City of Burlington, Vermont City of Burlington, Vermont

City Hall, 149 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401
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What's New?

  • As prescribed in planBTV, we are now working on a new set of zoning regulations for the downtown and waterfront. The model we are following is called a Form-Based Code. We are now beginning to make public presentations on what Form-Based Codes are, what they do and how they work. Make sure to attend one of them! So far, here is what we have scheduled:
    • Ward 2/3 - Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 7:50pm - Multi-Generational Center on Winooski Avenue.
    • Chamber of Commerce Policy COmmittee - Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 8:30am - Location TBD.
    • Ward 5 - Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 7:10pm - Department of Public Works, Pine Street
    • Ward 4/7 - Wednesday, June 25 at 6:30pm - Miller Center, Gosse Court
    • BBA Board - Thursday, June 26 at 8:00am - Location TBD.
    • More dates coming soon...
  • The City Council unanimously adopted planBTV: Downtown and Waterfront Master Plan at their June 10, 2013 meeting! Congratulations and thanks to all who have provided their input and participated in the planning process for the past 2 years. NOW let's all work on implementation together!

This website is devoted to keeping Burlingtonians aware of and engaged in PlanBTV - Downtown & Waterfront. Here you can:

Why are We Doing This?

The development of a land use and development plan for Burlington's Downtown and Waterfront has been a long-standing action item in the City Municipal Development Plan since at least 1996. (See 2006 Burlington Municipal Development Plan, Page I-31). In September 2009, the City Planning Commission and Department of Planning and Zoning were directed by the City Council to develop a scope of work, timeline, and budget for such a project. While many other planning efforts involving the downtown or waterfront have taken place over the years, none have been as comprehensive in scope and strategic in design.

In the Fall 2010, the City of Burlington was awarded a Sustainable Communities Challenge Grant by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which provides a unique opportunity to invest in the future, and advance Burlington's place as one of America's most livable and sustainable communities. Burlington struggles to address complex urban challenges in a small, under-resourced New England community with big ideas and even bigger ideals. We struggle with how to really become the community we say we want to be.

The plan will refine broad city-wide goals for sustainable development into focused, actionable, area-specific strategies to ensure the vitality of the central core of our community and enable us to achieve our community vision. The planning process will place an emphasis on ways to promote and improve mixed uses and quality urban design, affordable and workforce housing, transportation and parking management, and the quality and capacity of public infrastructure. Our intent is to identify, understand, and address current barriers to the creation of new infill development. At the same time we need to make the hard decisions necessary to facilitate the continued evolution and maturation of this vital and dynamic mixed use district.

The planning process we are about to undertake will help us address many questions regarding the future of Burlington's Downtown and Waterfront including:

  • How to encourage and accommodate infill development on under-utilized sites - particularly for workforce housing and office uses?
  • How to enhance Burlington's economic vitality and build upon our creative and entrepreneurial spirit?
  • How to support additional development without compromising important views and Burlington's character and scale?
  • How to balance mitigation of traffic congestion and parking demand with desires for expanded public transit?
  • How to leverage future downtown development to facilitate and support expanded public transit service and vice-versa?
  • What kinds of waterfront activities and improvements can we encourage without compromising public access to the lakeshore?
  • What land-side improvements are necessary to support future harbor activities?
  • What public investments can we make that improve lake quality, reduce stormwater overflows, save energy, and improve traffic flow and safety?
  • How to encourage and support more "green" building and development?
  • How to grow smarter and use our compact mixed-use urban form as a tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
- Departments of the City of Burlington -