Zoning & Planning
INTRODUCTION TO BRANDON’S PERMIT PROCESS
Generally, a Town Zoning Permit is required:
- whenever a property is used for commercial purposes (including dwelling unit rentals),
- demolition or construction of structures (including signs, cell towers, etc),
- alter or expand the size or use of an existing structure, subdivide, excavate or install earthen materials.
Other local permits may be necessary that are not addressed through the Zoning Officer. Some common examples would include:
- a drive way access permit (Highway Foreman),
- moving a mobile home (Clerk & Listers),
- a Vendor’s license, public works (sewer use) or approval for a public event (Town Manager).
PLEASE CHECK WITH THE TOWN (not a contractor, salesperson, or neighbor) BEFORE YOU START A PROJECT, to determine what local permits may be involved.
A Town Permit does not release you from obtaining any other municipal, state or federal approvals that may be needed.
REVIEW OF AN APPLICATION:
*The ZONING ADMINISTRATOR (ZA) is the first person to contact.* The ZA provides advice on the rules, assists with the application forms and plot plans, and outlines the process. The ZA authority is generally limited to:
- residential or accessory structure projects
- agricultural construction notices
- certain minor subdivisions & boundary line adjustments.
Other types of construction or use would be reviewed by the ZA, who then has to refer the application to the Appropriate Municipal Panel (AMP) or department official.
The PLANNING COMMISSION (PC) addresses zoning regulation and Town Plan changes.
The DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD (DRB) hears appeals of a Zoning Administrator decision; Conditional Use & variance or waiver issues; subdivisions, Right-of-Way access, applications that involve flood plains, non-conforming structures or uses; and Planned Unit Developments.
There may also be State or Federal reviews required. Examples include:
- construction within a FEMA mapped flood plain (Special Flood Hazard Area) or wetlands;
- storm water review on projects disturbing more than 1/2 acre
- waste water disposal and potable water supply systems
- access onto state highways, projects involving Act 250 review.
TIME TO PROCESS AN APPLICATION; PLEASE SCHEDULE YOUR PROJECT ACCORDINGLY!
Many factors will impact the time required to obtain a permit:
- Lack of necessary or accurate information on the application.
- Statutory warning &/or appeal periods.
- Third party reviews (VT waste water & Subdivision, flood plain, storm water, wetlands, etc.).
You should anticipate the following time periods for processing of Town applications:
Zoning Administrator Permits are usually issued, denied, or referred to the Appropriate Municipal Panel within 30 days of receiving a COMPLETE ( includes signed Form, detailed Site Plan, and fee) APPLICATION If approved, VT statute requires a 15 DAY APPEAL PERIOD, to allow someone to contest the permit.
The permit is not effective until 15 days have lapsed without appeal; after which the project may start.
Planning Commission and Development Review Board referrals require a warning period and public notices. Applications that will involve these panels should be delivered to the ZA at least 21 DAYS PRIOR TO A PROPOSED HEARING DATE.
- The PC meets on the first Monday of each month
- The DRB usually schedules meetings or Public Hearings on the fourth Wednesday of a month, when there is an application to consider.
- Either panel may extend the Hearings to additional meetings as necessary to collect information, testimony, or outside reviews.
- Both panels have up to 45 days in which to render a decision.
- A decision may be further appealed by an interested party, within 30 days of issue, but only in VT’s Environmental Court.
Jeffrey M. Biasuzzi
Tel: (802) 247-3635 ext. 202
Fax: (802) 247-5481
8:15 am - 4:00pm
8:15 am - Noon
*Special meetings with the ZA may be arranged. These hours are subject to change with short notice;