City Planning

What's New in City Planning

Joint Committee Considering Housing Policy Reforms

Updated: September 22, 2020

In collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, CEDO, BED, and Permitting and Inspections, City Planning staff helped to develop program and background information for the Mayor’s Housing Summit on June 11th 2019 and the follow-up on Sept. 4th, as well as serve as subject matter experts and group facilitators. Work has now turned toward preparation of specific ordinance and charter language for consideration by the Planning Commission and City Council.

City Planning is currently working with a Joint Committee of the Planning Commission and the City Council Ordinance Committee on a number of revisions to the City zoning ordinance related to:

  • Accessory Dwelling UnitsAdopted

A zoning amendment that encourages the creation of more accessory dwelling units (ADU) to support homeowners as they age in place, and provide flexible options to help owners afford and better utilize available space within their homes was adopted by the City Council on March 9, 2020. Click here to get a copy of the amendment as adopted.

  • On-Site Parking MinimumsAdopted

A zoning amendment that establishes a new "Multi-Modal Mixed Use" parking district, within which there would be no on-site minimum parking requirements for new development was adopted by the City Council on September 14, 202. The amendment also eliminates minimum on-site parking requirements for Affordable Housing, adaptive reuse of a listed historic building, and for Accessory Dwelling Units; extinguishes parking requirements for existing developments within this new district to enable greater flexibility for shared-parking; and introduces a transportation demand management requirement for projects of a defined scale within this district. Click here to get a copy of the amendment as adopted.

  • Short-Term Rentals

A zoning amendment to better define regulations for short-term rentals aimed at minimizing the potential for adverse impacts to the city housing supply yet support home owners ability to afford housing and better utilize available space is currently under discussion. Click here to learn more about this proposed amendment and its current status


COVID-19 Analytics Team

Updated: June 15, 2020

The City Planning staff was repurposed on March 13 to help form the nucleus of a team of City employees from several City departments with analytics capacity to support decision-making by the Mayor and the City's Emergency Operations Center during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our work involves:

  • Analyze a large volume of information about COVID-19 and how it is transmitted
  • Research and synthesize best practices from local efforts around the country
  • Track State and federal legislation regarding relief and recovery
  • Plan for relief strategies and community resilience
  • Analyze data on local activity, impacts, and response efforts

The Analytics Team has developed a dashboard to synthesize key information about the impacts of the pandemic, aid local officials in data-driven decision-making, and to help inform residents about our local response efforts. The dashboard is intended to complement the important and timely information that is being shared by the State of Vermont, the City's Resource and Recovery Center, and other research being conducted by the Analytics Team. The Analytics Team has also prepared a number of research memos on issues related to COVID-19. They contain a review of actions, events, case studies, and/or data based on specific requests of and research by the team. The original audience for these documents was the Mayor and/or members of the City's Emergency Operations Center, but some may have value to others in our community and beyond.

The work of the City's COVID-19 Analytics Team is regularly highlighted in the Mayor's COVID-19 Updates, and has even received some national attention - see Planning Magazine from June.


Net Zero Energy Roadmap

Updated: March 5, 2020

City Planning is working with our colleagues at BED and DPI to undertake two initiatives related to implementing the NZE Roadmap:

  • a proposed ordinance to require electrification of new development as proposed by the City Council in January; and,
  • the development of an information guide for owners of historic properties for achieving energy conservation improvements. For this, DPI staff was successful in obtaining a CLG grant of $4,207 for creating an Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings guide.