Frequently Asked Questions

Attorney’s Office

<p>The City Attorney’s Office serves as in-house counsel to the City of Burlington as a municipal corporation.</p>

You must fill out a request form and file it in the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office within 30 days of receipt of the landlord’s notice of withholding. The request form is available at the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office at City Hall, the Department of Code Enforcement on Pine Street or online at: http://www.burlingtonvt.gov/codeenforcement

The City Attorney’s Office does not provide interpretations and suggests consulting with a private attorney.

You can contact the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office located on the second floor of City Hall for a copy of an ordinance or view the municipal code at: http://www.codepublishing.com/vt/burlington

Parking ticket payments are only accepted at the Burlington Police Department. Payment (with the ticket) can be mailed to: Burlington Police Dept Attn: Parking Tickets 1 North Avenue Burlington, VT, 05401 Or payments may be dropped off in person to the same address Mon.-Fri., 7am-4:15pm, or in the after hours mail slot in the Administration entrance vestibule. Credit card payments can be made by calling the Police Department at (802) 540-2380.

No, you must submit a written request.

Follow the directions on the back of the ticket. You must mark your plea, sign the ticket and submit it to: Vermont Judicial Bureau PO Box 607 White River Junction, VT 05001 You must pay the ticket or deliver a plea within 20 days to the Vermont Judicial Bureau.

I am a resident of Burlington and need legal advice, can I speak with the City Attorney about my situation?

No, the City Attorney does not provide legal advice to the public. The Vermont Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service can put you in contact with a private attorney. They can be reached at (800) 639-7036 or www.vtbar.org

Clerk/Treasurer's Office

<p>Finance, elections, public records, City Council proceedings, licensing, and the dissemination of public information</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

Yes, you may pay your property taxes on-line here. YOU MUST KNOW YOUR PARCEL ID NUMBER. You may look up your parcel ID number here

Processing fees will apply and will be charged by our payment processor, Municipay. E-check payments will be charged a flat $1.50 fee. Credit Card payments will be charged a flat $3 for transactions under $113 or a 2.65% fee for transactions greater than $113. 

Click here for detailed instructions.

Attorney

You must fill out a request form and file it in the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office within 30 days of receipt of the landlord’s notice of withholding. The request form is available at the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office at City Hall, the Department of Code Enforcement on Pine Street or online at: http://www.burlingtonvt.gov/codeenforcement

The City Attorney’s Office does not provide interpretations and suggests consulting with a private attorney.

You can contact the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office located on the second floor of City Hall for a copy of an ordinance or view the municipal code at: http://www.codepublishing.com/vt/burlington

Parking ticket payments are only accepted at the Burlington Police Department. Payment (with the ticket) can be mailed to: Burlington Police Dept Attn: Parking Tickets 1 North Avenue Burlington, VT, 05401 Or payments may be dropped off in person to the same address Mon.-Fri., 7am-4:15pm, or in the after hours mail slot in the Administration entrance vestibule. Credit card payments can be made by calling the Police Department at (802) 540-2380.

No, you must submit a written request.

Within 30 days of the ticket date, you must submit a written request stating the reasons for appealing to: City Attorney’s Office 149 Church Street, Room 11 Burlington, VT 05401 You must include the ticket (or a copy of it), any towing receipts and other supporting documents. Make sure your request includes a current mailing address - you will receive a written response from the City Attorney’s Office.

Follow the directions on the back of the ticket. You must mark your plea, sign the ticket and submit it to: Vermont Judicial Bureau PO Box 607 White River Junction, VT 05001 You must pay the ticket or deliver a plea within 20 days to the Vermont Judicial Bureau.

I am a resident of Burlington and need legal advice, can I speak with the City Attorney about my situation?

No, the City Attorney does not provide legal advice to the public. The Vermont Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service can put you in contact with a private attorney. They can be reached at (800) 639-7036 or www.vtbar.org

CEDO

Brownfields

The issues of liability and cost are repeatedly cited in national surveys and studies as the biggest barriers to brownfields redevelopment. Until recently, there were little or no protections for 'innocent landowners' or 'bona fide prospective purchasers' i.e., parties who had no role in causing a hazardous release, but are left with owning a contamination problem. Even well-meaning parties can create huge liabilities for themselves by cleaning up contamination: ironically, they could be brought into legal actions relating to contamination that they did not originally produce. To address this issue, there are a number of recent changes in federal law that can help release innocent landowners from liability for past releases of contamination that they had no part of. The key issue is the buyer's knowledge of conditions at the site: a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (described below) must be performed on the property in advance of closing, and the 'All Appropriate Inquiry' process completed. Many states have also been responding to the liability problem by enacting voluntary cleanup programs with liability relief provisions. New insurance products are also being created and implemented. Despite these changes, the cost and responsibility for assessment and cleanup often ends up with the owner/developer, and are often totally out of balance with real estate values and owner affordability. In response to the cost problem, state legislatures and the federal government have enacted series of grant programs for assessment and cleanup of contaminated sites. The general concept is to promote site assessments and redevelopment, while keeping close track of the work being performed. With the creation of the EPA Brownfields Initiative in the mid-1990's, funding for assessment and cleanup became available through regionally-administered programs. Other federal resources include the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Economic Development Administration. Some liability relief and grant assistance is also available through the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation's Redevelopment of Contaminated Sites Program (RCP).

Depending on the type of substance, the size of the release, types of soils, depth to groundwater, and numerous other factors, the degree and extent of contamination is always a concern. Pollutants can move from the original source and impact other properties, sometimes hundreds of yards away. Some types of contamination (e.g., dry cleaning fluid) can last for decades, and migrate through subsurface groundwater. Petroleum compounds, on the other hand, can break down and become inert over time, but when mobilized, can cause significant environmental damage.

For a variety of reasons, more brownfield sites than ever are being identified across the country. This trend is also true in Burlington. One reason may be the significant changes in the awareness level in the real estate and banking industries. For example, before commercial real estate transactions can close, most lending institutions now require that a detailed site assessment be conducted. This was not true ten years ago, and is now standard practice. Another reason that more brownfields are being identified may be that developers now seek out contaminated sites as they see a clearer path to resolving contamination issues, due to improved federal and state legislation, funding programs, and insurance products. The most common time when a contaminated site is discovered in Burlington seems to be during a real estate transactions, when an assessment has been performed in advance of property sale and/or redevelopment. Another time when contamination is unearthed is during excavation when a previously unknown condition is found. There are also a large number of abandoned underground storage tanks (possibly several hundred city-wide) that are discovered during site assessments, ground penetrating radar surveys, and/or site excavation.

Tax Increment Financing

There is a projected surplus of approximately $12 million dollars at the end of the Waterfront TIF District life if no new projects are funded and the majority of the funds would need to be returned to the State.

The Waterfront TIF District is time-sensitive. Under current statutes, debt can only be incurred within the Waterfront TIF District until 2014. The repayment of this debt will be repaid with the increment that is collected through the end of the life of the Waterfront TIF District which is 2025. Due to the success of the Waterfront TIF district, it is projected to have a surplus at the end of the life of the district. This means that if the City did not use these TIF funds on local infrastructure and public facilities on Burlington’s waterfront, the majority of the funds would need to be returned to the State and Burlington would not receive the benefits of new infrastructure and public facilities on Burlington’s waterfront.

Both the City and State monitor the TIF district. The City's Treasurer's Office is responsible for managing the debt and incremental tax revenue. The City submits an annual report to the State Department of Taxes to report on property taxes and the incremental taxes withheld for TIF debt repayment.

The City's Treasurer's Office and the State Department of Taxes are required by statute to satisfy the various reporting requirements concerning the use and operation of the incremental tax revenue. In Burlington, TIF is considered a special revenue fund; the City has a distinct and separate fund that tracks both the TIF revenue and tracks all the payments of debt service. Only debt authorized by City Council for TIF investments is allowed to be expensed in this separate TIF fund. The Clerk/Treasurer's Office keeps a list of approved TIF debt and records all debt service payments directly to the fund. Likewise, the Treasurer's Office records the incremental property tax revenues to the TIF fund. From year to year, the revenue and debt service payments vary and do not equal each other, although they are usually close, so the fund has a running balance.

Burlington's two TIF Districts are entirely separate - both geographically and legally. The Waterfront TIF District was opened in 1996 under an old State statute. It is governed by different rules and has its own projects and investments. The Downtown TIF District is located in a portion of the Designated Downtown and is brand new under current State Statute. This has an entirely new set of project opportunities and public infrastructure needs. Please see the TIF map for boundaries of the two, separate districts.

The tax increment is the additional new property taxes generated within the TIF district above the OTV, based on the assessed value increases for properties within the TIF District during the life of the District.

A municipality establishes a TIF district within an area requiring public infrastructure to encourage public and private real property development or redevelopment. When the municipality creates the district, the existing property values for properties within the district are recorded; this is the Original Taxable Value (OTV). These properties already generate a certain amount of tax revenue for both the municipality and the State Education Tax Fund. Revenues generated by the OTV will continue to go to the taxing entities (municipal and State) throughout the life of the TIF district. However, as the property value increases due to TIF-financed improvements, so does tax revenue generated by the district as a whole - this increase is the increment. The municipality incurs debt to build public infrastructure that will allow for real property development and redevelopment to occur.

The proceeds from the bond can be used for renovating and enhancing the four sections of the Bike Path that are located in the Waterfront TIF District (essentially between Perkins Pier and the northern end of the Urban Reserve). The proceeds from the bond can be used for the construction of the Waterfront Access North project which includes brownfield remediation, utility undergrounding, parking, new Skatepark, sidewalks, plantings and lighting improvements; and all the needed public improvements.

There is no impact on taxes. TIF is devised to use the incremental future property tax revenue, not additional taxes, to pay for the debt incurred to finance infrastructure improvements within the District. Incremental property tax revenue is calculated based on the increase of property values within the TIF District since the date of its creation. Past improvements have led to redevelopment of properties and the resulting increased property tax revenues fund the cost of the infrastructure, with new economic development creating growth in the tax base.

TIF is a long-term tool that uses incremental tax revenue over 20 years to repay debt. Investment debt will be repaid with the incremental tax revenue of the district, not just one particular project.

Brownfields

The issues of liability and cost are repeatedly cited in national surveys and studies as the biggest barriers to brownfields redevelopment. Until recently, there were little or no protections for 'innocent landowners' or 'bona fide prospective purchasers' i.e., parties who had no role in causing a hazardous release, but are left with owning a contamination problem. Even well-meaning parties can create huge liabilities for themselves by cleaning up contamination: ironically, they could be brought into legal actions relating to contamination that they did not originally produce. To address this issue, there are a number of recent changes in federal law that can help release innocent landowners from liability for past releases of contamination that they had no part of. The key issue is the buyer's knowledge of conditions at the site: a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (described below) must be performed on the property in advance of closing, and the 'All Appropriate Inquiry' process completed. Many states have also been responding to the liability problem by enacting voluntary cleanup programs with liability relief provisions. New insurance products are also being created and implemented. Despite these changes, the cost and responsibility for assessment and cleanup often ends up with the owner/developer, and are often totally out of balance with real estate values and owner affordability. In response to the cost problem, state legislatures and the federal government have enacted series of grant programs for assessment and cleanup of contaminated sites. The general concept is to promote site assessments and redevelopment, while keeping close track of the work being performed. With the creation of the EPA Brownfields Initiative in the mid-1990's, funding for assessment and cleanup became available through regionally-administered programs. Other federal resources include the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Economic Development Administration. Some liability relief and grant assistance is also available through the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation's Redevelopment of Contaminated Sites Program (RCP).

Depending on the type of substance, the size of the release, types of soils, depth to groundwater, and numerous other factors, the degree and extent of contamination is always a concern. Pollutants can move from the original source and impact other properties, sometimes hundreds of yards away. Some types of contamination (e.g., dry cleaning fluid) can last for decades, and migrate through subsurface groundwater. Petroleum compounds, on the other hand, can break down and become inert over time, but when mobilized, can cause significant environmental damage.

For a variety of reasons, more brownfield sites than ever are being identified across the country. This trend is also true in Burlington. One reason may be the significant changes in the awareness level in the real estate and banking industries. For example, before commercial real estate transactions can close, most lending institutions now require that a detailed site assessment be conducted. This was not true ten years ago, and is now standard practice. Another reason that more brownfields are being identified may be that developers now seek out contaminated sites as they see a clearer path to resolving contamination issues, due to improved federal and state legislation, funding programs, and insurance products. The most common time when a contaminated site is discovered in Burlington seems to be during a real estate transactions, when an assessment has been performed in advance of property sale and/or redevelopment. Another time when contamination is unearthed is during excavation when a previously unknown condition is found. There are also a large number of abandoned underground storage tanks (possibly several hundred city-wide) that are discovered during site assessments, ground penetrating radar surveys, and/or site excavation.

Tax Increment Financing

There is a projected surplus of approximately $12 million dollars at the end of the Waterfront TIF District life if no new projects are funded and the majority of the funds would need to be returned to the State.

The Waterfront TIF District is time-sensitive. Under current statutes, debt can only be incurred within the Waterfront TIF District until 2014. The repayment of this debt will be repaid with the increment that is collected through the end of the life of the Waterfront TIF District which is 2025. Due to the success of the Waterfront TIF district, it is projected to have a surplus at the end of the life of the district. This means that if the City did not use these TIF funds on local infrastructure and public facilities on Burlington’s waterfront, the majority of the funds would need to be returned to the State and Burlington would not receive the benefits of new infrastructure and public facilities on Burlington’s waterfront.

Both the City and State monitor the TIF district. The City's Treasurer's Office is responsible for managing the debt and incremental tax revenue. The City submits an annual report to the State Department of Taxes to report on property taxes and the incremental taxes withheld for TIF debt repayment.

The City's Treasurer's Office and the State Department of Taxes are required by statute to satisfy the various reporting requirements concerning the use and operation of the incremental tax revenue. In Burlington, TIF is considered a special revenue fund; the City has a distinct and separate fund that tracks both the TIF revenue and tracks all the payments of debt service. Only debt authorized by City Council for TIF investments is allowed to be expensed in this separate TIF fund. The Clerk/Treasurer's Office keeps a list of approved TIF debt and records all debt service payments directly to the fund. Likewise, the Treasurer's Office records the incremental property tax revenues to the TIF fund. From year to year, the revenue and debt service payments vary and do not equal each other, although they are usually close, so the fund has a running balance.

Burlington's two TIF Districts are entirely separate - both geographically and legally. The Waterfront TIF District was opened in 1996 under an old State statute. It is governed by different rules and has its own projects and investments. The Downtown TIF District is located in a portion of the Designated Downtown and is brand new under current State Statute. This has an entirely new set of project opportunities and public infrastructure needs. Please see the TIF map for boundaries of the two, separate districts.

The tax increment is the additional new property taxes generated within the TIF district above the OTV, based on the assessed value increases for properties within the TIF District during the life of the District.

A municipality establishes a TIF district within an area requiring public infrastructure to encourage public and private real property development or redevelopment. When the municipality creates the district, the existing property values for properties within the district are recorded; this is the Original Taxable Value (OTV). These properties already generate a certain amount of tax revenue for both the municipality and the State Education Tax Fund. Revenues generated by the OTV will continue to go to the taxing entities (municipal and State) throughout the life of the TIF district. However, as the property value increases due to TIF-financed improvements, so does tax revenue generated by the district as a whole - this increase is the increment. The municipality incurs debt to build public infrastructure that will allow for real property development and redevelopment to occur.

The proceeds from the bond can be used for renovating and enhancing the four sections of the Bike Path that are located in the Waterfront TIF District (essentially between Perkins Pier and the northern end of the Urban Reserve). The proceeds from the bond can be used for the construction of the Waterfront Access North project which includes brownfield remediation, utility undergrounding, parking, new Skatepark, sidewalks, plantings and lighting improvements; and all the needed public improvements.

There is no impact on taxes. TIF is devised to use the incremental future property tax revenue, not additional taxes, to pay for the debt incurred to finance infrastructure improvements within the District. Incremental property tax revenue is calculated based on the increase of property values within the TIF District since the date of its creation. Past improvements have led to redevelopment of properties and the resulting increased property tax revenues fund the cost of the infrastructure, with new economic development creating growth in the tax base.

TIF is a long-term tool that uses incremental tax revenue over 20 years to repay debt. Investment debt will be repaid with the incremental tax revenue of the district, not just one particular project.

Clerk/Treasurer's Office

Birth Certificates

The Clerk’s Office cannot add or remove parental names from a birth certificate. To add a parent to a birth certificate, fill out the State of Vermont Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage Form and mail it to the State Department of Health at 108 Cherry Street, P.O. Box 70 Burlington, VT 05401.

In most cases, if it is within 6 months of the actual birth you can contact the Clerk’s Office at (802) 865-7000 or fill out the Correction Form and mail it to 149 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401 Attn: Vital Records. If it is after six months, you will need to contact the Probate Court located at 175 Main Street, or call them at (802) 651-1518. Changes to a child’s last name or a parents last name also require a probate court order, regardless of the date of birth.

If the person was not born in Burlington, you must contact the town in which the person was born to receive a copy of the certificate. If you’re unsure of what town they were born in, you may contact the State of Vermont Archives to obtain any birth record of someone who was born in any town in Vermont. For information on records over 5 years old call (802) 828-3286. For those less than 5 years old contact (802) 863-7275.

No. Birth certificates are considered to be public documents by the State of Vermont. No ID is required to receive a copy of the certificate.

If you are unable to come in to the office, the quickest way is to include a pre-stamped overnight envelope with your request form . The Clerk’s Office will not pay to have it overnighted to you. Requests including an overnight envelope will be processed on the same business day they are received. Contact your local post office for more information.

You may request a copy of a birth certificate online. Once we receive the request it will be processed and mailed to you within 2-4 business days. 

You may come into the Clerk’s Office Monday-Friday between 8:00am-4:30pm to reqquest a birth certificate. or call 802-865-7000.

You can mail in the request form and simply follow the directions at the top of the page. We do not need your Social Security number to find the record. A certified copy (raised seal) of a birth certificate is $10.00 per certified copy and $2.00 for a photocopy (no raised seal). Checks can be made payable to the City of Burlington. Once we receive the request it will be processed and mailed to you within 2-4 business days.

Death Certificates

If the person passed away in another town, you must contact the town in which the person passed away to receive a copy of the certificate. If you're unsure of what town they passed away, you may also contact the State of Vermont to obtain any death record of someone who passed away in any town in Vermont; you can contact them at (802) 828-3286 for vital records over 5 years or (802) 863-7275 within 5 years of the event.

No. Death certificates are considered to be public documents by the State of Vermont. No ID is required to receive a copy of the certificate.

You may request a copy of a death certificate online. Once we receive the request it will be processed and mailed to you within 2-4 business days. 

You may come into the Clerk’s Office Monday-Friday between 8:00am-4:30pm to reqquest a death certificate. or call 802-865-7000.

You can mail in the request form and simply follow the directions at the top of the page. We do not need your Social Security number to find the record. A certified copy (raised seal) of a birth certificate is $10.00 per certified copy and $2.00 for a photocopy (no raised seal). Checks can be made payable to the City of Burlington. Once we receive the request it will be processed and mailed to you within 2-4 business days.

If you are unable to come in to the office, the quickest way is to include a pre-stamped overnight envelope with your request form . The Clerk’s Office will not pay to have it overnighted to you. Requests including an overnight envelope will be processed on the same business day they are received. Contact your local post office for more information.

Marriage Licenses

You may request a copy of a marriage certificate online. Once we receive the request it will be processed and mailed to you within 2-4 business days. 

You may come into the Clerk’s Office Monday-Friday between 8:00am-4:30pm to request a marriage certificate. or call 802-865-7000.

You can mail in the request form and simply follow the directions at the top of the page. A certified copy (raised seal) of a marriage certificate is $10.00 per certified copy and $2.00 for a photocopy (no raised seal). Checks can be made payable to the City of Burlington. Once we receive the request it will be processed and mailed to you within 2-4 business days.

By law, you must deliver the license to the person who will conduct your wedding ceremony before the marriage can be performed. After the ceremony, the person who performs the ceremony (officiant) will complete the sections concerning the date, place and officiant information, and sign your license. At that point, the license becomes a marriage certificate. The officiant must return the certificate to the town clerk’s office where it was issued within 10 days after the wedding, so that your marriage can be officially registered. If the officiant has registered with the Secretary of State as a temporary officiant, a copy of the certificate of authority is issued by the Secretary of State should be attached to the signed license and returned to the clerk’s office. The certificate is not a complete legal document until it has been recorded in the town clerk’s office where it was purchased. Any license that is back-dated to a date earlier than the date it was purchased voids the license. It is not recognized by State or Federal Government.

Your marriage can be performed by: a Supreme Court justice, a superior court judge, a district judge, justice of the peace, or an ordained or licensed member of the clergy residing in Vermont. If the officiate does not reside in Vermont, or is not recognized by the State of Vermont, they must file for a permit from a Probate Court in the county where the marriage will take place. In addition, any person over the age of 18 may register with the Secretary of State to become a temporary officiant to a marriage. For information to be a temporary officiant, please visit the Secretary of States website at http://www.sec.state.vt.us or call (802) 828-2148.

The marriage license costs $60.00, and is valid for 60 from the date it is issued. During that time period, an authorized person must perform your wedding ceremony—otherwise, the license is void. We accept cash or check. Credit cards are also accepted with a $3 processing fee. 

If neither party is a Vermont resident, you may get the marriage license application from any town clerk in the state of Vermont.

Marriage license applications are issued by Vermont town clerks. If both parties are Vermont residents, you may go to the town clerk in either of your towns of residence. If just one of you resides in a Vermont town, you must get the license in that town; you cannot buy the license in another town. If you are getting the license in Burlington you can come into the Clerk’s office anytime between the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm, Monday-Friday (we are closed for all Federal and State Holidays). Please allow for up to twenty minutes for the license to be typed.

If your husband, wife or civil union partner has died, you are free to marry. The clerk will ask the date your spouse or civil union partner died. If you are divorced, you may remarry after the date on which your previous marriage or civil union was legally dissolved. If you are partners in an existing civil union, you are free to marry one another.

Anyone under guardianship cannot marry without the guardian’s written consent. Vermont also does not allow marriages between close relatives. You cannot marry a parent, grandparent, sister, brother, child, grandchild, niece, nephew, aunt, or uncle. You cannot marry if either of you is currently married to someone else, or if either of you is joined in a civil union to someone else. The law requires that both parties be of sound mind.

Besides basic information about yourselves (name, towns of residence, places, and dates of birth), you must also provide your parent’s names, including your mother’s birth (maiden) names, and their places of birth. (Although not necessary, copies of your birth certificate can supply most of this information). Vermont law requires that at least one of you must be present to sign the license in front of a town clerk. You must bring a State or Federal ID with you to obtain the license (this includes a driver’s license, non-driver’s license, passport, etc.). You will also be asked to provide the number of previous marriages and civil unions, and how and when they ended. This information is confidential and does not become part of the marriage certificate.

Two people who are at least 18 years old can obtain a civil marriage in Vermont. If you are at least 16, but under 18, you will need consent of a parent or guardian. Your parent or guardian should go with you to the town clerk’s office to sign an affidavit giving you permission to marry. (The affidavit is on the back of the marriage license application and is a legal part of the license.) By Vermont law, no one under the age of 16 may marry in Vermont.

No. A marriage license cannot be issued through the mail, and you cannot be married by a proxy. You can download a copy of the marriage license application and have it ready for the town clerk before you arrive at their office.

Yes you do need to obtain a marriage license in order to get married in Vermont.

Dog Licenses

The fee to release a dog from impound is $75.00   ** (Burl. Ordinance 5-24 & 25)

There is also a $10.00 a day boarding fee. No dog will be released until it is properly registered.

A fee must be paid to the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office before a dog may be released from the pound.

**If a dog is impounded 3 or more times in a 12-month period, the case may be referred to the Animal Control Committee of the Police Commission. The Committee will hold a hearing to decide what, if any, action should be taken to protect the public. (Burl. Ordinance 5-27)

First Offense in a 12-month period - $50-$100.00 Second Offense in a 12-month period - $100–$200.00 Third and subsequent offense in a 12-month period- $200-$500

The first thing to do is talk to your neighbor about the situation. If you do not get a satisfactory response from your neighbor, you can call the Police Department at 658-2700. (Burlington Ordinance 5-4)

Generally two things can happen – you may receive a municipal ticket and depending on the circumstances, your dog may be impounded.

Please bring your pooper scoopers with you when you go for walks so it doesn't end up on the bottom of someone’s shoes. (Burl. Ordinance 5-4 & 17) Cleaning up after your dog, also helps to keep Lake Champlain clean. Read more about how dog droppings affect the Lake on the "Rethink Runoff" campaign website. (Burl. Ordinance 5 – 13 & 14)

  • Spayed/Neutered  >  $27.00*
  • Unspayed/Unneutered  >  $47.00*
  • Service Dog   >  License Fee Waived

 

            * After April 1st Fees for non-service dogs increase $2.00 to $29/$49

All you have to do is bring a copy of your up to date rabies certificate (by law the City must have a copy of it on file) and also a copy of your spaying/neutering certificate if applicable, to the Clerk/Treasurer's Office. You will then be issued a license tag. We start registering dogs in January for the new year. If you are purchasing a license between January 2nd and April 1st, you will need a rabies certificate with an expiration date of April 1st or after for the current licensing year. To license your dog by mail, send the up to date rabies certificate, a check for applicable fees, and a self addressed stamped envelope to: City of Burlington, Attn: Dog Licenses, 149 Church St., Burlington, VT 05401.

State Law Requires Collars & Tags On All Dogs. Every Dog Must Be Licensed In The Town It Resides In (VSA 20-3581).

Property Taxes

Failure to pay any outstanding FY2018 property taxes by Friday, June 22, 2018 will cause your account to become delinquent. Payments must be received in the Clerk Treasurer's Office by 4:30pm on June 22, 2018 or postmarked by no later than Friday, June 22, 2018. June 23, 2018 and later postmaks by the US Post Office or payments left at City Hall or paid online after June 22, 2018 will be late and cause your account to become delinquent and placed on the delinquent tax warrant. You will be charged a onetime 8% (eight percent) Delinquent Penalty fee and a $1.00 Warrant Fee on any outstanding taxes, and any interest already accrued for this fiscal year will still be due. If the outstanding amount includes your fourth quarter tax installment, you will be charged an additionl 4% (four percent) interest on the installment amount. 

You have the right to appeal the penalty to the Board of Abatement of Taxes. However, interest will continue to be added to any delinquent taxes

No, but envelopes postmarked on or before the due date will be accepted without penalty.

Tax bills are mailed each year in July

You will need to fill out a Change of Mailing Address Form and return it to the Assessor's Office.

Yes, you may pay your property taxes on-line here. YOU MUST KNOW YOUR PARCEL ID NUMBER. You may look up your parcel ID number here

Processing fees will apply and will be charged by our payment processor, Municipay. E-check payments will be charged a flat $1.50 fee. Credit Card payments will be charged a flat $3 for transactions under $113 or a 2.65% fee for transactions greater than $113. 

Click here for detailed instructions.

When the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, payments will be accepted without penalty until the next business day.

Property taxes can be paid in person at the Clerk/Treasurer's Office, by mail, or through automatic tax payments. Checks and Money Orders should be made payable to the City of Burlington.

Payments can be mailed to:
City of Burlington
Attn: Property Taxes
PO Box 22086
Albany, NY 12201-2086

Property taxes are divided into quarterly payments. Payments are due on the 12th of August, November, March, and June each year. In the event that the 12th falls on a weekend, payments are due the next business day.

Birth Certificates

The Clerk’s Office cannot add or remove parental names from a birth certificate. To add a parent to a birth certificate, fill out the State of Vermont Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage Form and mail it to the State Department of Health at 108 Cherry Street, P.O. Box 70 Burlington, VT 05401.

In most cases, if it is within 6 months of the actual birth you can contact the Clerk’s Office at (802) 865-7000 or fill out the Correction Form and mail it to 149 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401 Attn: Vital Records. If it is after six months, you will need to contact the Probate Court located at 175 Main Street, or call them at (802) 651-1518. Changes to a child’s last name or a parents last name also require a probate court order, regardless of the date of birth.

If the person was not born in Burlington, you must contact the town in which the person was born to receive a copy of the certificate. If you’re unsure of what town they were born in, you may contact the State of Vermont Archives to obtain any birth record of someone who was born in any town in Vermont. For information on records over 5 years old call (802) 828-3286. For those less than 5 years old contact (802) 863-7275.

No. Birth certificates are considered to be public documents by the State of Vermont. No ID is required to receive a copy of the certificate.

If you are unable to come in to the office, the quickest way is to include a pre-stamped overnight envelope with your request form . The Clerk’s Office will not pay to have it overnighted to you. Requests including an overnight envelope will be processed on the same business day they are received. Contact your local post office for more information.

You may request a copy of a birth certificate online. Once we receive the request it will be processed and mailed to you within 2-4 business days. 

You may come into the Clerk’s Office Monday-Friday between 8:00am-4:30pm to reqquest a birth certificate. or call 802-865-7000.

You can mail in the request form and simply follow the directions at the top of the page. We do not need your Social Security number to find the record. A certified copy (raised seal) of a birth certificate is $10.00 per certified copy and $2.00 for a photocopy (no raised seal). Checks can be made payable to the City of Burlington. Once we receive the request it will be processed and mailed to you within 2-4 business days.

Death Certificates

If the person passed away in another town, you must contact the town in which the person passed away to receive a copy of the certificate. If you're unsure of what town they passed away, you may also contact the State of Vermont to obtain any death record of someone who passed away in any town in Vermont; you can contact them at (802) 828-3286 for vital records over 5 years or (802) 863-7275 within 5 years of the event.

No. Death certificates are considered to be public documents by the State of Vermont. No ID is required to receive a copy of the certificate.

You may request a copy of a death certificate online. Once we receive the request it will be processed and mailed to you within 2-4 business days. 

You may come into the Clerk’s Office Monday-Friday between 8:00am-4:30pm to reqquest a death certificate. or call 802-865-7000.

You can mail in the request form and simply follow the directions at the top of the page. We do not need your Social Security number to find the record. A certified copy (raised seal) of a birth certificate is $10.00 per certified copy and $2.00 for a photocopy (no raised seal). Checks can be made payable to the City of Burlington. Once we receive the request it will be processed and mailed to you within 2-4 business days.

If you are unable to come in to the office, the quickest way is to include a pre-stamped overnight envelope with your request form . The Clerk’s Office will not pay to have it overnighted to you. Requests including an overnight envelope will be processed on the same business day they are received. Contact your local post office for more information.

Marriage Licenses

You may request a copy of a marriage certificate online. Once we receive the request it will be processed and mailed to you within 2-4 business days. 

You may come into the Clerk’s Office Monday-Friday between 8:00am-4:30pm to request a marriage certificate. or call 802-865-7000.

You can mail in the request form and simply follow the directions at the top of the page. A certified copy (raised seal) of a marriage certificate is $10.00 per certified copy and $2.00 for a photocopy (no raised seal). Checks can be made payable to the City of Burlington. Once we receive the request it will be processed and mailed to you within 2-4 business days.

By law, you must deliver the license to the person who will conduct your wedding ceremony before the marriage can be performed. After the ceremony, the person who performs the ceremony (officiant) will complete the sections concerning the date, place and officiant information, and sign your license. At that point, the license becomes a marriage certificate. The officiant must return the certificate to the town clerk’s office where it was issued within 10 days after the wedding, so that your marriage can be officially registered. If the officiant has registered with the Secretary of State as a temporary officiant, a copy of the certificate of authority is issued by the Secretary of State should be attached to the signed license and returned to the clerk’s office. The certificate is not a complete legal document until it has been recorded in the town clerk’s office where it was purchased. Any license that is back-dated to a date earlier than the date it was purchased voids the license. It is not recognized by State or Federal Government.

Your marriage can be performed by: a Supreme Court justice, a superior court judge, a district judge, justice of the peace, or an ordained or licensed member of the clergy residing in Vermont. If the officiate does not reside in Vermont, or is not recognized by the State of Vermont, they must file for a permit from a Probate Court in the county where the marriage will take place. In addition, any person over the age of 18 may register with the Secretary of State to become a temporary officiant to a marriage. For information to be a temporary officiant, please visit the Secretary of States website at http://www.sec.state.vt.us or call (802) 828-2148.

The marriage license costs $60.00, and is valid for 60 from the date it is issued. During that time period, an authorized person must perform your wedding ceremony—otherwise, the license is void. We accept cash or check. Credit cards are also accepted with a $3 processing fee. 

If neither party is a Vermont resident, you may get the marriage license application from any town clerk in the state of Vermont.

Marriage license applications are issued by Vermont town clerks. If both parties are Vermont residents, you may go to the town clerk in either of your towns of residence. If just one of you resides in a Vermont town, you must get the license in that town; you cannot buy the license in another town. If you are getting the license in Burlington you can come into the Clerk’s office anytime between the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm, Monday-Friday (we are closed for all Federal and State Holidays). Please allow for up to twenty minutes for the license to be typed.

If your husband, wife or civil union partner has died, you are free to marry. The clerk will ask the date your spouse or civil union partner died. If you are divorced, you may remarry after the date on which your previous marriage or civil union was legally dissolved. If you are partners in an existing civil union, you are free to marry one another.

Anyone under guardianship cannot marry without the guardian’s written consent. Vermont also does not allow marriages between close relatives. You cannot marry a parent, grandparent, sister, brother, child, grandchild, niece, nephew, aunt, or uncle. You cannot marry if either of you is currently married to someone else, or if either of you is joined in a civil union to someone else. The law requires that both parties be of sound mind.

Besides basic information about yourselves (name, towns of residence, places, and dates of birth), you must also provide your parent’s names, including your mother’s birth (maiden) names, and their places of birth. (Although not necessary, copies of your birth certificate can supply most of this information). Vermont law requires that at least one of you must be present to sign the license in front of a town clerk. You must bring a State or Federal ID with you to obtain the license (this includes a driver’s license, non-driver’s license, passport, etc.). You will also be asked to provide the number of previous marriages and civil unions, and how and when they ended. This information is confidential and does not become part of the marriage certificate.

Two people who are at least 18 years old can obtain a civil marriage in Vermont. If you are at least 16, but under 18, you will need consent of a parent or guardian. Your parent or guardian should go with you to the town clerk’s office to sign an affidavit giving you permission to marry. (The affidavit is on the back of the marriage license application and is a legal part of the license.) By Vermont law, no one under the age of 16 may marry in Vermont.

No. A marriage license cannot be issued through the mail, and you cannot be married by a proxy. You can download a copy of the marriage license application and have it ready for the town clerk before you arrive at their office.

Yes you do need to obtain a marriage license in order to get married in Vermont.

Dog Licenses

The fee to release a dog from impound is $75.00   ** (Burl. Ordinance 5-24 & 25)

There is also a $10.00 a day boarding fee. No dog will be released until it is properly registered.

A fee must be paid to the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office before a dog may be released from the pound.

**If a dog is impounded 3 or more times in a 12-month period, the case may be referred to the Animal Control Committee of the Police Commission. The Committee will hold a hearing to decide what, if any, action should be taken to protect the public. (Burl. Ordinance 5-27)

First Offense in a 12-month period - $50-$100.00 Second Offense in a 12-month period - $100–$200.00 Third and subsequent offense in a 12-month period- $200-$500

The first thing to do is talk to your neighbor about the situation. If you do not get a satisfactory response from your neighbor, you can call the Police Department at 658-2700. (Burlington Ordinance 5-4)

Generally two things can happen – you may receive a municipal ticket and depending on the circumstances, your dog may be impounded.

Please bring your pooper scoopers with you when you go for walks so it doesn't end up on the bottom of someone’s shoes. (Burl. Ordinance 5-4 & 17) Cleaning up after your dog, also helps to keep Lake Champlain clean. Read more about how dog droppings affect the Lake on the "Rethink Runoff" campaign website. (Burl. Ordinance 5 – 13 & 14)

  • Spayed/Neutered  >  $27.00*
  • Unspayed/Unneutered  >  $47.00*
  • Service Dog   >  License Fee Waived

 

            * After April 1st Fees for non-service dogs increase $2.00 to $29/$49

All you have to do is bring a copy of your up to date rabies certificate (by law the City must have a copy of it on file) and also a copy of your spaying/neutering certificate if applicable, to the Clerk/Treasurer's Office. You will then be issued a license tag. We start registering dogs in January for the new year. If you are purchasing a license between January 2nd and April 1st, you will need a rabies certificate with an expiration date of April 1st or after for the current licensing year. To license your dog by mail, send the up to date rabies certificate, a check for applicable fees, and a self addressed stamped envelope to: City of Burlington, Attn: Dog Licenses, 149 Church St., Burlington, VT 05401.

State Law Requires Collars & Tags On All Dogs. Every Dog Must Be Licensed In The Town It Resides In (VSA 20-3581).

Property Taxes

Failure to pay any outstanding FY2018 property taxes by Friday, June 22, 2018 will cause your account to become delinquent. Payments must be received in the Clerk Treasurer's Office by 4:30pm on June 22, 2018 or postmarked by no later than Friday, June 22, 2018. June 23, 2018 and later postmaks by the US Post Office or payments left at City Hall or paid online after June 22, 2018 will be late and cause your account to become delinquent and placed on the delinquent tax warrant. You will be charged a onetime 8% (eight percent) Delinquent Penalty fee and a $1.00 Warrant Fee on any outstanding taxes, and any interest already accrued for this fiscal year will still be due. If the outstanding amount includes your fourth quarter tax installment, you will be charged an additionl 4% (four percent) interest on the installment amount. 

You have the right to appeal the penalty to the Board of Abatement of Taxes. However, interest will continue to be added to any delinquent taxes

No, but envelopes postmarked on or before the due date will be accepted without penalty.

Tax bills are mailed each year in July

You will need to fill out a Change of Mailing Address Form and return it to the Assessor's Office.

Yes, you may pay your property taxes on-line here. YOU MUST KNOW YOUR PARCEL ID NUMBER. You may look up your parcel ID number here

Processing fees will apply and will be charged by our payment processor, Municipay. E-check payments will be charged a flat $1.50 fee. Credit Card payments will be charged a flat $3 for transactions under $113 or a 2.65% fee for transactions greater than $113. 

Click here for detailed instructions.

When the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, payments will be accepted without penalty until the next business day.

Property taxes can be paid in person at the Clerk/Treasurer's Office, by mail, or through automatic tax payments. Checks and Money Orders should be made payable to the City of Burlington.

Payments can be mailed to:
City of Burlington
Attn: Property Taxes
PO Box 22086
Albany, NY 12201-2086

Property taxes are divided into quarterly payments. Payments are due on the 12th of August, November, March, and June each year. In the event that the 12th falls on a weekend, payments are due the next business day.

Public Works

Construction Permits

Generated at the time Zoning Permit’s (ZP) are approved electronic building Application pending are attached as a placeholder.  Once generated it remains attached to that ZP waiting for the applicant to act as part of meeting the ZP’s Standard Conditions (1& 2) requirements.  Once the applicant meets with the Building Inspector it will be determined by the Building Official with making the change and turning that placeholder into a legal document, supporting the structural and life safety requirements for that project and use classification in that area. 

Please confirm all conditions on all permits secured to avoid misunderstandings and penalties supporting clean and clear record keeping on your property.   

 

 

Supported by the State & City agreement, State Permits specific to structural or life safety (building, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, Sprinkler, Fire Alarm, Suppression, etc.,) are not required in the City of Burlington City limits, only Burlington permits supported by the City of Burlington Code of ordinances.  

For all HUD Certified Mobile Homes land use (Zoning) permits (ZP) are required but not limited to for lot coverage, change of use, and exterior changes.  Located at 149 Church Street (City Hall) you may contact them directly at ((802) 865-7188) for their directions and approvals.  Attached to the ZP requires a Building (i.e., building, plumbing/mechanical, electrical, etc.,) Permits for the support of but not limited to; foundation/slab, anchoring system, heating fuel connections, connections to the public water & electrical systems. All open permits must be closed by way of on-site approved inspections.

Finding permit record activity attached to your property may be reached by following the 3 steps provided below,  OR  please call DPW/ISD Customer Service directly at (802) 863-9094 X 3 for their help and direction.

1) On the front page of the City Website select Property Database or https://www.burlingtonvt.gov

2) Select (street number) and select your property

3) Permit History Report 

The report is in date order and at the end of the report you will find the "Key to Permit Status".

Elevator car size requirements are governed by the City Fire Marshalls Office and can be found in the City of Burlington Code of Ordinances under Fire Protection & Prevention Chapter 13, section 13-61.   Please contact the City Fire Marshal Office directly ((802) 864-5577) for all information on the size of the elevator.  

All design standards must apply to all public use projects without exception.   https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/2010ADAStandards_prt.pdf

Permits are not required or fees need to be paid to increase insulation values where building materials with structural integrity remain in place.   Please visit and follow the Department of Public Service http://publicservice.vermont.gov/energy_efficiency/rbes guide specific to Vermont's Residential Building Energy Standards.

Dumpsters are allowed to be placed on the street with the proper permit approvals by the Excavation Inspector, ((802) 865-7562) located in the Department of Public Works Building at 645 Pine Street.

Ten (10) Feet.  This distance is governed in the National Fire Prevention Association Code (NFPA 1 Section 19.2.1.4) and reads as follows;  “Dumpsters & containers with an individual capacity of 1.5 cu yd’s or more shall not be stored in buildings or placed within 10 ft of combustible walls, openings or combustible roof eave lines.”

 

The City of Burlington Code of Ordinances; Chapter 21 Section 21-13 paragraph 2 (e) declarers construction noise as Noise Disturbance within the hours of 9 PM through 7 AM, seven days a week. Construction noise is considered to be and not limited to: excavation, demolition and building construction to include alterations or repairs on any part thereof on the structure or premises. The exception to this rule has been made for emergencies.

Please contact the Department of Public Works Customer Service directly at (802) 863-9094

Technical assistance is available to answer questions about the Residential and Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Standards.  Please contact the Burlington Electric Department (BED) Energy Services Division to ensure that projects meet the energy codes.  BED reviews project plans with customers and then issues an Energy Efficiency Code Compliance Memo to the Inspection Services Division.  There is no additional fee for this service. While working with BED, customers are also made aware of all additional technical assistance and cash incentives available through BED, and Vermont Gas Systems, to projects interested in exceeding the required code. Please visit BED online or call 865-7342 for more information. It is strongly recommended that you contact BED during the planning stages of the project or at the same time that your project is being reviewed through the zoning process so BED can offer the maximum level of technical assistance and cash incentives.

The Inspection Services Division of the Department of Public Works issues building permits. The Public Works office is located at 645 Pine Street, at the intersection with Lakeside Avenue.

For all the right reasons the inspectors requires the owner or the owners authorized representative (contractors) on site during inspections. This also streamlines the process, provides that opportunity to act on what needs to take place without additional delays to include need for re-inspections.

For questions concerning construction permit activity on a property, (i.e., application pending, historic, open, pending approval, awaiting payment, closed, etc.,) please contact DPW/ISD Customer Service directly at (802) 863-9094 x 3.   For all technical aspects on the construction details, please contact that inspector appointed to that discipline.  https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/DPW/Construction-Permits/Staff

At all times during a project permits are required to be posted in full view and at the ready upon request by the inspector.  At the end of the project the inspector of that discipline will sign and date your copy of the permit as an indication the project is complete and have for your records.

Recycling Construction Materials in the State of Vermont   

Vermont – Act 175

Act 175 is Vermont’s construction & demolition waste management law, enacted to reduce waste from commercial development projects that would otherwise end up in landfills. The law requires certain generators of construction & demolition debris to separate specific materials (drywall, metal, asphalt shingles, clean wood, plywood, and OSB) for reuse or recycling. Reusing or recycling these materials is essential for LEED projects and in most cases will save you money, even in smaller quantities.

Does Act 175 apply to my project? 

Check any of the following that apply to you:

  • The project is in Chittenden County, or otherwise within 20 miles of a facility that will recycle C&D materials listed below.
  • The project is a commercial building OR is a residential building with two or more units.
  • The project will create any of the following C&D material leftovers: drywall, metal, asphalt shingles, clean wood, plywood, or oriented strand board (OSB).
  • The project will generate enough of the material listed above to fill a 40-cubic-yard container. (For example, a roll-off dumpster that is 6’10” high and 22 feet long.)

If you selected ALL of the above, then state law requires that you make sure those C&D materials are either reused or recycled. You cannot send them to a landfill.

For more and complete information concerning Act 175 Vermont's construction & demolition waste management law please visit the Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) web site at http://cswd.net/recycling/construction-demolition-waste/.

ASBESTOS & Lead Safe Practices

Asbestos inspection/removal requirements must apply to all demolition/renovation projects and Lead Safe Work Practice requirements need to apply to all pre-1978 housing maintenance/renovation projects in the City and State.

Asbestos & Lead-based Paint Removal Permits are required by the State Department of Health.  

The City of Burlington does not require permits, only the State Department of health.  State of Vermont – Department of Health regulations require inspection for the presence of asbestos and an abatement notification/permit for asbestos removal projects in the City and State.  In addition, a Notice of Intent to demolish is required for all demolition projects.  Lead Safe Work Practices are required where applicable and that includes State and Federal Lead Safe Renovation contracting entity certification and trained workers on each construction project site.  Please contact the State of Vermont Department of Health directly for information specific to Asbestos and Lead Safe Work Practice requirements at; http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/asbestos/asbestos.aspx.

By way of check mark infront of the list provided below; You will find the required inspections and final document listed at the bottom left hand corner of your "Blue" Customer  (paper) Copy that inclues;    

  1. Foundation Inspection
  2. Underground inspection
  3. Rough inspection
  4. Final/Certificate of Occupancy Inspection
  5. Zoning Certificate of Occupancy
  6. Lead Safe Practices

Attached to all permits you will find conditions of the permit printed above the applicants signature area.  In addition and attached to all permitted projects is the Statement of Procedural Rights attached to all interested person aggrieved by the departments directive or actions.  

Permit Compliance & Conditions (NLT)

All construction done under this and any other permits issued must be in comply with the State of VT adopted Codes & Standards and Burlington’s Code of Ordinances.  Permits shall not be construed as authority to violate, cancel or set aside any of the provisions of the codes currently in affect.  Applicants must contact the department to schedule inspections of the work and obtain final project approvals.      (NLT) = Not Limited to.

Statement of Procedural Rights

Specific to the City of Burlington Code of Ordinances any owner of a building or structure or any interested person aggrieved by this department’s directive or actions respective to the BCO and codes and standards adopted by the State of VT may appeal to the Public Works Board of Appeals by requesting such appeal in writing to the Director of Public Works, 645 Pine Street, Burlington VT., within 10 days from the issuance date of any order or date determined by an inspector.   Specific requirements for an appeal can be found in BCO 8-8.

Inspections are driven by construction demand and the applicant of the permit must contact the department to schedule required inspections.  The best time to schedule an inspection is when the applicant secured the permit.   Please plan far enough ahead to keep you on your critical path and avoid special trips.  Our goal is to be on time and nothing more than 20 minutes late. Please provide the best phone number to reach you in the event we have to reschedule due to an emergency.  Where you have to cancel on that day of the inspection please call Customer Service directly at (802) 863-9094 X 3 and have them connect you directly with your inspector to have that conversation.

Less holidays and weekends, the trade inspectors have office hours between 8am &10am, M-F specifically for one on one visits with the customers seeking a permit for their project.  The goal is to limit the time to 10 minutes per customer to help make it possible to serve as many customers as possible within the two hours before leaving on field inspections.  Please have your questions and plans available and if more time is needed for your project time will be scheduled outside these hours to accommodate your needs.

Recommending contractors is not a service that this department can provide because of legal and ethical considerations.  The service that we do provide through the permit process ensures that all contractors working on your property are correctly accredited in the State of Vermont and all are held to the same standards without exception.  It is suggested by this department to ask your contractor for your copy of the permit they secured before working on your project.  If they cannot deliver the permit, it is this department’s recommendation to keep them from working until one is provided.  

The “cost of” construction includes the contractor’s profit and other costs the owner is paying for.  So the cost of construction of any project is the cost the owner is paying out of pocket for a complete project.   The “estimated” cost is merely an estimate of all costs before the project begins, an estimate to be reconciled by the actual costs that will include additional cost (i.e., change orders) accumulated over the time of the project.

Except where otherwise protected from frost, foundations and other permanent supports of buildings  and structures shall be protected by extending below the frost line is not less than 5 ft, erect on solid rock or construct "Shallow Foundation" in accordance to the American Society of Civil Engineers Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE/SEI) standards. (2015 State of VT Fire & Building Safety Code amendment to the 2015 IBC section 1809.5)

Buildings without sprinkler systems require emergency escape/rescue windows in all living and sleeping areas where a 2nd means leading to the outside is not available.  The window or door needs to be remotely located from the primary entrance into the room.  Respective to the State of Vermont Fire & Building Safety Code as adopted and amendment to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101:

Existing (replacement) emergency escape/rescue window requirements:  The clear opening of an existing means of escape (egress window) shall be:

1) Opening (bottom) sash for a wood, vinyl, aluminum or fiberglass framed window shall be a minimum of 24" H X  20" W (one dimension required to be greater than the other) to achieve a net clear opening equal to or greater than 5.0 square ft. 

2) Opening (bottom) sash for steel framed window shall be a minimum of 24” H x 20” W  with at least one dimension exceeded to provide a clear opening equal to or greater than 5.0 square ft. 

NOTE: Modifications to the existing rough opening to meet 5.0 is not acceptable but rather need to increase in size to accept the window size meeting 5.7 sq ft.    

New emergency egress/rescue window requirements:  shall be 5.7 ft2 of net clear with minimum measurements of 24" X H OR 20" x W to equal or greater than 821 square inches.  Divide the total sq inches (821) by 144 converts to square feet dimension or 5.7 ft2.    Net clear opening means the clear opening providing an absolute clear space to pass through without exception.  The maximum window height off finsh floor to sill shall not be more than 44 inches.

Height off grade:  Egress window sills shall be equal to or less than twenty (20) feet off grade.   Nationally recognized in the National Fire Protection Associations (NFPA) Safety Codes adopted 20 ft is the maximum safe distance for the first responders apparatus to reach those in danger and for those in danger to quickly escape.  

Exceptions: Means of escape windows are not required in building protected by automatic sprinkler systems, non-habitable spaces, i.e., bathrooms, kitchens, hallways or closets.   Habitable room shall mean approved living & sleeping.

Yes. In every situation where you have a higher hazard space beside, under, or over another space being occupied, a separation requirement by way of hours. The hour ratings are determined by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and refer to the maximum time for rescue and escape based on the building's design, material composition, air space, and fasteners. The minimum is one hour separation of private garages from living space, public garages from living space and other uses of the building, living space from different living spaces, etc.

In owner occupied single family homes the home owner can pull permits, perform the work and complete the inspections with the inspector.   Permits and inspections are required and all work must comply with current state and local codes and ordinances adopted.  Please contact the Burlington Electrical & Plumbing Inspector directly to confirm all requierments attached.  https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/DPW/Construction-Permits/Staff.   State of Vermont Electrical & Plumbing Licensed professionals  are required to pull permts, perform their own work and be onsite for the inspectons in all public building that includes rental single family homes. 

Plans provided by yourself and in cases submitted by professionals need to match what is being permitted.  For smaller projects, plans should show elevation and floor plans identifying all areas and materials.  For larger projects; foundation plans, additional floor plans, cut sections, etc., are required.  Contractors & owners may submit their drawings undergoing the same reviews as professionals.  Where professionals services are secured their plans are required to have their State of VT Professional seal affixed.   For full text please refer to State of VT Statute Title 26 Professions and Occupations; Chapter 3 Architects http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/chapter/26/003.  Chapter 20 Professional Engineering  http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/chapter/26/020.

NO. The City of Burlington has a long standing agreement with the State of Vermont; whereas, we (the city), handle all permitting processes, reviews, inspections and all related transactions independent from the State. Please direct all questions and send plans for review directly to this office and visit our web site at: www.burlingtonvt.gov/dpw

On site inspections by Inspection Services confirms compliance at different stages of the project.  Failure to close out permits is actionable by the code of ordinances moreso fosters uncertainties for future investors to tie your property sales up with financial or legal actions, (i.e., re-financing, selling, etc.).  Double check with both the Planning and Zoning Department and the Inspection Services Division to be sure that all your projects were closed out after the final inspection was held.  The permit applicant must contact the department to schedule all inspections of the work to obtain final approvals to closed your permits keeping your property records clean. 

Three fees may be applied to any one permit: the minimum and standard permit fee, a recording fee, and an after the fact (ATF) fee. With regards to all construction permits; please make checks payable to DPW/ISD. The minimum and standard permit fee: All permits have a minimum permit fee of twenty ($20.00) dollars when the project costs for labor and material* is less than two thousand three hundred fifty-four ($2354.00) dollars. A calculation of $8.50 is applied to every thousand ($1000.00) dollars of estimated cost of construction (ECC) that exceeds the minimum cost. For example; $3000.00 x .00850 = $25.50, etc., which keeps increasing as the ECC increases. The exception to this rule is with regards to single-family home projects and their recording fees listed below. Recording fees: It is required to file permits and related documents in the City land records. A fee of $10.00 will be charged for each document attached to that project at the time you secure your permit, in addition to the permit fee. Example, all construction permits that are required (building, electrical, heating, plumbing, fire alarm, sprinkler, etc.) will have the minimum permit fee and an $10.00 recording fee. However, when a project requires a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), both the Building Permit and C of O will require the $10.00 fee for a total of twenty ($20.00) dollars in addition to the permit fee. After the Fact Fee (ATF): This fee is applied when work has started without reviews, approvals, or permits. The calculation applied is one percent of the ECC, which is added back on to the original your permit fee calculation. This fee is never less then thirty ($30.00) dollars, thus, raising the permit fee on a basic single-family home project from twenty-seven ($27.00) to fifty-seven ($57.00) dollars. *Note: ECC is based on all materials and all labor cost associated to that project, regardless of who purchased any part thereof.

Depending on the magnitude of the project, it can take less than an hour to an entire week.  Most permits remodeling and other permits less than $10K of estimated cost of construction can take only minutes a clear description of the project attached.  Please plan far enough ahead and contact the Inspection Services Division directly for more precise time frame on getting you started.  

Complete and signed permit appications are required to secure a construction permits for all projects.  The application supports what you are requesting and what DPW/ISD is permitting to who and for what that includes date and time stamp protecting your investment involved.    Our goal is to keep your project in check, on schedule for it to start on the day you have planned.

Alterations and repairs to what exisits that meet and exceed one thousand ($1000.00) dollars requires a permit or fees to be paid. “Repairs” shall be defined as patching, restoration, or painting of materials, elements, equipment or fixtures for the purpose of maintaining such materials, elements, equipment or fixtures in good or sound condition. 

Both in-ground and above ground pool installations & removals need a Zoning Permit (land use / lot coverage) and building permits (life safety) to include electrical & plumbing for safe install and terminations.  In-ground & above ground pool removal: remove all materials from the site and haul to approved landfill locations.  To eliminate any surprises in that area for future use, (yourself and new homeowners) backfill the hole for inground pools with clean flow able sand and cap both types of pool areas with top soil and return area back to grass. 

Converting attics and cellars into habitable spaces requires both land use (Zoning) & Life Safety (Building) Permits.  Please contact both departments directly for the requirements on how to proceed.  A check list on life safety issues has been made available and may be secured the DPW Office on Pine Street.  DPW-Pine Customer Service (dpw-pinecustomerservice@burlingtonvt.gov      

No permit or fees shall be required for carpeting, painting, installation of personal property or floor covering. However, "Flooring" does require permits and fees.

Separate Permits are required for wiring, plumbing, building, HVAC, fire alarm, sprinkler, suppression, etc., on every project. Each trade attached to that project is required to secure their own permit and each trade will pay the permit fee attached to their cost of construction amount for that portion of work.

Every Zoning Permit issued covering (but not limited to) lot coverage, change of use, exterior changes requires a Building Permit.  When Zoning Permits are not required a building permits (life safety/structural) are always required.  Building permits may not be issued until the Zoning Permit has been "released" to the applicant.   

Note:  Please contact the  Building Inspector's Office at Department of Public Works located on Pine Street and start covering life safety/structural issued connected to your project at the time you start the land use (Zoning) permitting process & procedures.   This will streamline plans review and documentation collection with the objective to issue both permits the same day.    

=> For Zoning (Land-use) permits contact ZONING OFFICE ((802) 865-7188) located on the first level of City Hall located at 149 Church Street, Burlington.  Their office hours are from 8 AM - 4:30 PM M-F., less recognized Federal & State holidays.

=> For construction (life safety/structural) permits contact DPW/ISD OFFICE ((802) 863-9094 X 3) located at 645 Pine Street.  Their office hours are between 8 AM -4:30 PM M-F., less Federal & State recognized holidays.

Recycling & Solid Waste

Businesses and residences can bring limited amounts of yard debris to the McNeil Wood and Yard Waste Depot at 111 Intervale Road. McNeil Depot hours change with the seasons. Yard debris collected at the McNeil Depot will be transported to the new location of Green Mountain Compost (formerly Intervale Compost Products) on Redmond Road in Williston, where it will be used to make compost. Yard debris may also be taken to any CSWD Drop Off Center, which are located in Burlington, South Burlington, Essex, Williston, and more.

SoilSaver compost bins can be purchased at from Green Mountain Compost at a subsidized rate. The SoilSaver bins measure 28" square by 30" tall and weigh 30 lbs. They are made of 50% recycled HDPE plastic and serve a household up to 5 people. SoilSaver bins are passive composters - you don't need to turn them, though occasional stirring is helpful. SoilSaver bins have large, locking lids and two sliding doors at the bottom that make loading and unloading fast and easy and make it difficult for critters to open. By composting, you can reduce the amount of trash you send to the landfill by about a third - that is an average of about 650 pounds per household! In addition to food scraps, you can also compost soiled paper such as paper towels and napkins. Click here for information to help you get started composting at home or to troubleshoot problems with your existing compost. For folks who are new to composting, or re-starting their compost piles, please know that help is always available for questions that arise by calling CSWD's hotline at 872-8111.

Recycling will not be collected on the observed holidays of July 4th, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas. If your recycling day falls on one of these observed holidays, your recyclables will be collected the following week on your recycling day. We suggest calling 863.9094 to confirm our collection schedule.

The city has three recycling trucks that collect recycling each weekday starting at 7:00 a.m. Follow the links for each weekday to view each route collection map:

Throughout Chittenden County all residental recycling programs follow the Chittenden Solid Waste Districts recyclables list. To review this list, visit the Chittenden Solid Waste District's Recycling List.

Funding for the recycling program comes from a Solid Waste Generation Tax assessed to each residential unit within the City. This tax is currently $3.70 per month per residential unit and is being collected for the City by the private trash haulers who pick up your solid waste.

Improper preparation of materials (e.g. left in plastic bags or left with non-recyclables) or placing bins curbside after 7:00 am are the biggest reasons that recycling was not be picked up. Recyclables in plastic bags cannot be accepted, except shredded paper in clear plastic bags. In addition, any evidence of non-recyclables or food in your recycle bin may lead to your recycling not being picked up. The recyclable materials we collect are taken to be sorted and sold, and eventually manufactured into new products. With too many non-recyclables in the mix, the material cannot be used. Look for a bright green sticker indicating improper preparation. For missed pick ups call (802) 863-9094 during normal business hours. For the holiday schedule, see below.

Collected materials are transported to the Chittenden County Solid Waste District's Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Williston, where they are sorted, baled, and shipped to appropriate markets.

In 1989, the City began a residential curbside recycling pilot project that served 3,000 residential units. During this time, a recycling drop-off facility was opened for residents who were not served by the pilot project. In 1990, Public Works staff completed a comprehensive report on residential recycling and toxic materials collection. The City joined the Chittenden Solid Waste District in March of 1990. In 1991, the City expanded the recycling program to include all buildings with up to four dwelling units. In 1992, the City passed a mandatory recycling ordinance for residents and businesses and expanded curbside recyclables collection to include all residential dwelling units. In 1993, the City began municipal collection of residential recyclables. In 2003, the City purchased three new recycling trucks, completed a route balancing study, and joined the Chittenden Solid Waste District in converting from a co-mingle system to single stream, or "all in one recycling" system. 

Street & Sidewalk Operations

Yes, main arteries, hills, and connectors are plowed first because of the traffic volume. The remaining streets are plowed as part of a regular series of routes assigned to individual drivers.

No, a City ordinance restricts this act. Pushing snow back onto a sidewalk or street in not only a violation of City law, but may bring liability if the dumped snow causes an accident.

Yes, snow must be removed and pushed back to the curb. Many streets in the older part of the City are narrow. In order for a snowplow to have access to the street, cars must be removed. Snow which lies under cars when not pushed to the curb has a tendency to be dragged out into the travelway days after a storm causing slippery conditions. Snow which remains on the street will deter drainage and accelerate road deterioration. Public Works studies show that plowing operation costs double when cars remain on the street.

You can park on City streets during the Winter months EXCEPT during a Parking Ban. A Parking Ban will be in effect when the flashing warning lights are turned on. Vehicles must be off the street by 10pm once the lights are activated and remain off street until the lights are shut off. Towing will be enforced only from 10pm to 7am during the Parking Ban.

Call Customer Service at 863-9094 and provide your name, address, phone number, and nature of backup. DPW will respond and check the main sewer line in the City's right of way. If the City sewer main is not plugged, DPW employees will notify the homeowner that the problem is on private property (the sewer lateral running from the house to the main in the City Street) and the homeowner shall resolve the problem at their own expense.

Subject to budgetary constraints, the Street Division tries to inventory and clean all 2000 catch basins every two years (approximately 1000 per year).

Beginning in 2009, the DPW launched a Sidewalk Strategic Plan that prioritizes sidewalk repairs for projects greater than 100' in length. Through this plan, sidewalks in the worst condition in the most heavily pedestrianized areas are repaired first. To request a small repair, contact Customer Service at 863-9094 or online and identify the location of the sidewalk that needs to be repaired.

Contact Customer Service at 863-9094 and we will attempt to make arrangements to replace the sidewalk before your driveway resurfacing occurs.

Please submit via www.SeeClickFix.com or contact Customer Service at 863-9094 and identify the location of the pothole. Potholes are typically repaired within 72 hours after notification.

Street Sweeping occurs on each street at least twice each year, in addition to Operation Clean Sweep in the Spring and heavy debris cleanup in the Autumn. Should a street need additional sweeping please contact DPW Customer Service at (802) 863-9094 x3 or via email at dpw-pinecustomerservice@burlingtonvt.gov to make a request.

Transportation

Bicycling and Walking

If you witness dangerous behavior or an accident, please record where and when the incident occurred, who was involved (as much detail as you can obtain), what happened, and please be prepared to provide your name, address, and contact phone number. Once you have this information, contact the Police Department at 658-2704

First, ensure that you know what the crossing signals mean. Misinterpreting the crossing signals is a common cause of discomfort for many people. Pedestrian crossing signals are illustrated here. If you're following the pedestrian crossing signals but feel that an intersection simply doesn't allow enough time to cross safely, call DPW at 863-9094

The Champlain Valley Agency on Aging pairs seniors with volunteers who can shovel walks and drives (no roofs) in the Burlington area.  Call (802) 865-0360 or 1-800-642-5119.  Outside Burlington, call 211 for assistance.

Call the Burlington Police Department at 802-658-2704 and ask for Parking Enforcement

Drivers must yield to pedestrians at unsignalized crosswalks, at traffic-control signals that are not in operation, or when making a turn at traffic-control signals when pedestrians have the "walk" signal. However, pedestrians must yield to vehicles under the following situations: at any unmarked crossing, at unsignalized crosswalks when vehicles are too close to yield safely, and at traffic-control signals when the "do not walk" signal is illuminated.

In the greater Burlington area, the Burlington Bicycle Map is your best resource. Contact the Bicycle & Pedestrian Planner to find out where to get your copy.

Of course! Try the following websites, or join us at the Burlington Bicycle Council meetings.

Yes. Vermont State Law requires that bicycles be equipped with a white light on the front, visible from 500' away, and a red reflector on the rear, visible from 300' away. A red, illuminated rear light is not required, but it is suggested for added safety. If a rear light is used, it should be in addition to a rear reflector, not a replacement.

Under Vermont State law, bicycles are considered vehicles and must signal before turning, decreasing speed, or stopping.

  • To make a left turn: extend your left hand and arm horizontally.
  • To make a right turn: extend your left hand and arm upward, bent at the elbow.
  • To indicate a decrease in speed or a stop: extend your left hand and arm downward.

Wearing a helmet is not required in Vermont, but it is highly recommended for cyclists of all ages. If you are in an accident, wearing a helmet will significantly lower your risk of brain injury or death.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation's Bicycle Commuter Guide has lots of great tips for riding on the road. A great way to gain experience and confidence is to ride with a more experienced rider. To connect with a local cyclist, join us for free pizza and lively discussion at the Burlington Bicycle Council meetings. The BBC meets at DPW at 5:30 p.m. on the 1st Wednesday of every month.

Burlington's City ordinance allows cyclists of any age to ride on the sidewalks throughout most of the City. However, only children under the age of 16 are permitted to ride on the sidewalks within the "Inner Fire District." No one is permitted to cycle on the sidewalks within Burlington's City Center, including the Church Street Marketplace. Sidewalk stencils have been placed within the City Center to indicate where bicycles may not be ridden on the sidewalks. If you choose to ride on the sidewalks, please remember that sidewalks are designed for pedestrian traffic, not bicycles. Ride at slower speeds than you would on the street. Be prepared to stop at driveways and intersections, and obey WALK/DON'T WALK lights at signalized interstections. Remember, pedestrians always have the right of way on sidewalks. Be courteous when approaching pedestrians from behind. Alert them to your presence by ringing a bell or saying that you are passing them. Some bicyclists feel safer riding on sidewalks than on the street. While riding on the sidewalk may feel more pleasant than being passed by motor vehicles, conflicts between motorists and bicyclists at intersections and driveways are compounded. Ride defensively, always check for cars entering/exiting driveways, and use caution when crossing the street at an intersection. Riding in the same direction as traffic will improve your chances of being seen by a motorist.

There are several advocacy groups in the Burlington area:

  • The Burlington Walk Bike Council is an all-volunteer advisory council to the City of Burlington, who works closely with the Department of Public Works and the Department of Parks & Recreation on infrastructure improvements and policy changes for bicycling and walking. The council also leads advocacy efforts and organizes events and activities that promote and celebrate walking and biking in Burlington and beyond. Anyone interested in making Burlington a better and safer place for bicycling and walking is encouraged to attend our meetings on the 4th Thursday of each month in City Hall Room 12. Visit their website for more information.
  • Local Motion is a Greater Burlington, VT 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to "promote bicycling, walking, running, inline skating and the facilities that make sure travel safe, easy and fun."
  • The Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition's mission is to promote bicycling and walking in Vermont, emphasizing access, safety, and education. They hold this vision, that as a result of our work, public attitudes and policies will create an environment across the state that promotes bicycling and walking as safe and valued modes of transportation and recreation.

Water

What is this stormwater fee on my bill, and what are you doing with it?

What do you consider an impervious surface?

How is impervious surface measured for directly assessed properties?

Why doesn't the delineation match up with the aerial photo better?

Why doesn't my property show an impervious surface delineation?

I have implemented practices on my property to reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff - how do I apply for credit?

 

What is this stormwater fee on my bill, and what are you doing with it?

The City of Burlington’s Stormwater Program was formed in 2009, as part of our ongoing effort to meet state and federal water quality standards for Lake Champlain and other local rivers and streams. Part of this program included the addition of a stormwater ‘user fee,’ assessed as part of your monthly water bill.

Addressing these requirements is key to improving the water quality of Lake Champlain, and helps keep Burlington a great place to live and visit.  This fee supports the work the Stormwater Program is doing to address stormwater pollution in our lakes, rivers, and streams.

The Stormwater Program employs one full time staff member, and funds a portion of four other technical staff positions that provide support to the Program. The Stormwater Program Manager oversees a variety of activities for Burlington, including:

  • Implementation of the City’s Chapter 26 Ordinance, which requires a review of any project resulting in more than 400 square feet of earth work, or expanding impervious surfaces on site so that the total impervious is greater than or equal to 2,500 square feet;
  • Oversight and implementation of the City’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) Permit;
  • Coordination with other City Departments on Capital Improvement projects – focusing specifically on areas of the City’s Combined Sewer network where there is an opportunity to detain Stormwater during rain events to alleviate pressure on the City’s wastewater infrastructure;
  • Planning and implementation of projects that provide detention opportunities as described above, or treatment of Stormwater in separated sewer areas to address water quality concerns in Lake Champlain and other surface waters in the City;
  • Coordination of the City’s Adopt-A-Drain Program, which is targeted at engaging citizens to assist in maintaining clear drains to minimize flooding in wet weather.

What do you consider an impervious surface?

Impervious surfaces are all surfaces where precipitation (rain, snowmelt, etc) runs off rather than infiltrating into the ground.  Rooftops, driveways, and walkways all qualify as impervious surface.  Gravel driveways and walkways are also considered impervious, due to the fact that these surfaces are heavily compacted and therefore do not infiltrate water.

How is impervious surface measured for directly assessed properties?

Impervious is currently calculated by the City for each directly assessed property using one or a combination of the following sources:

  • 2013 aerial photography provided by the State of Vermont Center for Geographic Information (VCGI)
  • As-Built record drawings provided by an engineer or developer

If you believe there is an error on the delineation shown for the impervious surfaces on your parcel, you may request a review from the Stormwater Program. 

That form can be found here:  Review Request Form

Why doesn't the delineation match up with the aerial photo better?

Original delineations were created from 2004 aerial photography, updated and/or validated when 2013 aerial photography became available. Aerial photographs always have slight distortions by nature in which they are captured and processed. Furthermore, when comparing two different aerial photographs of the same area, objects will likely not line up exactly the same (ex. Building rooftops). If you believe there is an error in your delineation, you may request a review.

Why doesn't my property show an impervious surface delineation?

Single family, Duplex, and Triplex properties are charged a flat fee.  If your property shows diagonal black lines instead of a purple overlay, it is because your property is being charged the flat fee.  If you believe this is an error, please contact the Stormwater Program at stormwater@burlingtonvt.gov.

I have implemented practices on my property to reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff - how do I apply for credit?

Credits are currently available for directly assessed properties only.  The City of Burlington’s Stormwater Credit Manual outlines the credits available for directly assessed properties, and the process for applying for a credit.  The Stormwater Program is currently in the process of updating Burlington’s Stormwater Credit Manual to expand credits for ‘flat fee’ (Single Family, Duplex & Triplex) customers, and to make the application process a little easier. 

Back to Water Resources FAQs

In 2016, we partnered with KeyBank to have their facility in Albany, NY (this was their closest facility) process all of our mailed payments.  Please see our press release sent at that time.  This new revenue collection process has streamlined our operations and allowed us to work more efficiently on your behalf.  There is no impact to customers who make in person payments at any of our available drop off sites.  The change has eliminated the need for our Customer Service Team to manually open, review and record those mailed payments.  As a result, our existing three person team has been able to focus further on water resources education and outreach.  There are many innovative tools and services within our industry and we are excited to offer them to you.  This change only impacts payments sent via the US Postal Service and there are many other ways to pay your bill.

Back to Water Resources FAQ

Excellent question! Burlington City Ordinances (section 31-19) do allow an owner to add a tenant’s name to their bill but we hold the property owner responsible for any unpaid balances. The property owner's name will always remain on the bill with the tenant being added as a care of. This is because our claim to unpaid balances is secured by filing a tax lien on the actual real estate supplied with water (City Ordinance, section 31-20 a). Eligible accounts have individual water meters for the space being rented and receive a separate bill from us. For example, if a duplex is separately rented but only has one water meter then we do not allow a tenant’s name to be added. This is because that water meter is tracking the cumulative usage for both units and must stay in the property owner’s name.  However, if a duplex is separately meter then we are happy to allow tenants to receive the bill provided the appropriate form is filled out. 

The tenant agreement form must be filled out completely and signed by the property owner or their designee. We will reject any documents that do not comply.  Please review the form carefully as it contains vital information regarding this process. Again, tenants cannot fill out this form—only proper authorization will be accepted.  Property owners may authorize their property managers to do business for them by completing our property manager form.

Unfortunately, we do not currently offer a final reading service for tenants so when a lease ends we will only be able to calculate final consumption through our regular reading dates.  We read the first three business days of the month and many lease terminations do coincide with our regular read dates.  However, property owners or tenants are welcome to read the water meter themselves and call us with the information so we can calculate the final bill based on that information.  We strongly encourage property owners to check with us about any unpaid balances before giving back a security deposit as we do not pursue tenants for the balance.     

Back to Water Resources FAQ's

The City of Burlington charges Water Resources (and other utilities) a franchise fee based on 3.5% of our gross sales and services revenues.  The fee is in exchange for our use of the City streets and rights-of-way for the utility pipe network and related structures.  This is allowed by City Charter and you can review both the ordinance (begin with 27-119) and the MOU executed in 1990 that increased the fee.

Prior to 7/1/17 this fee was incorporated into our rate structure and not shown separately on the bills.  However, we strive to be as transparent as possible with our rate development process, so it has been removed from the rates and is now a standalone charge.  The 3.5% is calculated on your current charges and is inclusive any service fees charged (e.g., returned payments, final reading requests).  Our Stormwater utility is exempt from the franchise fee.      

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Congratulations!  Burlington is a great city and if you have plans to sell or purchase then there a few things necessary to ensure a smooth transition of service.  It is very common for the Water Resources bill to be included in the items paid at closing but we need to know when that will occur.  The Final Reading Request Form must be completed by the seller or their representative and returned to us for scheduling.  There is a $30.00 fee for this service and it will be added to the final bill.  Unfortunately, if we don’t receive this form then there will be no final bill issued and this can result in confusion over whom owes what through the sale date.  A change in ownership does not absolve the balance and the new owner would inherit any unpaid balances.  We do not require a deposit nor do we report to credit agencies but a delinquent Water Resources bill can result in service termination or a lien being placed on the property.  Please note, we ask that the final balance is only paid once to avoid a lengthy refund process.  If you are unsure then please contact us to inquire or review the itemized list of expenses on the closing documents.  The final reading request form is available in alternate formats, please email if you require a non fillable form. 

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Great question! Vermont State Law requires anyone digging on public or private land to have the utility lines marked.  Digsafe is a free service (paid for by member utilities) that notifies utility companies to go mark their lines which helps avoid costly mistakes and outages.  What do the colors mean? Review this brochure to find out! Need more information?  Visit digsafe.com for the whole scoop and remember to call 1-888-344-7233 to dig safely! 

Back to Water Resources FAQs

In 2014, the City partnered with MuniciPAY to process any credit card or echeck payments via an online portal and the service fee charged goes directly to them.  We decided to not absorb the cost of the service fee because less than 2% of our customers use that payment method.  We believe that asking all rate payers to absorb a charge that most are not utilizing isn't equitable.  If you would prefer a free payment option then we welcome you to pay in cash, check or set up automatic debit. 

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Good news! Water Resources has an online portal where you can opt for paperless billing; you can even review your consumption and payment history too!  You will need a valid email address and a recent bill to set up your account. 

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Yes! Burlington meets or exceeds all the federal and state drinking water standards for water quality.  We produce a consumer confidence report each year that summarizes the detectable contaminants and compares our results to Federal and State standards. For questions regarding water quality please call 863-4501 and ask to speak to one of our friendly Water Plant Operators.

Back to Water Resources FAQs

There are several reasons why this may be occurring, please review the most common explanations below.

  • Does your house have a galvanized service line? These pipes experience build up over time (tuberculation) and eventually severely restrict the flow of water to and through your home.  Please contact Customer Service at  863-4501 to schedule a free appointment to assess your pipe condition.
  • Have you recently been working in the basement by the water meter? Sometimes the valve on your meter can be nudged or bumped and this will restrict flow. Please be sure it is wide open to restore proper flow!
  • Do you have a pressure reducing valve?  High PSI can wear on appliances and you may have installed a pressure reducing valve to help combat this.  Please double check the setting to ensure it's not too low. 
  • Have you confirmed if our Field Service crews are in your neighborhood?  We are often doing routine maintenance (or emergency repairs) in the City and this may cause low pressure.  Please check in with Customer Service to see where our crews are today. 
  • Have you noticed a Fire Sprinkler company in your neighborhood?  You may have a neighbor having work done on their sprinkler system and companies are required to notify us. Please review our Fire Sprinkler Notifications to see if someone is working nearby. 

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Burlington has three wastewater plants that treat raw sewage and they are located on Riverside Avenue, North Avenue Extension and Lavalley Lane.  We treat domestic and industrial sewage to levels that ensure public health and the biological integrity of the waters that receive discharges from these facilities.  The end product is highly treated water which must meet stringent federal standards.  Burlington is also unique in that stormwater for much of the City is collected and treated at the Main Plant on Lavalley Lane prior to discharge into Lake Champlain.  

Back to Water Resources FAQs

If you are experiencing a sewer back up in your home, please call the Street Division at 863-9094 to report a possible sewer line plug.  They will investigate the sewer main closest to your home and verify that it is clear or if it's plugged they will fix it immediately.  If the City's main is clear then you would need to contact a private business to snake your sewer lateral and any interior pipes, at your own expense.

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Burlington is fortunate to have such a quality source in Lake Champlain. Water is pumped from over 4,000 feet off shore at a depth of over 40 feet and then processed at the Water Treatment Plant.

Back to Water Resources FAQs

The first thing to do is conduct an internal audit to discover if any plumbing fixtures are leaking. The most common culprit of excessive water usage is a running toilet, although you should examine all fixtures including outside spigots. The water meter is typically located in your basement along the wall that is closest to the roadway.  They are temperature sensitive and will break when exposed to freezing temperatures, so if you do not have a basement then look in another protected area, like a utility closet.  There is a “leak indicator” on the face of the meter and this is a small red triangle (or diamond) that spins when the meter is recording usage.  Please take a moment when no one in the household is using water and watch the indicator.  If it is moving at all then your meter is recording consumption and water is moving through your home somewhere. 

If you did not find evidence of a leak then please reflect back on any recent events or changes in your household.  Did the number of residents change? Has there been a significant increase in laundry? Did you power wash your home? Are you an avid gardener?  Please review the number of days in the billing cycle on this bill--is it longer than usual? Was there a holiday during that period of time? Did you have a party or overnight guests? Any of these reasons could explain the high consumption and there may not be a reason for concern. We do offer free appointments to review the water meter with you. Please contact our Customer Service Team at (802)863-4501 or water-resources@burlingtonvt.gov if you are interested in scheduling one. 

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Per City Ordinance section 31-20 (a), if a bill remains unpaid on the due date then they are subject to an interest charge of twelve (12) percent per annum or 1% per month.

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Construction Permits

Generated at the time Zoning Permit’s (ZP) are approved electronic building Application pending are attached as a placeholder.  Once generated it remains attached to that ZP waiting for the applicant to act as part of meeting the ZP’s Standard Conditions (1& 2) requirements.  Once the applicant meets with the Building Inspector it will be determined by the Building Official with making the change and turning that placeholder into a legal document, supporting the structural and life safety requirements for that project and use classification in that area. 

Please confirm all conditions on all permits secured to avoid misunderstandings and penalties supporting clean and clear record keeping on your property.   

 

 

Supported by the State & City agreement, State Permits specific to structural or life safety (building, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, Sprinkler, Fire Alarm, Suppression, etc.,) are not required in the City of Burlington City limits, only Burlington permits supported by the City of Burlington Code of ordinances.  

For all HUD Certified Mobile Homes land use (Zoning) permits (ZP) are required but not limited to for lot coverage, change of use, and exterior changes.  Located at 149 Church Street (City Hall) you may contact them directly at ((802) 865-7188) for their directions and approvals.  Attached to the ZP requires a Building (i.e., building, plumbing/mechanical, electrical, etc.,) Permits for the support of but not limited to; foundation/slab, anchoring system, heating fuel connections, connections to the public water & electrical systems. All open permits must be closed by way of on-site approved inspections.

Finding permit record activity attached to your property may be reached by following the 3 steps provided below,  OR  please call DPW/ISD Customer Service directly at (802) 863-9094 X 3 for their help and direction.

1) On the front page of the City Website select Property Database or https://www.burlingtonvt.gov

2) Select (street number) and select your property

3) Permit History Report 

The report is in date order and at the end of the report you will find the "Key to Permit Status".

Elevator car size requirements are governed by the City Fire Marshalls Office and can be found in the City of Burlington Code of Ordinances under Fire Protection & Prevention Chapter 13, section 13-61.   Please contact the City Fire Marshal Office directly ((802) 864-5577) for all information on the size of the elevator.  

All design standards must apply to all public use projects without exception.   https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/2010ADAStandards_prt.pdf

Permits are not required or fees need to be paid to increase insulation values where building materials with structural integrity remain in place.   Please visit and follow the Department of Public Service http://publicservice.vermont.gov/energy_efficiency/rbes guide specific to Vermont's Residential Building Energy Standards.

Dumpsters are allowed to be placed on the street with the proper permit approvals by the Excavation Inspector, ((802) 865-7562) located in the Department of Public Works Building at 645 Pine Street.

Ten (10) Feet.  This distance is governed in the National Fire Prevention Association Code (NFPA 1 Section 19.2.1.4) and reads as follows;  “Dumpsters & containers with an individual capacity of 1.5 cu yd’s or more shall not be stored in buildings or placed within 10 ft of combustible walls, openings or combustible roof eave lines.”

 

The City of Burlington Code of Ordinances; Chapter 21 Section 21-13 paragraph 2 (e) declarers construction noise as Noise Disturbance within the hours of 9 PM through 7 AM, seven days a week. Construction noise is considered to be and not limited to: excavation, demolition and building construction to include alterations or repairs on any part thereof on the structure or premises. The exception to this rule has been made for emergencies.

Please contact the Department of Public Works Customer Service directly at (802) 863-9094

Technical assistance is available to answer questions about the Residential and Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Standards.  Please contact the Burlington Electric Department (BED) Energy Services Division to ensure that projects meet the energy codes.  BED reviews project plans with customers and then issues an Energy Efficiency Code Compliance Memo to the Inspection Services Division.  There is no additional fee for this service. While working with BED, customers are also made aware of all additional technical assistance and cash incentives available through BED, and Vermont Gas Systems, to projects interested in exceeding the required code. Please visit BED online or call 865-7342 for more information. It is strongly recommended that you contact BED during the planning stages of the project or at the same time that your project is being reviewed through the zoning process so BED can offer the maximum level of technical assistance and cash incentives.

The Inspection Services Division of the Department of Public Works issues building permits. The Public Works office is located at 645 Pine Street, at the intersection with Lakeside Avenue.

For all the right reasons the inspectors requires the owner or the owners authorized representative (contractors) on site during inspections. This also streamlines the process, provides that opportunity to act on what needs to take place without additional delays to include need for re-inspections.

For questions concerning construction permit activity on a property, (i.e., application pending, historic, open, pending approval, awaiting payment, closed, etc.,) please contact DPW/ISD Customer Service directly at (802) 863-9094 x 3.   For all technical aspects on the construction details, please contact that inspector appointed to that discipline.  https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/DPW/Construction-Permits/Staff

At all times during a project permits are required to be posted in full view and at the ready upon request by the inspector.  At the end of the project the inspector of that discipline will sign and date your copy of the permit as an indication the project is complete and have for your records.

Recycling Construction Materials in the State of Vermont   

Vermont – Act 175

Act 175 is Vermont’s construction & demolition waste management law, enacted to reduce waste from commercial development projects that would otherwise end up in landfills. The law requires certain generators of construction & demolition debris to separate specific materials (drywall, metal, asphalt shingles, clean wood, plywood, and OSB) for reuse or recycling. Reusing or recycling these materials is essential for LEED projects and in most cases will save you money, even in smaller quantities.

Does Act 175 apply to my project? 

Check any of the following that apply to you:

  • The project is in Chittenden County, or otherwise within 20 miles of a facility that will recycle C&D materials listed below.
  • The project is a commercial building OR is a residential building with two or more units.
  • The project will create any of the following C&D material leftovers: drywall, metal, asphalt shingles, clean wood, plywood, or oriented strand board (OSB).
  • The project will generate enough of the material listed above to fill a 40-cubic-yard container. (For example, a roll-off dumpster that is 6’10” high and 22 feet long.)

If you selected ALL of the above, then state law requires that you make sure those C&D materials are either reused or recycled. You cannot send them to a landfill.

For more and complete information concerning Act 175 Vermont's construction & demolition waste management law please visit the Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) web site at http://cswd.net/recycling/construction-demolition-waste/.

ASBESTOS & Lead Safe Practices

Asbestos inspection/removal requirements must apply to all demolition/renovation projects and Lead Safe Work Practice requirements need to apply to all pre-1978 housing maintenance/renovation projects in the City and State.

Asbestos & Lead-based Paint Removal Permits are required by the State Department of Health.  

The City of Burlington does not require permits, only the State Department of health.  State of Vermont – Department of Health regulations require inspection for the presence of asbestos and an abatement notification/permit for asbestos removal projects in the City and State.  In addition, a Notice of Intent to demolish is required for all demolition projects.  Lead Safe Work Practices are required where applicable and that includes State and Federal Lead Safe Renovation contracting entity certification and trained workers on each construction project site.  Please contact the State of Vermont Department of Health directly for information specific to Asbestos and Lead Safe Work Practice requirements at; http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/asbestos/asbestos.aspx.

By way of check mark infront of the list provided below; You will find the required inspections and final document listed at the bottom left hand corner of your "Blue" Customer  (paper) Copy that inclues;    

  1. Foundation Inspection
  2. Underground inspection
  3. Rough inspection
  4. Final/Certificate of Occupancy Inspection
  5. Zoning Certificate of Occupancy
  6. Lead Safe Practices

Attached to all permits you will find conditions of the permit printed above the applicants signature area.  In addition and attached to all permitted projects is the Statement of Procedural Rights attached to all interested person aggrieved by the departments directive or actions.  

Permit Compliance & Conditions (NLT)

All construction done under this and any other permits issued must be in comply with the State of VT adopted Codes & Standards and Burlington’s Code of Ordinances.  Permits shall not be construed as authority to violate, cancel or set aside any of the provisions of the codes currently in affect.  Applicants must contact the department to schedule inspections of the work and obtain final project approvals.      (NLT) = Not Limited to.

Statement of Procedural Rights

Specific to the City of Burlington Code of Ordinances any owner of a building or structure or any interested person aggrieved by this department’s directive or actions respective to the BCO and codes and standards adopted by the State of VT may appeal to the Public Works Board of Appeals by requesting such appeal in writing to the Director of Public Works, 645 Pine Street, Burlington VT., within 10 days from the issuance date of any order or date determined by an inspector.   Specific requirements for an appeal can be found in BCO 8-8.

Inspections are driven by construction demand and the applicant of the permit must contact the department to schedule required inspections.  The best time to schedule an inspection is when the applicant secured the permit.   Please plan far enough ahead to keep you on your critical path and avoid special trips.  Our goal is to be on time and nothing more than 20 minutes late. Please provide the best phone number to reach you in the event we have to reschedule due to an emergency.  Where you have to cancel on that day of the inspection please call Customer Service directly at (802) 863-9094 X 3 and have them connect you directly with your inspector to have that conversation.

Less holidays and weekends, the trade inspectors have office hours between 8am &10am, M-F specifically for one on one visits with the customers seeking a permit for their project.  The goal is to limit the time to 10 minutes per customer to help make it possible to serve as many customers as possible within the two hours before leaving on field inspections.  Please have your questions and plans available and if more time is needed for your project time will be scheduled outside these hours to accommodate your needs.

Recommending contractors is not a service that this department can provide because of legal and ethical considerations.  The service that we do provide through the permit process ensures that all contractors working on your property are correctly accredited in the State of Vermont and all are held to the same standards without exception.  It is suggested by this department to ask your contractor for your copy of the permit they secured before working on your project.  If they cannot deliver the permit, it is this department’s recommendation to keep them from working until one is provided.  

The “cost of” construction includes the contractor’s profit and other costs the owner is paying for.  So the cost of construction of any project is the cost the owner is paying out of pocket for a complete project.   The “estimated” cost is merely an estimate of all costs before the project begins, an estimate to be reconciled by the actual costs that will include additional cost (i.e., change orders) accumulated over the time of the project.

Except where otherwise protected from frost, foundations and other permanent supports of buildings  and structures shall be protected by extending below the frost line is not less than 5 ft, erect on solid rock or construct "Shallow Foundation" in accordance to the American Society of Civil Engineers Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE/SEI) standards. (2015 State of VT Fire & Building Safety Code amendment to the 2015 IBC section 1809.5)

Buildings without sprinkler systems require emergency escape/rescue windows in all living and sleeping areas where a 2nd means leading to the outside is not available.  The window or door needs to be remotely located from the primary entrance into the room.  Respective to the State of Vermont Fire & Building Safety Code as adopted and amendment to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101:

Existing (replacement) emergency escape/rescue window requirements:  The clear opening of an existing means of escape (egress window) shall be:

1) Opening (bottom) sash for a wood, vinyl, aluminum or fiberglass framed window shall be a minimum of 24" H X  20" W (one dimension required to be greater than the other) to achieve a net clear opening equal to or greater than 5.0 square ft. 

2) Opening (bottom) sash for steel framed window shall be a minimum of 24” H x 20” W  with at least one dimension exceeded to provide a clear opening equal to or greater than 5.0 square ft. 

NOTE: Modifications to the existing rough opening to meet 5.0 is not acceptable but rather need to increase in size to accept the window size meeting 5.7 sq ft.    

New emergency egress/rescue window requirements:  shall be 5.7 ft2 of net clear with minimum measurements of 24" X H OR 20" x W to equal or greater than 821 square inches.  Divide the total sq inches (821) by 144 converts to square feet dimension or 5.7 ft2.    Net clear opening means the clear opening providing an absolute clear space to pass through without exception.  The maximum window height off finsh floor to sill shall not be more than 44 inches.

Height off grade:  Egress window sills shall be equal to or less than twenty (20) feet off grade.   Nationally recognized in the National Fire Protection Associations (NFPA) Safety Codes adopted 20 ft is the maximum safe distance for the first responders apparatus to reach those in danger and for those in danger to quickly escape.  

Exceptions: Means of escape windows are not required in building protected by automatic sprinkler systems, non-habitable spaces, i.e., bathrooms, kitchens, hallways or closets.   Habitable room shall mean approved living & sleeping.

Yes. In every situation where you have a higher hazard space beside, under, or over another space being occupied, a separation requirement by way of hours. The hour ratings are determined by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and refer to the maximum time for rescue and escape based on the building's design, material composition, air space, and fasteners. The minimum is one hour separation of private garages from living space, public garages from living space and other uses of the building, living space from different living spaces, etc.

In owner occupied single family homes the home owner can pull permits, perform the work and complete the inspections with the inspector.   Permits and inspections are required and all work must comply with current state and local codes and ordinances adopted.  Please contact the Burlington Electrical & Plumbing Inspector directly to confirm all requierments attached.  https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/DPW/Construction-Permits/Staff.   State of Vermont Electrical & Plumbing Licensed professionals  are required to pull permts, perform their own work and be onsite for the inspectons in all public building that includes rental single family homes. 

Plans provided by yourself and in cases submitted by professionals need to match what is being permitted.  For smaller projects, plans should show elevation and floor plans identifying all areas and materials.  For larger projects; foundation plans, additional floor plans, cut sections, etc., are required.  Contractors & owners may submit their drawings undergoing the same reviews as professionals.  Where professionals services are secured their plans are required to have their State of VT Professional seal affixed.   For full text please refer to State of VT Statute Title 26 Professions and Occupations; Chapter 3 Architects http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/chapter/26/003.  Chapter 20 Professional Engineering  http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/chapter/26/020.

NO. The City of Burlington has a long standing agreement with the State of Vermont; whereas, we (the city), handle all permitting processes, reviews, inspections and all related transactions independent from the State. Please direct all questions and send plans for review directly to this office and visit our web site at: www.burlingtonvt.gov/dpw

On site inspections by Inspection Services confirms compliance at different stages of the project.  Failure to close out permits is actionable by the code of ordinances moreso fosters uncertainties for future investors to tie your property sales up with financial or legal actions, (i.e., re-financing, selling, etc.).  Double check with both the Planning and Zoning Department and the Inspection Services Division to be sure that all your projects were closed out after the final inspection was held.  The permit applicant must contact the department to schedule all inspections of the work to obtain final approvals to closed your permits keeping your property records clean. 

Three fees may be applied to any one permit: the minimum and standard permit fee, a recording fee, and an after the fact (ATF) fee. With regards to all construction permits; please make checks payable to DPW/ISD. The minimum and standard permit fee: All permits have a minimum permit fee of twenty ($20.00) dollars when the project costs for labor and material* is less than two thousand three hundred fifty-four ($2354.00) dollars. A calculation of $8.50 is applied to every thousand ($1000.00) dollars of estimated cost of construction (ECC) that exceeds the minimum cost. For example; $3000.00 x .00850 = $25.50, etc., which keeps increasing as the ECC increases. The exception to this rule is with regards to single-family home projects and their recording fees listed below. Recording fees: It is required to file permits and related documents in the City land records. A fee of $10.00 will be charged for each document attached to that project at the time you secure your permit, in addition to the permit fee. Example, all construction permits that are required (building, electrical, heating, plumbing, fire alarm, sprinkler, etc.) will have the minimum permit fee and an $10.00 recording fee. However, when a project requires a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), both the Building Permit and C of O will require the $10.00 fee for a total of twenty ($20.00) dollars in addition to the permit fee. After the Fact Fee (ATF): This fee is applied when work has started without reviews, approvals, or permits. The calculation applied is one percent of the ECC, which is added back on to the original your permit fee calculation. This fee is never less then thirty ($30.00) dollars, thus, raising the permit fee on a basic single-family home project from twenty-seven ($27.00) to fifty-seven ($57.00) dollars. *Note: ECC is based on all materials and all labor cost associated to that project, regardless of who purchased any part thereof.

Depending on the magnitude of the project, it can take less than an hour to an entire week.  Most permits remodeling and other permits less than $10K of estimated cost of construction can take only minutes a clear description of the project attached.  Please plan far enough ahead and contact the Inspection Services Division directly for more precise time frame on getting you started.  

Complete and signed permit appications are required to secure a construction permits for all projects.  The application supports what you are requesting and what DPW/ISD is permitting to who and for what that includes date and time stamp protecting your investment involved.    Our goal is to keep your project in check, on schedule for it to start on the day you have planned.

Alterations and repairs to what exisits that meet and exceed one thousand ($1000.00) dollars requires a permit or fees to be paid. “Repairs” shall be defined as patching, restoration, or painting of materials, elements, equipment or fixtures for the purpose of maintaining such materials, elements, equipment or fixtures in good or sound condition. 

Both in-ground and above ground pool installations & removals need a Zoning Permit (land use / lot coverage) and building permits (life safety) to include electrical & plumbing for safe install and terminations.  In-ground & above ground pool removal: remove all materials from the site and haul to approved landfill locations.  To eliminate any surprises in that area for future use, (yourself and new homeowners) backfill the hole for inground pools with clean flow able sand and cap both types of pool areas with top soil and return area back to grass. 

Converting attics and cellars into habitable spaces requires both land use (Zoning) & Life Safety (Building) Permits.  Please contact both departments directly for the requirements on how to proceed.  A check list on life safety issues has been made available and may be secured the DPW Office on Pine Street.  DPW-Pine Customer Service (dpw-pinecustomerservice@burlingtonvt.gov      

No permit or fees shall be required for carpeting, painting, installation of personal property or floor covering. However, "Flooring" does require permits and fees.

Separate Permits are required for wiring, plumbing, building, HVAC, fire alarm, sprinkler, suppression, etc., on every project. Each trade attached to that project is required to secure their own permit and each trade will pay the permit fee attached to their cost of construction amount for that portion of work.

Every Zoning Permit issued covering (but not limited to) lot coverage, change of use, exterior changes requires a Building Permit.  When Zoning Permits are not required a building permits (life safety/structural) are always required.  Building permits may not be issued until the Zoning Permit has been "released" to the applicant.   

Note:  Please contact the  Building Inspector's Office at Department of Public Works located on Pine Street and start covering life safety/structural issued connected to your project at the time you start the land use (Zoning) permitting process & procedures.   This will streamline plans review and documentation collection with the objective to issue both permits the same day.    

=> For Zoning (Land-use) permits contact ZONING OFFICE ((802) 865-7188) located on the first level of City Hall located at 149 Church Street, Burlington.  Their office hours are from 8 AM - 4:30 PM M-F., less recognized Federal & State holidays.

=> For construction (life safety/structural) permits contact DPW/ISD OFFICE ((802) 863-9094 X 3) located at 645 Pine Street.  Their office hours are between 8 AM -4:30 PM M-F., less Federal & State recognized holidays.

Recycling & Solid Waste

Businesses and residences can bring limited amounts of yard debris to the McNeil Wood and Yard Waste Depot at 111 Intervale Road. McNeil Depot hours change with the seasons. Yard debris collected at the McNeil Depot will be transported to the new location of Green Mountain Compost (formerly Intervale Compost Products) on Redmond Road in Williston, where it will be used to make compost. Yard debris may also be taken to any CSWD Drop Off Center, which are located in Burlington, South Burlington, Essex, Williston, and more.

SoilSaver compost bins can be purchased at from Green Mountain Compost at a subsidized rate. The SoilSaver bins measure 28" square by 30" tall and weigh 30 lbs. They are made of 50% recycled HDPE plastic and serve a household up to 5 people. SoilSaver bins are passive composters - you don't need to turn them, though occasional stirring is helpful. SoilSaver bins have large, locking lids and two sliding doors at the bottom that make loading and unloading fast and easy and make it difficult for critters to open. By composting, you can reduce the amount of trash you send to the landfill by about a third - that is an average of about 650 pounds per household! In addition to food scraps, you can also compost soiled paper such as paper towels and napkins. Click here for information to help you get started composting at home or to troubleshoot problems with your existing compost. For folks who are new to composting, or re-starting their compost piles, please know that help is always available for questions that arise by calling CSWD's hotline at 872-8111.

Recycling will not be collected on the observed holidays of July 4th, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas. If your recycling day falls on one of these observed holidays, your recyclables will be collected the following week on your recycling day. We suggest calling 863.9094 to confirm our collection schedule.

The city has three recycling trucks that collect recycling each weekday starting at 7:00 a.m. Follow the links for each weekday to view each route collection map:

Throughout Chittenden County all residental recycling programs follow the Chittenden Solid Waste Districts recyclables list. To review this list, visit the Chittenden Solid Waste District's Recycling List.

Funding for the recycling program comes from a Solid Waste Generation Tax assessed to each residential unit within the City. This tax is currently $3.70 per month per residential unit and is being collected for the City by the private trash haulers who pick up your solid waste.

Improper preparation of materials (e.g. left in plastic bags or left with non-recyclables) or placing bins curbside after 7:00 am are the biggest reasons that recycling was not be picked up. Recyclables in plastic bags cannot be accepted, except shredded paper in clear plastic bags. In addition, any evidence of non-recyclables or food in your recycle bin may lead to your recycling not being picked up. The recyclable materials we collect are taken to be sorted and sold, and eventually manufactured into new products. With too many non-recyclables in the mix, the material cannot be used. Look for a bright green sticker indicating improper preparation. For missed pick ups call (802) 863-9094 during normal business hours. For the holiday schedule, see below.

Collected materials are transported to the Chittenden County Solid Waste District's Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Williston, where they are sorted, baled, and shipped to appropriate markets.

In 1989, the City began a residential curbside recycling pilot project that served 3,000 residential units. During this time, a recycling drop-off facility was opened for residents who were not served by the pilot project. In 1990, Public Works staff completed a comprehensive report on residential recycling and toxic materials collection. The City joined the Chittenden Solid Waste District in March of 1990. In 1991, the City expanded the recycling program to include all buildings with up to four dwelling units. In 1992, the City passed a mandatory recycling ordinance for residents and businesses and expanded curbside recyclables collection to include all residential dwelling units. In 1993, the City began municipal collection of residential recyclables. In 2003, the City purchased three new recycling trucks, completed a route balancing study, and joined the Chittenden Solid Waste District in converting from a co-mingle system to single stream, or "all in one recycling" system. 

Street & Sidewalk Operations

Yes, main arteries, hills, and connectors are plowed first because of the traffic volume. The remaining streets are plowed as part of a regular series of routes assigned to individual drivers.

No, a City ordinance restricts this act. Pushing snow back onto a sidewalk or street in not only a violation of City law, but may bring liability if the dumped snow causes an accident.

Yes, snow must be removed and pushed back to the curb. Many streets in the older part of the City are narrow. In order for a snowplow to have access to the street, cars must be removed. Snow which lies under cars when not pushed to the curb has a tendency to be dragged out into the travelway days after a storm causing slippery conditions. Snow which remains on the street will deter drainage and accelerate road deterioration. Public Works studies show that plowing operation costs double when cars remain on the street.

You can park on City streets during the Winter months EXCEPT during a Parking Ban. A Parking Ban will be in effect when the flashing warning lights are turned on. Vehicles must be off the street by 10pm once the lights are activated and remain off street until the lights are shut off. Towing will be enforced only from 10pm to 7am during the Parking Ban.

Call Customer Service at 863-9094 and provide your name, address, phone number, and nature of backup. DPW will respond and check the main sewer line in the City's right of way. If the City sewer main is not plugged, DPW employees will notify the homeowner that the problem is on private property (the sewer lateral running from the house to the main in the City Street) and the homeowner shall resolve the problem at their own expense.

Subject to budgetary constraints, the Street Division tries to inventory and clean all 2000 catch basins every two years (approximately 1000 per year).

Beginning in 2009, the DPW launched a Sidewalk Strategic Plan that prioritizes sidewalk repairs for projects greater than 100' in length. Through this plan, sidewalks in the worst condition in the most heavily pedestrianized areas are repaired first. To request a small repair, contact Customer Service at 863-9094 or online and identify the location of the sidewalk that needs to be repaired.

Contact Customer Service at 863-9094 and we will attempt to make arrangements to replace the sidewalk before your driveway resurfacing occurs.

Please submit via www.SeeClickFix.com or contact Customer Service at 863-9094 and identify the location of the pothole. Potholes are typically repaired within 72 hours after notification.

Street Sweeping occurs on each street at least twice each year, in addition to Operation Clean Sweep in the Spring and heavy debris cleanup in the Autumn. Should a street need additional sweeping please contact DPW Customer Service at (802) 863-9094 x3 or via email at dpw-pinecustomerservice@burlingtonvt.gov to make a request.

Transportation

Bicycling and Walking

If you witness dangerous behavior or an accident, please record where and when the incident occurred, who was involved (as much detail as you can obtain), what happened, and please be prepared to provide your name, address, and contact phone number. Once you have this information, contact the Police Department at 658-2704

First, ensure that you know what the crossing signals mean. Misinterpreting the crossing signals is a common cause of discomfort for many people. Pedestrian crossing signals are illustrated here. If you're following the pedestrian crossing signals but feel that an intersection simply doesn't allow enough time to cross safely, call DPW at 863-9094

The Champlain Valley Agency on Aging pairs seniors with volunteers who can shovel walks and drives (no roofs) in the Burlington area.  Call (802) 865-0360 or 1-800-642-5119.  Outside Burlington, call 211 for assistance.

Call the Burlington Police Department at 802-658-2704 and ask for Parking Enforcement

Drivers must yield to pedestrians at unsignalized crosswalks, at traffic-control signals that are not in operation, or when making a turn at traffic-control signals when pedestrians have the "walk" signal. However, pedestrians must yield to vehicles under the following situations: at any unmarked crossing, at unsignalized crosswalks when vehicles are too close to yield safely, and at traffic-control signals when the "do not walk" signal is illuminated.

In the greater Burlington area, the Burlington Bicycle Map is your best resource. Contact the Bicycle & Pedestrian Planner to find out where to get your copy.

Of course! Try the following websites, or join us at the Burlington Bicycle Council meetings.

Yes. Vermont State Law requires that bicycles be equipped with a white light on the front, visible from 500' away, and a red reflector on the rear, visible from 300' away. A red, illuminated rear light is not required, but it is suggested for added safety. If a rear light is used, it should be in addition to a rear reflector, not a replacement.

Under Vermont State law, bicycles are considered vehicles and must signal before turning, decreasing speed, or stopping.

  • To make a left turn: extend your left hand and arm horizontally.
  • To make a right turn: extend your left hand and arm upward, bent at the elbow.
  • To indicate a decrease in speed or a stop: extend your left hand and arm downward.

Wearing a helmet is not required in Vermont, but it is highly recommended for cyclists of all ages. If you are in an accident, wearing a helmet will significantly lower your risk of brain injury or death.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation's Bicycle Commuter Guide has lots of great tips for riding on the road. A great way to gain experience and confidence is to ride with a more experienced rider. To connect with a local cyclist, join us for free pizza and lively discussion at the Burlington Bicycle Council meetings. The BBC meets at DPW at 5:30 p.m. on the 1st Wednesday of every month.

Burlington's City ordinance allows cyclists of any age to ride on the sidewalks throughout most of the City. However, only children under the age of 16 are permitted to ride on the sidewalks within the "Inner Fire District." No one is permitted to cycle on the sidewalks within Burlington's City Center, including the Church Street Marketplace. Sidewalk stencils have been placed within the City Center to indicate where bicycles may not be ridden on the sidewalks. If you choose to ride on the sidewalks, please remember that sidewalks are designed for pedestrian traffic, not bicycles. Ride at slower speeds than you would on the street. Be prepared to stop at driveways and intersections, and obey WALK/DON'T WALK lights at signalized interstections. Remember, pedestrians always have the right of way on sidewalks. Be courteous when approaching pedestrians from behind. Alert them to your presence by ringing a bell or saying that you are passing them. Some bicyclists feel safer riding on sidewalks than on the street. While riding on the sidewalk may feel more pleasant than being passed by motor vehicles, conflicts between motorists and bicyclists at intersections and driveways are compounded. Ride defensively, always check for cars entering/exiting driveways, and use caution when crossing the street at an intersection. Riding in the same direction as traffic will improve your chances of being seen by a motorist.

There are several advocacy groups in the Burlington area:

  • The Burlington Walk Bike Council is an all-volunteer advisory council to the City of Burlington, who works closely with the Department of Public Works and the Department of Parks & Recreation on infrastructure improvements and policy changes for bicycling and walking. The council also leads advocacy efforts and organizes events and activities that promote and celebrate walking and biking in Burlington and beyond. Anyone interested in making Burlington a better and safer place for bicycling and walking is encouraged to attend our meetings on the 4th Thursday of each month in City Hall Room 12. Visit their website for more information.
  • Local Motion is a Greater Burlington, VT 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to "promote bicycling, walking, running, inline skating and the facilities that make sure travel safe, easy and fun."
  • The Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition's mission is to promote bicycling and walking in Vermont, emphasizing access, safety, and education. They hold this vision, that as a result of our work, public attitudes and policies will create an environment across the state that promotes bicycling and walking as safe and valued modes of transportation and recreation.

Bicycling and Walking

If you witness dangerous behavior or an accident, please record where and when the incident occurred, who was involved (as much detail as you can obtain), what happened, and please be prepared to provide your name, address, and contact phone number. Once you have this information, contact the Police Department at 658-2704

First, ensure that you know what the crossing signals mean. Misinterpreting the crossing signals is a common cause of discomfort for many people. Pedestrian crossing signals are illustrated here. If you're following the pedestrian crossing signals but feel that an intersection simply doesn't allow enough time to cross safely, call DPW at 863-9094

The Champlain Valley Agency on Aging pairs seniors with volunteers who can shovel walks and drives (no roofs) in the Burlington area.  Call (802) 865-0360 or 1-800-642-5119.  Outside Burlington, call 211 for assistance.

Call the Burlington Police Department at 802-658-2704 and ask for Parking Enforcement

Drivers must yield to pedestrians at unsignalized crosswalks, at traffic-control signals that are not in operation, or when making a turn at traffic-control signals when pedestrians have the "walk" signal. However, pedestrians must yield to vehicles under the following situations: at any unmarked crossing, at unsignalized crosswalks when vehicles are too close to yield safely, and at traffic-control signals when the "do not walk" signal is illuminated.

In the greater Burlington area, the Burlington Bicycle Map is your best resource. Contact the Bicycle & Pedestrian Planner to find out where to get your copy.

Of course! Try the following websites, or join us at the Burlington Bicycle Council meetings.

Yes. Vermont State Law requires that bicycles be equipped with a white light on the front, visible from 500' away, and a red reflector on the rear, visible from 300' away. A red, illuminated rear light is not required, but it is suggested for added safety. If a rear light is used, it should be in addition to a rear reflector, not a replacement.

Under Vermont State law, bicycles are considered vehicles and must signal before turning, decreasing speed, or stopping.

  • To make a left turn: extend your left hand and arm horizontally.
  • To make a right turn: extend your left hand and arm upward, bent at the elbow.
  • To indicate a decrease in speed or a stop: extend your left hand and arm downward.

Wearing a helmet is not required in Vermont, but it is highly recommended for cyclists of all ages. If you are in an accident, wearing a helmet will significantly lower your risk of brain injury or death.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation's Bicycle Commuter Guide has lots of great tips for riding on the road. A great way to gain experience and confidence is to ride with a more experienced rider. To connect with a local cyclist, join us for free pizza and lively discussion at the Burlington Bicycle Council meetings. The BBC meets at DPW at 5:30 p.m. on the 1st Wednesday of every month.

Burlington's City ordinance allows cyclists of any age to ride on the sidewalks throughout most of the City. However, only children under the age of 16 are permitted to ride on the sidewalks within the "Inner Fire District." No one is permitted to cycle on the sidewalks within Burlington's City Center, including the Church Street Marketplace. Sidewalk stencils have been placed within the City Center to indicate where bicycles may not be ridden on the sidewalks. If you choose to ride on the sidewalks, please remember that sidewalks are designed for pedestrian traffic, not bicycles. Ride at slower speeds than you would on the street. Be prepared to stop at driveways and intersections, and obey WALK/DON'T WALK lights at signalized interstections. Remember, pedestrians always have the right of way on sidewalks. Be courteous when approaching pedestrians from behind. Alert them to your presence by ringing a bell or saying that you are passing them. Some bicyclists feel safer riding on sidewalks than on the street. While riding on the sidewalk may feel more pleasant than being passed by motor vehicles, conflicts between motorists and bicyclists at intersections and driveways are compounded. Ride defensively, always check for cars entering/exiting driveways, and use caution when crossing the street at an intersection. Riding in the same direction as traffic will improve your chances of being seen by a motorist.

There are several advocacy groups in the Burlington area:

  • The Burlington Walk Bike Council is an all-volunteer advisory council to the City of Burlington, who works closely with the Department of Public Works and the Department of Parks & Recreation on infrastructure improvements and policy changes for bicycling and walking. The council also leads advocacy efforts and organizes events and activities that promote and celebrate walking and biking in Burlington and beyond. Anyone interested in making Burlington a better and safer place for bicycling and walking is encouraged to attend our meetings on the 4th Thursday of each month in City Hall Room 12. Visit their website for more information.
  • Local Motion is a Greater Burlington, VT 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to "promote bicycling, walking, running, inline skating and the facilities that make sure travel safe, easy and fun."
  • The Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition's mission is to promote bicycling and walking in Vermont, emphasizing access, safety, and education. They hold this vision, that as a result of our work, public attitudes and policies will create an environment across the state that promotes bicycling and walking as safe and valued modes of transportation and recreation.

Water

What is this stormwater fee on my bill, and what are you doing with it?

What do you consider an impervious surface?

How is impervious surface measured for directly assessed properties?

Why doesn't the delineation match up with the aerial photo better?

Why doesn't my property show an impervious surface delineation?

I have implemented practices on my property to reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff - how do I apply for credit?

 

What is this stormwater fee on my bill, and what are you doing with it?

The City of Burlington’s Stormwater Program was formed in 2009, as part of our ongoing effort to meet state and federal water quality standards for Lake Champlain and other local rivers and streams. Part of this program included the addition of a stormwater ‘user fee,’ assessed as part of your monthly water bill.

Addressing these requirements is key to improving the water quality of Lake Champlain, and helps keep Burlington a great place to live and visit.  This fee supports the work the Stormwater Program is doing to address stormwater pollution in our lakes, rivers, and streams.

The Stormwater Program employs one full time staff member, and funds a portion of four other technical staff positions that provide support to the Program. The Stormwater Program Manager oversees a variety of activities for Burlington, including:

  • Implementation of the City’s Chapter 26 Ordinance, which requires a review of any project resulting in more than 400 square feet of earth work, or expanding impervious surfaces on site so that the total impervious is greater than or equal to 2,500 square feet;
  • Oversight and implementation of the City’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) Permit;
  • Coordination with other City Departments on Capital Improvement projects – focusing specifically on areas of the City’s Combined Sewer network where there is an opportunity to detain Stormwater during rain events to alleviate pressure on the City’s wastewater infrastructure;
  • Planning and implementation of projects that provide detention opportunities as described above, or treatment of Stormwater in separated sewer areas to address water quality concerns in Lake Champlain and other surface waters in the City;
  • Coordination of the City’s Adopt-A-Drain Program, which is targeted at engaging citizens to assist in maintaining clear drains to minimize flooding in wet weather.

What do you consider an impervious surface?

Impervious surfaces are all surfaces where precipitation (rain, snowmelt, etc) runs off rather than infiltrating into the ground.  Rooftops, driveways, and walkways all qualify as impervious surface.  Gravel driveways and walkways are also considered impervious, due to the fact that these surfaces are heavily compacted and therefore do not infiltrate water.

How is impervious surface measured for directly assessed properties?

Impervious is currently calculated by the City for each directly assessed property using one or a combination of the following sources:

  • 2013 aerial photography provided by the State of Vermont Center for Geographic Information (VCGI)
  • As-Built record drawings provided by an engineer or developer

If you believe there is an error on the delineation shown for the impervious surfaces on your parcel, you may request a review from the Stormwater Program. 

That form can be found here:  Review Request Form

Why doesn't the delineation match up with the aerial photo better?

Original delineations were created from 2004 aerial photography, updated and/or validated when 2013 aerial photography became available. Aerial photographs always have slight distortions by nature in which they are captured and processed. Furthermore, when comparing two different aerial photographs of the same area, objects will likely not line up exactly the same (ex. Building rooftops). If you believe there is an error in your delineation, you may request a review.

Why doesn't my property show an impervious surface delineation?

Single family, Duplex, and Triplex properties are charged a flat fee.  If your property shows diagonal black lines instead of a purple overlay, it is because your property is being charged the flat fee.  If you believe this is an error, please contact the Stormwater Program at stormwater@burlingtonvt.gov.

I have implemented practices on my property to reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff - how do I apply for credit?

Credits are currently available for directly assessed properties only.  The City of Burlington’s Stormwater Credit Manual outlines the credits available for directly assessed properties, and the process for applying for a credit.  The Stormwater Program is currently in the process of updating Burlington’s Stormwater Credit Manual to expand credits for ‘flat fee’ (Single Family, Duplex & Triplex) customers, and to make the application process a little easier. 

Back to Water Resources FAQs

In 2016, we partnered with KeyBank to have their facility in Albany, NY (this was their closest facility) process all of our mailed payments.  Please see our press release sent at that time.  This new revenue collection process has streamlined our operations and allowed us to work more efficiently on your behalf.  There is no impact to customers who make in person payments at any of our available drop off sites.  The change has eliminated the need for our Customer Service Team to manually open, review and record those mailed payments.  As a result, our existing three person team has been able to focus further on water resources education and outreach.  There are many innovative tools and services within our industry and we are excited to offer them to you.  This change only impacts payments sent via the US Postal Service and there are many other ways to pay your bill.

Back to Water Resources FAQ

Excellent question! Burlington City Ordinances (section 31-19) do allow an owner to add a tenant’s name to their bill but we hold the property owner responsible for any unpaid balances. The property owner's name will always remain on the bill with the tenant being added as a care of. This is because our claim to unpaid balances is secured by filing a tax lien on the actual real estate supplied with water (City Ordinance, section 31-20 a). Eligible accounts have individual water meters for the space being rented and receive a separate bill from us. For example, if a duplex is separately rented but only has one water meter then we do not allow a tenant’s name to be added. This is because that water meter is tracking the cumulative usage for both units and must stay in the property owner’s name.  However, if a duplex is separately meter then we are happy to allow tenants to receive the bill provided the appropriate form is filled out. 

The tenant agreement form must be filled out completely and signed by the property owner or their designee. We will reject any documents that do not comply.  Please review the form carefully as it contains vital information regarding this process. Again, tenants cannot fill out this form—only proper authorization will be accepted.  Property owners may authorize their property managers to do business for them by completing our property manager form.

Unfortunately, we do not currently offer a final reading service for tenants so when a lease ends we will only be able to calculate final consumption through our regular reading dates.  We read the first three business days of the month and many lease terminations do coincide with our regular read dates.  However, property owners or tenants are welcome to read the water meter themselves and call us with the information so we can calculate the final bill based on that information.  We strongly encourage property owners to check with us about any unpaid balances before giving back a security deposit as we do not pursue tenants for the balance.     

Back to Water Resources FAQ's

The City of Burlington charges Water Resources (and other utilities) a franchise fee based on 3.5% of our gross sales and services revenues.  The fee is in exchange for our use of the City streets and rights-of-way for the utility pipe network and related structures.  This is allowed by City Charter and you can review both the ordinance (begin with 27-119) and the MOU executed in 1990 that increased the fee.

Prior to 7/1/17 this fee was incorporated into our rate structure and not shown separately on the bills.  However, we strive to be as transparent as possible with our rate development process, so it has been removed from the rates and is now a standalone charge.  The 3.5% is calculated on your current charges and is inclusive any service fees charged (e.g., returned payments, final reading requests).  Our Stormwater utility is exempt from the franchise fee.      

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Congratulations!  Burlington is a great city and if you have plans to sell or purchase then there a few things necessary to ensure a smooth transition of service.  It is very common for the Water Resources bill to be included in the items paid at closing but we need to know when that will occur.  The Final Reading Request Form must be completed by the seller or their representative and returned to us for scheduling.  There is a $30.00 fee for this service and it will be added to the final bill.  Unfortunately, if we don’t receive this form then there will be no final bill issued and this can result in confusion over whom owes what through the sale date.  A change in ownership does not absolve the balance and the new owner would inherit any unpaid balances.  We do not require a deposit nor do we report to credit agencies but a delinquent Water Resources bill can result in service termination or a lien being placed on the property.  Please note, we ask that the final balance is only paid once to avoid a lengthy refund process.  If you are unsure then please contact us to inquire or review the itemized list of expenses on the closing documents.  The final reading request form is available in alternate formats, please email if you require a non fillable form. 

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Great question! Vermont State Law requires anyone digging on public or private land to have the utility lines marked.  Digsafe is a free service (paid for by member utilities) that notifies utility companies to go mark their lines which helps avoid costly mistakes and outages.  What do the colors mean? Review this brochure to find out! Need more information?  Visit digsafe.com for the whole scoop and remember to call 1-888-344-7233 to dig safely! 

Back to Water Resources FAQs

In 2014, the City partnered with MuniciPAY to process any credit card or echeck payments via an online portal and the service fee charged goes directly to them.  We decided to not absorb the cost of the service fee because less than 2% of our customers use that payment method.  We believe that asking all rate payers to absorb a charge that most are not utilizing isn't equitable.  If you would prefer a free payment option then we welcome you to pay in cash, check or set up automatic debit. 

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Good news! Water Resources has an online portal where you can opt for paperless billing; you can even review your consumption and payment history too!  You will need a valid email address and a recent bill to set up your account. 

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Yes! Burlington meets or exceeds all the federal and state drinking water standards for water quality.  We produce a consumer confidence report each year that summarizes the detectable contaminants and compares our results to Federal and State standards. For questions regarding water quality please call 863-4501 and ask to speak to one of our friendly Water Plant Operators.

Back to Water Resources FAQs

There are several reasons why this may be occurring, please review the most common explanations below.

  • Does your house have a galvanized service line? These pipes experience build up over time (tuberculation) and eventually severely restrict the flow of water to and through your home.  Please contact Customer Service at  863-4501 to schedule a free appointment to assess your pipe condition.
  • Have you recently been working in the basement by the water meter? Sometimes the valve on your meter can be nudged or bumped and this will restrict flow. Please be sure it is wide open to restore proper flow!
  • Do you have a pressure reducing valve?  High PSI can wear on appliances and you may have installed a pressure reducing valve to help combat this.  Please double check the setting to ensure it's not too low. 
  • Have you confirmed if our Field Service crews are in your neighborhood?  We are often doing routine maintenance (or emergency repairs) in the City and this may cause low pressure.  Please check in with Customer Service to see where our crews are today. 
  • Have you noticed a Fire Sprinkler company in your neighborhood?  You may have a neighbor having work done on their sprinkler system and companies are required to notify us. Please review our Fire Sprinkler Notifications to see if someone is working nearby. 

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Burlington has three wastewater plants that treat raw sewage and they are located on Riverside Avenue, North Avenue Extension and Lavalley Lane.  We treat domestic and industrial sewage to levels that ensure public health and the biological integrity of the waters that receive discharges from these facilities.  The end product is highly treated water which must meet stringent federal standards.  Burlington is also unique in that stormwater for much of the City is collected and treated at the Main Plant on Lavalley Lane prior to discharge into Lake Champlain.  

Back to Water Resources FAQs

If you are experiencing a sewer back up in your home, please call the Street Division at 863-9094 to report a possible sewer line plug.  They will investigate the sewer main closest to your home and verify that it is clear or if it's plugged they will fix it immediately.  If the City's main is clear then you would need to contact a private business to snake your sewer lateral and any interior pipes, at your own expense.

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Burlington is fortunate to have such a quality source in Lake Champlain. Water is pumped from over 4,000 feet off shore at a depth of over 40 feet and then processed at the Water Treatment Plant.

Back to Water Resources FAQs

The first thing to do is conduct an internal audit to discover if any plumbing fixtures are leaking. The most common culprit of excessive water usage is a running toilet, although you should examine all fixtures including outside spigots. The water meter is typically located in your basement along the wall that is closest to the roadway.  They are temperature sensitive and will break when exposed to freezing temperatures, so if you do not have a basement then look in another protected area, like a utility closet.  There is a “leak indicator” on the face of the meter and this is a small red triangle (or diamond) that spins when the meter is recording usage.  Please take a moment when no one in the household is using water and watch the indicator.  If it is moving at all then your meter is recording consumption and water is moving through your home somewhere. 

If you did not find evidence of a leak then please reflect back on any recent events or changes in your household.  Did the number of residents change? Has there been a significant increase in laundry? Did you power wash your home? Are you an avid gardener?  Please review the number of days in the billing cycle on this bill--is it longer than usual? Was there a holiday during that period of time? Did you have a party or overnight guests? Any of these reasons could explain the high consumption and there may not be a reason for concern. We do offer free appointments to review the water meter with you. Please contact our Customer Service Team at (802)863-4501 or water-resources@burlingtonvt.gov if you are interested in scheduling one. 

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Per City Ordinance section 31-20 (a), if a bill remains unpaid on the due date then they are subject to an interest charge of twelve (12) percent per annum or 1% per month.

Back to Water Resources FAQs

Human Resources

Class A Employees

The System provides for cost of living increases matching the Consumer Price Index up to 5%. At the time of retirement you have three choices in terms of the cost of living increases. You can choose the normal accrual rate (2.75% or 2.65% depending on your hire date) with the full cost of living increase payable. You can choose a higher accrual rate (3.25%) with half the cost of living increase payable. Finally you can choose an even higher accrual rate (3.80%3.60%) with no cost of living increase payable. BPOA employees hired after 7/1/06 and BFA employees hired after 1/1/07 only have the 2.65% Full COLA option.

If you have a legal spouse at the time of your death, a survivor's benefit in the amount of 30% of your basic monthly earnings will be paid until the earlier of your spouse's death or second anniversary of remarriage. The amount of this benefit will be increased by 5% for one eligible child and 10% for two or more eligible children. This children's benefit is payable until the earliest of the child's death, marriage or attainment of age 21.

If you meet the definition of disability, you may be eligible for the disability benefit which is wage continuation at 75%. The benefit may begin 90 days after the onset of disability, which is defined as the first day you did not work. The time that you are totally disabled is counted as service credit toward an eventual service retirement.

The amount you are vested is the percentage of your earned benefit that you are entitled to. You are 20% vested after three years, and the percent vested goes up 20% a year until at seven years you are 100% vested.

You contribute 10.8% of your base pay on a before-tax basis.

The formula is 2.75% x AFC x Service not more than 25 years, plus .5% x AFC x Service up to 10 years. AFC is your Average Final Compensation, which is the average of your best three years of base earnings. Except that BPOA employees hired after 7/1/06 and BFA members hired after 1/1/07 the accrual rate is 2.65%

The reduction is calculated on an actuarial table, based on the closer you are to age 55 or 25 years of service. However, the early retirement reduction where service is 20 to 25 years will be 1.82% for each year less than 25.

You can retire early between the ages of 42 and 55 if you have completed three years of service, except BPOA employees hired after 7/1/06 and BFA employees hired after 1/1/07 the minimum age is 45.

You can retire on an unreduced benefit at age 55 with 7 years of service.

Class B Employees

The System provides for cost of living increases matching the Consumer Price Index up to 5%. At the time of retirement you have three choices in terms of the cost of living increases. You can choose the normal accrual rate (1.60% or 1.40% depending on your hire date) with the full cost of living increase payable. You can choose a higher accrual rate (1.90%) with half the cost of living increase payable. Finally you can choose an even higher accrual rate (2.20%/2.00%) with no cost of living increase payable. For most B participants hired on or after 1/1/06 the only choice is the 1.4% accrual rate with the full cost of living.

If you have a legal spouse at the time of your death, a survivor's benefit in the amount of 30% of your basic monthly earnings will be paid until the earlier of your spouse's death, second anniversary of remarriage, or attainment of age 62.

If you meet the definition of disability, you may be eligible for the disability benefit which is wage continuation at 75%. The benefit may begin 90 days after the onset of disability, which is defined as the first day you did not work. The time that you are totally disabled is counted as service credit toward an eventual service retirement.

The amount you are vested is the percentage of your earned benefit that you are entitled to. You are 20% vested after three years, and the percent vested goes up 20% a year until at seven years you are 100% vested.

Class B participants contribute to the plan. Most B participants contribute 3% of their gross base wage. It varies, consult your collective bargaining agreement or policy.

The formula is 1.60% x AFC x Service at age 65 not more than 25 years, plus .5% x AFC x Service at age 65 more than 25 years. AFC is your Average Final Compensation, which is the average of your best three years of base earnings. For certain employees hired on or after 1/1/06 the accrual rate is 1.40%.

Your benefit will be increased by using all service, or by using service at age 65 and an actuarial increase, whichever results in the larger benefit.

Your benefit is reduced 2% for each year younger than 65 you are when you retire. For certain employees hired on or after 1/1/06 there is a greater reduction for early retirement.

You can retire early between the ages of 55 and 65 if you have completed three years of service.

You retire on an unreduced benefit at age 65 with 7 years of service.

Class A Employees

The System provides for cost of living increases matching the Consumer Price Index up to 5%. At the time of retirement you have three choices in terms of the cost of living increases. You can choose the normal accrual rate (2.75% or 2.65% depending on your hire date) with the full cost of living increase payable. You can choose a higher accrual rate (3.25%) with half the cost of living increase payable. Finally you can choose an even higher accrual rate (3.80%3.60%) with no cost of living increase payable. BPOA employees hired after 7/1/06 and BFA employees hired after 1/1/07 only have the 2.65% Full COLA option.

If you have a legal spouse at the time of your death, a survivor's benefit in the amount of 30% of your basic monthly earnings will be paid until the earlier of your spouse's death or second anniversary of remarriage. The amount of this benefit will be increased by 5% for one eligible child and 10% for two or more eligible children. This children's benefit is payable until the earliest of the child's death, marriage or attainment of age 21.

If you meet the definition of disability, you may be eligible for the disability benefit which is wage continuation at 75%. The benefit may begin 90 days after the onset of disability, which is defined as the first day you did not work. The time that you are totally disabled is counted as service credit toward an eventual service retirement.

The amount you are vested is the percentage of your earned benefit that you are entitled to. You are 20% vested after three years, and the percent vested goes up 20% a year until at seven years you are 100% vested.

You contribute 10.8% of your base pay on a before-tax basis.

The formula is 2.75% x AFC x Service not more than 25 years, plus .5% x AFC x Service up to 10 years. AFC is your Average Final Compensation, which is the average of your best three years of base earnings. Except that BPOA employees hired after 7/1/06 and BFA members hired after 1/1/07 the accrual rate is 2.65%

The reduction is calculated on an actuarial table, based on the closer you are to age 55 or 25 years of service. However, the early retirement reduction where service is 20 to 25 years will be 1.82% for each year less than 25.

You can retire early between the ages of 42 and 55 if you have completed three years of service, except BPOA employees hired after 7/1/06 and BFA employees hired after 1/1/07 the minimum age is 45.

You can retire on an unreduced benefit at age 55 with 7 years of service.

Class B Employees

The System provides for cost of living increases matching the Consumer Price Index up to 5%. At the time of retirement you have three choices in terms of the cost of living increases. You can choose the normal accrual rate (1.60% or 1.40% depending on your hire date) with the full cost of living increase payable. You can choose a higher accrual rate (1.90%) with half the cost of living increase payable. Finally you can choose an even higher accrual rate (2.20%/2.00%) with no cost of living increase payable. For most B participants hired on or after 1/1/06 the only choice is the 1.4% accrual rate with the full cost of living.

If you have a legal spouse at the time of your death, a survivor's benefit in the amount of 30% of your basic monthly earnings will be paid until the earlier of your spouse's death, second anniversary of remarriage, or attainment of age 62.

If you meet the definition of disability, you may be eligible for the disability benefit which is wage continuation at 75%. The benefit may begin 90 days after the onset of disability, which is defined as the first day you did not work. The time that you are totally disabled is counted as service credit toward an eventual service retirement.

The amount you are vested is the percentage of your earned benefit that you are entitled to. You are 20% vested after three years, and the percent vested goes up 20% a year until at seven years you are 100% vested.

Class B participants contribute to the plan. Most B participants contribute 3% of their gross base wage. It varies, consult your collective bargaining agreement or policy.

The formula is 1.60% x AFC x Service at age 65 not more than 25 years, plus .5% x AFC x Service at age 65 more than 25 years. AFC is your Average Final Compensation, which is the average of your best three years of base earnings. For certain employees hired on or after 1/1/06 the accrual rate is 1.40%.

Your benefit will be increased by using all service, or by using service at age 65 and an actuarial increase, whichever results in the larger benefit.

Your benefit is reduced 2% for each year younger than 65 you are when you retire. For certain employees hired on or after 1/1/06 there is a greater reduction for early retirement.

You can retire early between the ages of 55 and 65 if you have completed three years of service.

You retire on an unreduced benefit at age 65 with 7 years of service.