare and present annually to the secretary of administration, the cabinet, and the general assembly a report on the status of consistency of all state agency and department, and all regional and municipal, plans with the state planning goals.

(2)  Coordinate research and the compilation of data and information necessary for planning at all levels.  Serve as a clearinghouse of planning data and information.  Systematically make critical data and information available and accessible to state, regional, and municipal planning agencies and the public.

(3)  Provide technical assistance to state, regional, and municipal planning agencies by undertaking or contracting for special studies and plans, preparing or analyzing policy alternatives, and identifying immediate and

long-range needs and the resources to meet these needs.

(4)  Participate with other states, Canadian provinces, and subdivisions of states or provinces in interstate or binational planning, and assist regional and municipal planning commissions to participate in planning with other states and provinces and their subdivisions.

(5)  Accept, contract for, and administer under this section and for its objectives and purposes contributions, capital grants, appropriations, gifts, services, and other financial assistance from or for any individual, association, corporation or other organization, this state, and the United States, and any of their agencies, political or administrative subdivisions, and instrumentalities, corporate or otherwise.

(6)  Perform such other acts as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the objectives and purposes of this section.

Sec. 3.  3 V.S.A. § 2202(a) is amended to read:

(a)  An agency of administration is created.  The agency shall consist of the following:

(1)  The department of finance and management;.

(2)  The department of human resources;.

(3)  The department of buildings and general services;.

(4)  The department of libraries;.

(5)  The department of taxes.

(6) The department of information and innovation.

(7) The office of planning coordination.

Sec. 4.  3 V.S.A. § 2283c is added to read:

§ 2283c.  OFFICE OF PLANNING COORDINATION.

The office of planning coordination is created within the agency of administration and is charged with all of the responsibilities assigned to it by law.

Sec. 5.  3 V.S.A. § 2293 is amended to read:

§ 2293.  DEVELOPMENT PLANNING CABINET

(a)  Legislative purpose.  The general assembly deems it prudent to establish a permanent and formal mechanism to assure collaboration and consultation among state agencies and departments, in order to support and encourage Vermont's economic development and growth, while at the same time conserving and promoting Vermont's traditional settlement patterns, its working and rural landscape, its strong communities, and its healthy environment, and other values served by the state planning purposes and goals established by 24 V.S.A. § 4302(a)–(d), all in a manner set forth in this section.

(b)  Development Planning cabinet.  A development planning cabinet is created, to consist of the secretaries of the agencies of administration, natural resources, commerce and community affairs, and transportation, and the secretary of the agency of agriculture, food and markets the members of the governor’s cabinet and the commissioners of those independent departments reporting directly to the governor that have programs or take actions affecting the state planning goals established by 24 V.S.A. § 4302 as determined by the office of planning coordination.  The governor or the governor's designee shall chair the development planning cabinet.  The development planning cabinet shall advise the governor on how best to implement the purposes of this section, and shall recommend changes as appropriate to improve implementation of those purposes.  The development planning cabinet shall be staffed by the office of planning coordination.  The cabinet or office of planning coordination may establish interagency work groups to support its mission, drawing membership from any agency or department of state government.

(c)  All state agencies and all independent departments reporting directly to the governor that have programs or take actions affecting land use, including those identified under 3 V.S.A. chapter 67, the state planning purposes and  goals established by 24 V.S.A. § 4302(a)–(d) shall, through or in conjunction with the members of the development planning cabinet, support those goals in all programs or actions that affect them and, specifically, shall:

(1)  Support conservation of working lands and open spaces.

(2)  Strengthen agricultural and forest product economies, and encourage the diversification of these industries.

(3)  Develop and implement plans to educate the public by encouraging discussion at the local level about the impacts of poorly designed growth, and support local efforts to enhance and encourage development and economic growth in the state's existing towns and villages.

(4)(2)  Administer tax credits, loans, and grants for water, sewer, housing, schools, transportation, and other community or industrial infrastructure, in a manner consistent with the purposes and goals of this section 24 V.S.A. § 4302(a)–(d).

(5)(3)  To the extent possible, endeavor to make the expenditure of state appropriations consistent with the purposes and goals of this section 24 V.S.A. § 4302(a)–(d).

(6)  Encourage development in, and work to revitalize, land and buildings in existing village and urban centers, including "brownfields," housing stock, and vacant or underutilized development zones. Each agency is to set meaningful and quantifiable benchmarks.

(7) Encourage communities to approve settlement patterns based on maintaining the state's compact villages, open spaces, working landscapes, and rural countryside.

(8) Encourage relatively intensive residential development close to resources such as schools, shops, and community centers and make infrastructure investments to support this pattern.

(9)  Support recreational opportunities that build on Vermont's outstanding natural resources, and encourage public access for activities such as boating, hiking, fishing, skiing, hunting, and snowmobiling. Support and work collaboratively to make possible sound development and well-planned growth in existing recreational infrastructure.

(10)  Provide means and opportunity for downtown housing for mixed social and income groups in each community.

(4)  Encourage and support in all other respects the state planning purposes and goals established by 24 V.S.A. § 4302(a)–(d).

(11)(5)  Report annually to the governor and the legislature, through the chair of the development planning cabinet and the secretary of administration, on the effectiveness and impact of this section on the state’s economic growth and land use development and the activities of the council of regional commissions the state planning purposes and goals established by 24 V.S.A. §4302(a)–(d).

(12)(6)  Encourage timely and efficient processing of permit applications affecting land use, including 10 V.S.A. chapter 151 and the subdivision regulations adopted under 18 V.S.A. § 1218 potable water and wastewater system requirements adopted under 10 V.S.A. chapter 64, in order to encourage the development of affordable housing and small business expansion, while protecting Vermont's natural resources.

* * *

Sec. 6.  3 V.S.A. § 2472(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The department of housing and community affairs is created within the agency of commerce and community development.  The department shall:

(1)  Be the central state agency to coordinate, consolidate, and operate, to the extent possible, all housing programs enacted hereafter by the general assembly or created by executive order of the governor.

(2)  Be the central state agency for allocation of funds and education and training for local and regional planning and coordination.

(3)  Administer the community development block grant program pursuant to 10 V.S.A. chapter 29.

(4)  In partnership with the division for historic preservation, direct, supervise, and administer the Vermont downtown program, and any other program designed to preserve the continued economic vitality of the state's traditional commercial districts.

Sec. 7.  3 V.S.A. § 4020 is amended to read:

§ 4020. STATE AGENCY PLANNING AND COORDINATION

(a)  State All state agencies, and all independent departments reporting directly to the governor that have programs or take actions affecting land use the state planning goals established by 24 V.S.A. § 4302, as determined by executive order of the governor the office of planning coordination, shall engage in a continuing planning process to assure that those programs and actions are consistent with the those goals established in 24 V.S.A. § 4302 and compatible with the plans of other state agencies and departments and with applicable regional plans and applicable approved municipal plans, as those terms are defined in that section.  For purposes of this section and section 4021 of this title, “consistent” and “compatible” have the meanings assigned to them in 24 V.S.A. § 4302(f); state agency, department, regional, and approved municipal plans are plans adopted or approved pursuant to section 4021 of this title or 24 V.S.A. § 4348 or  4350, respectively.  This planning process shall be coordinated, in a manner established by executive order of the governor, through the office of planning coordination with the planning process of other agencies and departments and of regional and municipal entities of the regions in which the programs and actions are to have effect.

(b)  In the process of preparing plans or amendments to plans, a state agency or independent department reporting directly to the governor shall hold at least two public hearings which are noticed as provided in 3 V.S.A. § 839 for administrative rules, but plans shall not be adopted as administrative rules under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25.  Specific notice also shall be provided to all of the following, at least 30 days prior to the public hearing:

(1)  the executive director of each regional planning commission;

(2)  the department of housing and community affairs within the agency of commerce and community development office of planning coordination;

(3)  the council of regional commissions; and

(4)  business, conservation, low-income low income advocacy, and other community or interest groups or organizations that have requested notice prior to the date the hearing is warned.

(c)  Any of the foregoing bodies, or their representatives, may submit comments on the proposed plan or amendment, and may appear and be heard in any proceeding with respect to the adoption of the proposed plan or amendment.  State agencies and departments shall use an informal working format at locations convenient and accessible to the public in order to provide opportunities for all persons and organizations with an interest in their plans and actions to participate.

Sec. 8.  3 V.S.A. § 4021 is amended to read:

§ 4021. ADOPTION OF STATE AGENCY PLANS

(a)  By January 1, 1991, each state agency that has programs or that takes actions affecting land use shall adopt an interim plan that is compatible with regional and approved  municipal plans and that is consistent with the goals established in 24 V.S.A. § 4302.  By January 1, 1993 2009, each state agency or independent department reporting directly to the governor that has programs or takes actions affecting land use the state planning purposes and goals established by 24 V.S.A. § 4302(a)-(d) shall adopt have adopted a plan that is compatible with the plans of other state agencies and departments and with applicable regional plans and approved municipal plans, and that is consistent with the state planning purposes and goals established in 24 V.S.A. § 4302. Thereafter, the agency or department shall readopt review its plan biennially, and make any amendments necessary to ensure that its plan remains compatible with other state agency or department plans, regional plans, and approved municipal plans, and remains consistent with the purposes and goals established in by 24 V.S.A. § 4302(a)–(d).  All proposed, and adopted and readopted state agency plans and amendments, including interim plans and amendments, shall be submitted to the council of regional commissions office of planning coordination for review.  The term "approved municipal plans" as used in this section has the meaning established in 24 V.S.A. § 4350.

(b)  Each state agency or department plan adopted or amended pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, or pursuant to the requirements of any federal authority granted to the agency or department, shall contain a statement expressly explaining the respects in which it is compatible with the plans of other state agencies and departments and with applicable regional plans and approved municipal plans, and in which it is consistent with the state planning purposes and goals established by 24 V.S.A. § 4302(a)–(d).  If a state agency or department plan, as adopted or amended, contains any provisions that are not compatible with the plans of other state agencies and departments or with applicable regional plans and approved municipal plans, or that are not consistent with the state planning goals, the plan shall contain a statement explaining:

(1)  the nature of the incompatibility or inconsistency;

(2)  why the incompatibility or inconsistency is necessary in the public interest to attain the desired effect of the plan as a whole;

(3)  why there is no reasonable alternative way to achieve the desired effect of the plan; and

(4)  how any incompatible or inconsistent provisions have been structured to mitigate their detrimental effects.   

(c)  Prior to preparation of the governor’s annual budget request pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 5, the office of planning coordination shall review the explanatory statements required by subsection (b) of this section in any state agency or department plan that has been adopted or amended since the last annual budget request.  On the basis of this review, the office of planning coordination shall report to the secretary of administration either that the plan as submitted is compatible with the plans of other state agencies and departments and with applicable regional plans and approved municipal plans and that it is consistent with the state planning purposes and goals established by 24 V.S.A. § 4302(a)–(d), or that in specific respects it is not compatible or consistent with those plans or goals.  If the office finds that the plan is incompatible or inconsistent with those plans or goals, it shall further advise the secretary whether the explanatory statement of the agency or department provides a satisfactory justification for the incompatibility or inconsistency.  The office of planning coordination shall transmit a copy of any report prepared under this section to the speaker of the house and to the president of the senate.

(d)  Before delivering to the governor the budget estimates of state agencies and independent departments reporting directly to the governor as provided in 32 V.S.A § 302, the secretary of administration shall review the reports of the office of planning coordination prepared as provided in subsection (c) of this section and shall advise the governor in writing, with copies to the speaker of the house and the president of the senate, either that the plan of each agency and independent department is compatible with the plans of other state agencies and departments and with applicable regional plans and approved municipal plans and that it is consistent with the state planning purposes and goals established by 24 V.S.A. § 4302(a)–(d), or that in specific respects it is not compatible or consistent with those plans or goals.  If the secretary finds that a plan is incompatible or inconsistent with those plans or goals, the secretary shall not deliver the budget estimate of the agency or department to the governor unless the secretary finds that the explanatory statement of the agency or department provides a satisfactory justification for the incompatibility or inconsistency.   


Sec. 9.  24 V.S.A. § 4305 is amended to read:

§ 4305.  COUNCIL OF REGIONAL COMMISSIONS; REVIEWS OF

              STATE AGENCY AND REGIONAL PLANS; REVIEWS OF CONFIRMATION AND APPROVAL DECISIONS BY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSIONS

(a)  A council of regional commissions is hereby created. The council membership shall include a representative from each regional planning commission established under section 4341 of this title, three members who are state agency or department heads appointed by the governor and two members  representing the public appointed by the governor. Each regional planning commission shall appoint its representative, or replacement in case of a vacancy, from among the commission's municipal representatives. The council shall annually elect one of its members as chairperson and another member as  vice-chairperson. The powers and duties of these officers shall be determined   by the council. A majority of members shall constitute a quorum. Members of  the council, other than state officials, are entitled to the per diem and expenses authorized under 32 V.S.A. § 1010.

(b)  The council shall provide, on request, an impartial mediator to help resolve disagreements between and among municipalities and regional planning commissions, and between and among regional planning commissions and state agencies, with respect to the compatibility of their plans with each other, and related matters.

(c)(1)  The council office of planning coordination shall review proposed regional plans or amendments, after public notice, and determine the following:

(A)  whether the plan, as amended with any amendments, contains the elements required by law;

(B)  whether the plan, with any amendments, is compatible with the plans of state agencies and departments and adjoining regions; and

(C)  whether the plan, as amended with any amendments, is consistent with the state planning goals established in by section 4302 of this title.

(2)  If a municipality requests that a proposed regional plan or amendment be reviewed for compatibility with an approved municipal plan, the council office of planning coordination shall conduct that review.

(3)  Upon completion of a review under this subsection, one or more representatives of the council shall appear before the regional planning commission and a representative of the office of planning coordination shall present the council's comments and recommendations of the office to the regional planning commission and may ask the commission to reconsider portions of its proposed plan.

(d)(1)  The council shall review state agency plans or amendments proposed under 3 V.S.A. chapter 67, after providing public notice as required under 3 V.S.A. § 839 with respect to administrative rules notwithstanding the notice requirements established in section 4447 of this title, and determine the following:

(A)  whether the plan or amendment is compatible with the plans of other state agencies;

(B)  whether it is consistent with the goals established in 24 V.S.A. § 4302;

(C)  whether it is compatible with regional plans; and

(D) whether it is compatible with approved municipal plans of municipalities that have requested review by the council.

(2)  Upon completion of a review under subdivision (1) of this subsection, one or more representatives of the council shall appear before the state agency and present the council's comments and recommendations.

(3)  After the agency has adopted a plan or amendment, the council, after  providing public notice as required under 3 V.S.A. § 839 with respect to  administrative rules notwithstanding the notice requirements established in  section 4447 of this title, shall review the plan, as amended or adopted, and  shall prepare a written evaluation of the plan's compliance with the criteria  established in subdivision (1) of this subsection.  The written evaluation  shall be sent to all persons who request a copy in writing, to the governor,  to the speaker of the house and president of the senate, who shall forward  them to appropriate legislative committees.  If the council determines that the plan or amendment as adopted is not compatible with a regional plan or is not compatible with the approved municipal plan of a municipality that has  requested review by the council, the evaluation shall be sent also:

(A)  to the regional planning commission,

(B)  to the legislative body and planning commission of the relevant   municipality and to the state representatives that represent that municipality, and

(C)  to state senators who represent the relevant region or municipality.

(e)  The council office of planning coordination, at the request of a municipality, shall establish, by rule adopted according to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, a process to conduct formal review of the sufficiency of an adopted  regional plan or amendment and formal review of a regional planning commission decisions decision with respect to the confirmation of municipal planning efforts, and or the approval or disapproval of municipal plans or amendments. Formal review  shall be conducted by a three-person regional review panel composed of council members, including at least two representatives of regional planning commissions, all assigned by the council in a manner established by rule. A  representative of a regional planning commission shall not participate in formal review of the actions of the regional planning commission which the person represents.  Council members who participate in the review of a regional plan under subsection (c) of this section shall not participate in a formal regional review panel proceeding on the same matter.  After the review, a representative of the office shall present the comments and recommendations of the office to the regional planning commission and the municipality and may ask either party to reconsider its prior decisions on the municipal plan.

(f)  The council shall adopt rules, according to the provisions of 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, that are necessary for the performance of its functions under this chapter.

(g)  The council shall receive administrative support from the department of housing and community affairs.

Sec. 10.  24 V.S.A. § 4476 is amended to read:

§ 4476.  FORMAL JUDICIAL REVIEW OF REGIONAL PLANNING

              COMMISSION DECISIONS

(a)  Formal Environmental court review. A request for formal to review of the sufficiency of an adopted regional plan or amendment, or for formal review of the decision of a regional planning commission with respect to the confirmation of a municipal planning effort, or the decision relating to approval of a municipal plan, shall be made to the regional review panel created under section 4305 of this title environmental court.  A request for formal review of a regional plan or amendment adopted after July 1, 2008 shall be filed within 21 days of adoption of the plan or amendment or the decision.

(b)  Standing.  The following have standing to request formal review or become parties to formal review conducted under this section:

(1)  a person owning title to property affected by a decision of the regional planning commission who alleges that that decision imposes on that property unreasonable or inappropriate restrictions that significantly impair present or potential use under the particular circumstances of the case;

(2)  a municipality whose planning effort is the subject of a decision by the regional planning commission, any other municipality within the region, any municipality which adjoins the region, or a regional planning commission which adjoins the region;

(3)  any agency, department, or other governmental subdivision of the state owning property or an interest therein within a municipality listed in subdivision (2) of this subsection, and the agency of commerce and community development;

(4)  any 20 persons who by signed petition allege that the decision, if confirmed, will not be in accord with the requirements of this chapter, and who own or occupy real property located within any combination of the following:

(A)  any municipality whose planning effort is the subject of the decision by the regional planning commission; or

(B)  any municipality which adjoins a municipality whose planning effort is subject of the decision by the regional planning commission;

(5)  with respect to the sufficiency of an adopted or amended regional plan, any 20 persons who by signed petition allege that the plan or amendment is not in accord with the requirements of this chapter, and who own or occupy real property located within the area that includes the region and the municipalities that adjoin the region;

(6)  the regional planning commission whose plan, or amendment, or decision is the subject of the request for formal review.

(c)  Procedure; regional review panel.  Notice of formal judicial review shall be sent by mail to the municipalities within the region, to the regional planning commission, to the office of planning coordination, and to the agency of commerce and community development and shall be accompanied by a statement of all reasons why the appellant believes the plan or opinion to be in error and all issues which the appellant believes to be relevant.  Within 30 days of receipt of the notice of formal review, the date for a hearing shall be set and the council shall publish notice of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the applicable region, and shall provide notice in writing of the hearing to individuals and organizations that had requested notice from the regional planning commission under section 4348 relating to the adoption of a regional plan.  The appellant shall pay the costs of publication.  The hearing shall be held within 45 days of receipt of the notice of formal review.  Upon motion, for good cause shown, the panel may extend the date of the hearing.  Within 20 days of adjournment of the hearing, the regional review panel shall issue a decision approving, conditionally approving or disapproving the regional plan or amendment or the opinion with respect to confirmation of the municipal planning effort or approval of the municipal plan. The regional review panel shall be governed by the provisions for contested cases in chapter 25 of Title 3  The environmental court shall carry out the review in such manner as the supreme court may by rule provide.

(d)  Issues on formal review.

(1)  With respect to formal review of the sufficiency of an adopted or amended regional plan, the regional review panel court shall determine:

(A)  whether the plan contains the elements required by law;

(B)  whether the plan is compatible with the plans of adjoining regions and with the approved plans of adjoining municipalities; and

(C)  whether the plan is consistent with the goals established in section 4302 of this title.

(2)  With respect to formal review of a regional planning commission decision on the confirmation of a municipal planning effort, the regional review panel shall determine:

(A)  whether the municipality is engaged in a continuing planning process that, within a reasonable time, will attain consistency with the goals established in section 4302 of this title; and

(B)  whether the municipality is maintaining its efforts to provide local funds for municipal and regional planning purposes.

(3)  With respect to formal review of a regional planning commission decision on the approval or disapproval of a municipal plan, the regional review panel shall determine:

(A)  whether the plan is consistent with the goals established in section 4302 of this title;

(B)  whether the plan is compatible with its regional plan; and

(C)  whether the plan is compatible with approved plans of other municipalities in the region.

(e)  Stays.

(1)  The filing of a notice of formal judicial review under this section shall not stay the effect of the plan or the decision of the regional planning commission amendment, unless so ordered by the regional review panel court.

(2)  If notice of formal review of the decision of a regional planning commission to approve or disapprove a municipal plan is filed prior to final adoption of the plan, the regional review panel shall stay formal review proceedings pending final adoption. The panel, however, may proceed with formal review upon the request of the municipality whose plan is the subject of the review.

(f)  Appeal to supreme court. An appeal from a decision of the regional review panel environmental court shall be to the supreme court, according to the Vermont Rules of Appellate Procedure.




Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us