Update and Modernization of Town Zoning Bylaws

Land Use Planning and Regulation Consultant for Update and Modernization of Town Zoning Bylaws to Implement New Town Plan
Northfield, Vermont
January 6, 2022
RFQ Due on January 31, 2022


Northfield will update zoning bylaws to ensure its regulations comply with new state law and align with its recently adopted Town Plan. The Town Plan calls for revitalizing the town’s two village centers -- the Northfield Village Center and the Northfield Falls Village Center -- while protecting the unique rural character, open spaces, and working lands outside the villages. This will mean new land use standards that help to increase housing diversity and accessibility, expand economic opportunities and transportation options, and implement protections for natural, cultural, and historic resources, as detailed in the Town Plan.

Context and Background
The bylaw update project will address potential needs for changes to zoning, subdivision, and development standards throughout the town of Northfield. The changes will be based on the newly adopted town plan, and any needed changes to the current bylaws that may be identified. The Town Plan, current Zoning Bylaws and zoning maps are available at the link below.

A total of $23,920 is available for consultant services from the Municipal Planning Grant Program administered by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. The funding consists of $21,745 in MPG funds, and a town match of $2,175.

The start date is as soon as reasonably possible. Grant funding is from December 2021 to May 31, 2023. Mid-project progress report is due August 31, 2022; final report and final requisitions are due June 30, 2023.

The deliverables are the results of survey, community and Commission input; a draft bylaws document; response by community and Commission to the draft document; a final document ready for Commission and Select Board approval.

Additional Information
The Planning Commission needs a professional experienced in writing bylaws to work with the Commission, the community, and ultimately the Select Board to produce the new bylaws. The town does not have a professional planner on staff. The intended long-term outcomes are new bylaws consistent with the 2020 Town Plan, that promote both state and local goals and objectives, and that comply with state statutory standards.


All responses to the RFQ shall include the following information:

1. Cover Letter - A letter of interest for the project.

2. Statement of Qualifications and Staffing – Provide a qualifications profile of the lead consultant and sub-consultants (if applicable), including indication of the lead consultant, the proposed role of each consultant. Also provide detailed information on each consultant, including the name of the firm, year established, and contact information.

3. Summaries of relevant projects – Describe relevant experience on similar projects and list the work experience of the individuals expected to be involved in the project. Include a minimum of three (3) professional references for whom a similar project has been completed within the last ten (10) years.

4. Page Limit - The proposal, encompassing items 1-3 above, shall not exceed 15 double-sided pages (30 total pages) including cover letter, project lists and contacts.

All information submitted becomes property of the town of Northfield upon submission. The municipality reserves the right to issue supplemental information or guidelines relating to the RFQ as well as make modifications to the RFQ or withdraw the RFQ.

Respondents should submit one (1) digital copy (PDF) and (1) hard copy of the Qualifications by January 31, 2022, to:

Municipality/Local Project Manager Contact Information
Town of Northfield
Laura Hill-Eubanks, Planning Commission Chair
51 South Main Street Northfield, VT 05663
Laura Hill-Eubanks lhilleub@mindspring.com;
cc: Jeff Schulz, Town Manager jschulz@northfield.vt.us; npc@northfield.vt.us

Please expect a confirmation email upon receipt of the qualifications by the town of Northfield.  

If you have any questions about this project or the RFQ, please address them in writing either via U.S. mail or email to Laura Hill-Eubanks. We will respond to all questions in writing within 3 days. Both the question and response will be shared with the other consultants.

Selection Process
Qualifications will be reviewed by the Northfield Planning Commission. A short-list of consultants will be selected to submit detailed proposals for the project with a project approach, scope of services, schedule, and budget with details on staffing, hourly costs and overhead. Proposals will be presented by the consultants at interviews.

RFQ Schedule Summary:
Qualifications due        January 31, 2022
Consultants selected for short-list February 2, 2022
Proposals due        February 18, 2022
Interviews on        February 23, 2022
Consultant selection by        March 2, 2022
Project work to begin March 3, 2022
Complete project on or by May 31, 2023

Evaluation of Qualifications
Respondents will be evaluated according to the following factors:

1. Consultant Qualifications (experience with similar projects, ability to work with municipalities to attain desired outcomes, and knowledge of the topic) - 85%
a. Experience with drafting of town zoning bylaws.
b. Ability to effectuate project goals in a timely manner.
c. Knowledge of state requirements for local zoning regulations, zoning and planning in Vermont.
d. Understanding of zoning regulations for community planning and development and protection of natural, historic, and cultural resources.
e. Proven ability to work with committees and conduct public meetings
f. Availability to begin work on project start date

2. Quality, completeness, and clarity of submission - 15%

Interview Framework
The town of Northfield reserves the right to select the top two to three highly scored consultants and invite them for an interview. In this process, the Planning Commission will ask the respondents to give an oral presentation of their respective proposals. The purpose of this oral presentation is to provide an in-depth analysis of qualifications, experience in performing similar services, and an opportunity for the consultant to clarify or elaborate on their qualifications without restating the proposal.

The interview and presentation are merely to present facts and explanation to the Planning Commission and allow the Commission to ask targeted questions of the consultant. The interview and presentation will be held both remotely and in Northfield, Vermont. The day and time will be confirmed with the respondents prior to the meeting. All costs and expenses incurred in traveling for the purpose of interview and presentation shall be the responsibility of the consultant.

Final Consultant Selection
Following the selection process, one consultant will be selected to negotiate a final contract for services. The final scope of work with specified deliverables may be modified through negotiation of the final contract. Any expenses resulting from the interview and proposal process will be the sole responsibility of the consultant.

Contract Requirements
The consultant contract will be subject to the terms of Attachment D of the Municipal Planning Grant Agreement (Procurement Procedures and Other Grant Requirements). A sample contract meeting these requirements is available here: http://accd.vermont.gov/sites/accdnew/files/documents/CD/CPR/MPG/CPR-MPG-Sample-Contract.doc.

The complete RFQ can be accessed at the link below: