Property Owner’s Permit Guide
The project was initiated after the Town received public requests for improved local permitting process guidance and explanation for what the purpose is for new zoning regulations addressing river corridors, forest blocks and wildlife corridors. The Selectboard appointed a committee of landowners and business owners to develop a permit guide, mirrored on the State of Vermont's "Do you need a State Permit?"
A draft guide was completed by the committee and $1,500 through the VNRC Small Grants for Smart Growth allowed the hiring of a consultant to add graphics, refine the language to include Smart Growth objectives and provide "Pro Tips" to assist landowners in the permitting process. Providing the "reasons behind" the adoption of the new local bylaws was seen as critical encouraging bylaw compliance, pre-application environmental research and reducing the risk of landowners investing in a project inefficiently.
Agricultural Land, Bylaws, Forest Land, Land Management, Land Protection, Outreach, Town Plan, wildlife
The project resulted in two main products - information sheets for an update to the town website (and to be handed out at the town office) and a permit guide pamphlet focusing on smart growth objectives described in the Municipal Comprehensive Plan and local zoning bylaw.
Kate Lalley, Consultant
Hyde Park Permit Guide Committee
Vermont Natural Resources Council
Volunteer citizen involvement and short-term commitment
A clear objective
Funding support to elevate the quality of the final product
Trying to distill a ton of information into a tri-fold.
Overcoming objections that Smart Growth is hurting economic development or unnecessary - some residents did not realize the SG objectives were already a part of the adopted Municipal Plan (similar to a resident giving support to local zoning, until they get denied a permit). In the end, the objectives were accepted as objecting to something that the community adopted - so those objectors might pay more attention to future notices of Municipal Plan amendments.