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Municipal tools for addressing housing needs

First steps

  • Conduct an analysis to determine need for housing
  • Draft a robust and accurate housing component in the town plan
  • Develop a vision for development and update zoning and subdivision bylaws to implement it

Non-regulatory tools

  • Participate in Regional Planning – know what neighboring towns are doing
  • Help identify important land within the community and identify opportunities for housing development or redevelopment.
  • Consider donating or selling municipal land for housing development
  • Strongly support housing projects throughout the development process
  • Apply for VT Community Development Program funding for developers
  • Promote accessory dwelling units (ADU)
  • Create an active housing commission within the town charged with continual attention to the issue
  • Create Housing Trust Fund
  • Promote affordable homeownership through Shared Equity Model (via Community Land Trusts) and sweat equity programs. 
  • Apply for state designation (Downtown, Neighborhood, etc.) to trigger incentives for the housing developer
  • Help the community visualize density
  • Set targets for the number of units or portion of housing stock affordable to low and moderate income households.

Regulatory tools

When reviewing permit applications:

  • Abide by stated density or “as of right development” in locations suitable for housing

When updating bylaws:

  • Create/expand a density bonus for affordable housing or offer lot coverage and height bonuses Look closely at total local permitting costs for housing development and the impact on the price of housing
  • Same with infrastructure requirements (roads, lighting, recreation, curbs) Consider timing of high cost plans and reviews
  • Waive/reduce impact fees
  • Be as flexible as possible with parking for housing and update outdated regulations
  • Consider housing replacement/retention requirements
  • Consider creating local rental codes, or local enforcement of state codes
  • Adopt “on the record” review to reduce the cost of appeals for the developer
  • Adopt Inclusionary Zoning (IZ)
  • More...