The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 24: Municipal and County Government

Chapter 61: REGULATORY PROVISIONS; POLICE POWER OF MUNICIPALITIES

Sub-Chapter 11: Miscellaneous Regulatory Powers

24 V.S.A. § 2291. Enumeration of powers



§ 2291. Enumeration of powers

For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, welfare, and convenience, a town, city, or incorporated village shall have the following powers:

(1) To set off portions of public highways of the municipality for sidewalks and bicycle paths and to regulate their use.

(2) To provide for the removal of snow and ice from sidewalks by the owner, occupant, or person having charge of abutting property.

(3) To provide for the location, protection, maintenance, and removal of trees, plants and shrubs, and buildings or other structures on or above public highways, sidewalks, or other property of the municipality.

(4) To regulate the operation and use of vehicles of every kind including the power: to erect traffic signs and signals; to regulate the speed of vehicles subject to 23 V.S.A. chapter 13, subchapter 12; to regulate or exclude the parking of all vehicles; and to provide for waiver of the right of appearance and arraignment in court by persons charged with parking violations by payment of specified fines within a stated period of time.

(5) To establish rules for pedestrian traffic on public highways and to establish crosswalks.

(6) To regulate the location, installation, maintenance, repair, and removal of utility poles, wires and conduits, water pipes or mains, or gas mains and sewers, upon, under, or above public highways or public property of the municipality.

(7) To regulate or prohibit the erection, size, structure, contents, and location of signs, posters, or displays on or above any public highway, sidewalk, lane, or alleyway of the municipality and to regulate the use, size, structure, contents, and location of signs on private buildings or structures.

(8) To regulate or prohibit the use or discharge, but not possession of, firearms within the municipality or specified portions thereof, provided that an ordinance adopted under this subdivision shall be consistent with section 2295 of this title and shall not prohibit, reduce, or limit discharge at any existing sport shooting range, as that term is defined in 10 V.S.A. § 5227.

(9) To license or regulate itinerant vendors, peddlers, door-to-door salesmen, and those selling goods, wares, merchandise, or services who engage in a transient or temporary business, or who sell from an automobile, truck, wagon, or other conveyance, excepting persons selling fruits, vegetables, or other farm produce.

(10) To regulate the keeping of dogs, and to provide for their leashing, muzzling, restraint, impoundment, and destruction.

(11) To regulate, license, tax, or prohibit circuses, carnivals and menageries, and all plays, concerts, entertainments, or exhibitions of any kind for which money is received.

(12) To regulate or prohibit the storage or dumping of solid waste, as defined in 10 V.S.A. § 6602. These regulations may require the separation of specified components of the waste stream.

(13) To compel the cleaning or repair of any premises which in the judgment of the legislative body is dangerous to the health or safety of the public.

(14) To define what constitutes a public nuisance, and to provide procedures and take action for its abatement or removal as the public health, safety, or welfare may require.

(15) To provide for penalties for violation of any ordinance or rule adopted under the authority of this section.

(16) To name and rename streets and to number and renumber lots pursuant to section 4463 of this title.

(17) To regulate or prohibit possession of open or unsealed containers of alcoholic beverages in public places.

(18) To regulate or prohibit consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places.

Subdivision (19) effective until July 1, 2014; see also subdivision (19) effective July 1, 2014 set out below.

(19) To regulate the construction, alteration, development, and decommissioning or dismantling of wireless telecommunications facilities and ancillary improvements where the city, town, or village has not adopted zoning or where those activities are not regulated pursuant to a duly adopted zoning bylaw. Regulations regarding the decommissioning or dismantling of telecommunications facilities and ancillary structures may include requirements that bond be posted, or other security acceptable to the legislative body, in order to finance facility decommissioning or dismantling activities. These regulations are not intended to prohibit seamless coverage of wireless telecommunications services. With respect to the construction or alteration of wireless telecommunications facilities subject to regulation granted in this section, the town, city, or incorporated village shall vest in its local regulatory authority the power to determine whether the installation of a wireless telecommunications facility, whatever its size, will impose no impact or merely a de minimis impact on the surrounding area and the overall pattern of land development, and if the local regulatory authority, originally or on appeal, determines that the facility will impose no impact or a de minimis impact, it shall issue a permit. No ordinance authorized by this section, except to the extent structured to protect historic landmarks and structures listed on the State or National Register of Historic Places may have the purpose or effect of limiting or prohibiting a property owner's ability to place or allow placement of antennae used to transmit, receive, or transmit and receive communications signals on that property owner's premises if the aggregate area of the largest faces of the antennae is not more than eight square feet, and if the antennae and the mast to which they are attached do not extend more than 12 feet above the roof of that portion of the building to which they are attached. No ordinance under this section may regulate an improvement that is exempt from regulation under subdivision 4413(h) (telecommunications; ancillary improvements of 300 square feet or less; improvements associated with communications lines) of this title.

Subdivision (19) effective July 1, 2014; see also subdivision (19) effective until July 1, 2014 set out above.

(19) To regulate the construction, alteration, development, and decommissioning or dismantling of wireless telecommunications facilities and ancillary improvements where the city, town, or village has not adopted zoning or where those activities are not regulated pursuant to a duly adopted zoning bylaw. Regulations regarding the decommissioning or dismantling of telecommunications facilities and ancillary structures may include requirements that bond be posted, or other security acceptable to the legislative body, in order to finance facility decommissioning or dismantling activities. These regulations are not intended to prohibit seamless coverage of wireless telecommunications services. With respect to the construction or alteration of wireless telecommunications facilities subject to regulation granted in this section, the town, city, or incorporated village shall vest in its local regulatory authority the power to determine whether the installation of a wireless telecommunications facility, whatever its size, will impose no impact or merely a de minimis impact on the surrounding area and the overall pattern of land development, and if the local regulatory authority, originally or on appeal, determines that the facility will impose no impact or a de minimis impact, it shall issue a permit. No ordinance authorized by this section, except to the extent structured to protect historic landmarks and structures listed on the State or National Register of Historic Places may have the purpose or effect of limiting or prohibiting a property owner's ability to place or allow placement of antennae used to transmit, receive, or transmit and receive communications signals on that property owner's premises if the aggregate area of the largest faces of the antennae is not more than eight square feet, and if the antennae and the mast to which they are attached do not extend more than 12 feet above the roof of that portion of the building to which they are attached.

(20) To establish a conflict of interest policy to apply to all elected and appointed officials of the town, city, or incorporated village.

(21) To regulate, by means of a civil ordinance adopted pursuant to chapter 59 of this title, subject to the limitations of 13 V.S.A. § 351b and the requirement of 13 V.S.A. § 354(a), and consistent with the rules adopted by the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets, pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 352b(a), the welfare of animals in the municipality. Such ordinance may be enforced by humane officers as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 351, if authorized to do so by the municipality.

(22) To regulate the sale and conveyance of sewage capacity to users, including phasing provisions and other conditions based on the impact of residential, commercial, or industrial growth within a town, in accord with principles in a duly adopted town plan.

(23) Acting individually or in concert with other towns, cities, or incorporated villages and pursuant to subchapter 2 of chapter 87 of this title, to incur indebtedness for or otherwise finance by any means permitted under chapter 53 of this title projects relating to renewable energy, as defined in 30 V.S.A. § 8002(17), or to eligible energy efficiency projects undertaken by owners of real property within the boundaries of the town, city, or incorporated village. Energy efficiency projects shall be those that are eligible under section 3267 of this title.

(24) Upon the determination by a municipal building inspector, health officer, or fire marshal that a building within the boundaries of the town, city, or incorporated village is uninhabitable, to recover all expenses incident to the maintenance of the uninhabitable building with the expenses to constitute a lien on the property in the same manner and to the same extent as taxes assessed on the grand list, and all procedures and remedies for the collection of taxes shall apply to the collection of those expenses; provided, however, that the town, city, or incorporated village has adopted rules to determine the habitability of a building, including provisions for notice in accordance with 32 V.S.A. § 5252(3) to the building's owner prior to incurring expenses and including provisions for an administrative appeals process.

(25) To regulate by means of an ordinance or bylaw development in a flood hazard area, river corridor protection area, or other hazard area consistent with the requirements of section 4424 of this title and the National Flood Insurance Program. Such an ordinance or bylaw may regulate accessory dwelling units in flood hazard and fluvial erosion areas. (Added 1969, No. 170 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. March 2, 1970; amended 1977, No. 61, § 2; 1987, No. 70, eff. June 2, 1987; 1991, No. 108, § 1; 1993, No. 211 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. June 17, 1994; 1997, No. 94 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 15, 1998; 1999, No. 82 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2001, No. 82 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2003, No. 63, § 51, eff. June 11, 2003; 2005, No. 173 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 22, 2006; 2007, No. 79, § 14, eff. June 9, 2007; 2007, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 19; 2009, No. 45, § 15g; 2009, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. June 4, 2010; 2011, No. 53, §§ 14a, 14d(2), eff. May 27, 2011; 2011, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. May 14, 2012; 2011, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2013, No. 16, § 6, eff. May 6, 2013.)