The Vermont Council on Planning (VCP) envisions a future in which coordinated municipal, regional, and state plans are implemented in line with statewide goals to guide development, conservation, and resource protection in the interests of all Vermonters.
The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) founded, produced, and facilitated the Vermont Council on Planning to evaluate the structure of the planning system in Vermont and to consider ways to strengthen planning efforts and their outcomes for Vermont communities. Instituted in September of 2004, the Vermont Council on Planning had a one-year mission: to consider the challenges before municipal, regional, and state agency planning and build recommendations to improve the system.
Like all of VCRD’s councils, the membership of the Vermont Council on Planning was selected to be a leadership group, comprised of members of state agencies, Vermont Legislators, business, housing, and environmental directors, legal experts, federal representatives, and regional and local planners and officials. The decision to form a policy council around the issue of planning arose from a series of VCRD Rural Summits exploring issues such as affordable housing development, agricultural viability, transportation, land use, and economic development that were linked by a common thread of concern around planning. A 2004 Summit devoted exclusively to the “Structure of the Planning System in Vermont” was used to launch the VCP. Participants at the VCRD summit saw a need to revisit the accomplishments of Act 200, which they believed suffered from a lack of funding and a failure to accomplish some of its goals, particularly in the coordination of planning across levels needed to empower plans at each level.
The final report covers the history of planning in Vermont and outlines 17 recommendations toward four major goals for advancing the system of planning, improving capacity, and extending the communications and collaboration that will make plans effective in guiding Vermont forward.