Land Use Regulation
The Planning Board in New Hampshire: A Handbook for Local Officials
This handbook is designed to serve as an introduction to the organization, powers, duties and procedures of planning boards in New Hampshire. It is a resource to acquaint board members and other interested persons with the basic responsibilities of the planning board and to suggest procedures by which the work of the board can be carried out in a fair and effective manner.
The Board of Adjustment in New Hampshire: A Handbook for Local Officials
This handbook is designed to serve as an introduction to the organization, powers, duties and procedures of boards of adjustment in New Hampshire. It is a resource to acquaint board members and other interested persons with the basic responsibilities of the board of adjustment and to suggest procedures by which the work of the board can be carried out in a fair and effective manner.
Neighborhood Heritage Districts
Neighborhood Heritage Districts offer a more flexible alternative to local Historic Districts. Their primary purpose is to protect an area's overall character rather than specific architectural features and details.
How To Prepare a Land Use Ordinance: a Manual for Local Officials
This manual is for local officials, planning committees and others in small to mid-size communities who are interested in preparing a local ordinance to implement their comprehensive plans. It contains the basic information needed to draft a land use ordinance, which legally regulates how people can use their land. How much regulation to put in place, and what to regulate, are individual decisions that have to be made in each municipality.
Reading Subdivision Plats and Site Plans
Understanding site development plans (often called “site plans” for short) and subdivision plats is essential to effectively review projects and apply local regulations. This module explains key features to look for when reading a subdivision plat or a site plan for a proposed project.
Interpreting and Applying Development Standards
The Due Process Clause of the 5th and 14th Amendments of the United States Constitution requires fairness in the drafting, application, and implementation of local land use laws. This Due Process Clause has been interpreted by courts to require land use bylaws provide measurable standards for what property owners can and cannot do with their land.
Preserving Dark Skies
When properly designed, outdoor lighting can meet a community’s needs for safety and security while helping to preserve or enhance its rural character. Lighting regulations, which may take the form of a local ordinance or provisions in a planning board’s site plan review and subdivision rules, can mitigate the impact of light pollution and encourage energy savings with little or no burden of public cost or inconvenience.
Properly executed landscaping provides a variety of ecological, community, and visual benefits including an aesthetically appealing environment, creating a balance between hard streetscapes and soft landscapes, establishing or enhancing vegetative buffers, creating rain gardens to abate stormwater impacts, promoting native and water efficient plantings, and protecting and enhancing wildlife habitat.
Chapter 6 of the
Implementation Manual. In the past twenty-five years—in large part in response to the national “franchising” of local landscapes through formulaic architecture—there has been renewed interest in regulating the design of development to protect the character and sense of place that is unique to each community.
12 of the
Implementation Manual. Vermont, as in many other rural states, has a long tradition of people who work from their homes. Where houses are widely scattered, home occupations usually cause little concern. However, as residential lots get smaller, the likelihood that home occupations may negatively affect surrounding properties increases. Municipalities then find the need to establish regulations that protect residential neighborhoods.
Land Use & Development Regulations
Implementation Manual. Regulations can include municipal bylaws or land use regulations adopted under the Vermont Planning and Development Act (24 V.S.A. Chapter 117), as well as municipal ordinances enacted under other chapters of Title 24, such as local housing and building codes and health, road, sign, wastewater, and impact fee ordinances.
Implementation Manual. One of the primary purposes of zoning regulation is to prevent one land use from adversely affecting adjacent or nearby uses. Potential problems can be controlled at the source by regulating the operation or “performance” of a use through performance standards applied under zoning, or under separately adopted nuisance ordinances.
Planned Unit Development
Chapter 22 of the Implementation Manual. Planned Unit Development (PUD) is a tool municipalities use to encourage or require flexibility, creativity, and innovation in the planning and design of development to achieve a variety of objectives. Under the PUD concept, a municipality can provide for planned development that incorporates a variety of uses, including a mix of housing types, as well as other uses that might not otherwise be allowed under zoning. PUDs can also be used to encourage or require clustered development and are increasingly used in more rural settings to protect farmland and open space.
Chapter 30 of the Implementation Manual. Zoning is used to regulate the location, type, and density of development within a community through the delineation of one or more zones or zoning districts, as depicted on a zoning map.
Performance Standards for Large Scale Developments
The purpose of this report is to ensure that new development that does take place will reflect the positive characteristics of their host communities. Large scale development performance standards are designed to be integrated into the performance standard section of a town’s existing site plan review ordinance. If a project meets the definition of a large scale development, it would need to comply with all applicable performance standards in order to be approved by the planning board. The performance standards are intended to be as objective as possible because it is important for both the developer and the planning board to have a common understanding of how they can be satisfied.
Regulating Adult Entertainment Establishments in Maine
Any Maine town may regulate the operation of adult businesses through zoning irrespective of whether the town has an adopted comprehensive plan. This publication includes a discussion of issues related to regulation of adult businesses and a model ordinance.
Rules of Procedure and Ethics Manual
Vermont’s municipal zoning boards operate at varying levels of complexity and formality. In light of this, we have developed two models that meet the statutory requirement for rules of procedure and ethics with respect to conflicts of interest.
The New Models Project for Commercial and Industrial Development
The purpose of the project is to develop effective new models for commercial and industrial development that reinforce Vermont’s policy favoring growth within compact settlements, separated by rural countryside; and to recommend ways that these models can be implemented through policy changes, including land use laws and regulations, development and infrastructure planning, funding and financing mechanisms, and public education programs, along with better planning and incentives.
Growing Smarter – Best Site Planning for Residential, Commercial & Industrial Development
This handbook provides communities, developers, nonprofit groups and others interested in smart growth with a set of best development practices for residential, commercial and industrial development — practices that characterize and promote “smart growth” as a viable alternative to sprawl. Also presented is a summary of best development processes for addressing common barriers to smart growth.
Site Plan Review Handbook: A Guide to Developing a Site Plan Review System
This handbook is designed to provide Maine communities with the tools to review proposals for nonresidential and multifamily residential development. Part A of the handbook is designed to familiarize the reader with site plan review. Part B is designed to help local planners craft site plan review provisions that meet their community’s needs. A model basic site plan review ordinance is included as Appendix A.