HOW WE PLAN
FIND YOUR TOWN
We have lots of pans in the fire and an eye to future. We care about our communities and economic development is the heartbeat of our work. Speaking of work, we take ours seriously but we like to have fun while we get it done.
Regional planning commissions are a local resource for towns and, in a state without county governments, a link between municipal affairs and state government.
Regional planning commissions are non-taxing, political subdivisions of the State of Vermont established under state statute (24 VSA §4341). More on that later.
Rutland County communities can count on RRPC to provide the tools and information they need to make smart decisions about land use, economic development, energy, transportation, emergency management and more. From traffic counts and culvert studies; to implementing new water quality law requirements and navigating Act 174 (the renewable energy law) with local select boards and planning commissions; to assisting with grant applications; to producing high quality maps with the latest digital data: RRPC staff does what it takes to help towns get the job done.
We create opportunities and provide space for people to learn, to share and to come together around topics that matter and impact our lives, including monthly road commissioner meetings; local emergency management, and water quality solutions.
A cornerstone of our work is the Regional Plan; a document written by RRPC with input from our board. The plan articulates a vision for the Rutland region. It’s a valuable instrument that holistically guides growth and captures trends. We are hard at work updating sections of the plan and keeping a pulse on laws and rulings that impact the plan’s governing strength.
Daily we work in fields that directly and indirectly affect the public at large: land use, transportation, housing, economic development, environmental quality, and more. We collaborate with local governments and other regional organizations can carry out solutions. Rutland Economic Development Corporation, Marble Valley Regional Transit District, the Rutland County Solid Waste District, and Land Trust of Rutland County are just a few of our regional partners.
Each municipality in the region is a “member” of the Commission. (24 VSA §4341). Local financial contributions are voluntary, and local implementation of Commission recommendations is voluntary. Regional officials are not directly elected but are appointed by the Select Board or Aldermen of each community. Each municipality has at least one representative to the Commission (24 VSA §4342).
Promote cooperation amongst municipalities. Assist communities with creating and maintaining plans, studies, and bylaws. Prepare a regional plan that is consistent with state goals and is compatible with municipal plans. (24 VSA §4345a). Complete a scope of work as defined by an annual contract with ACCD to provide regional planning services. (24 VSA §4341a). This work includes enhanced consultations with local planning commissions; reviewing Act 250 and Section 248 applications, sharing info with and educating local officials and volunteers; helping communities obtain and renew state designations and grants. There’s a whole lot more—these are just a few highlights— check out the statutes online or give Ed a call if you’re curious, he’s happy to answer your questions.
Make recommendations on land development, urban renewal, economic development, urban beautification and design improvements, historic and scenic preservation. Gather economic and demographic information, and encourage the development and growth of small business (24 VSA §4345). Again, these are just a few highlights.
Over the last thirty years planning has swung in a new direction—or perhaps it’s going back to where it started. Planners look at the cities, towns, and villages as living, interconnected, people-centered places. Density, walkability – concepts that worked for thousands of years—are not always intuitive today because we were taught to get in our cars and spread out for the last 50 years.
Understanding how land use affects economic development; how the transportation network can make a town great or siphon out its vitality; how protecting a section of riverbank can save lives and property from flooding; how the decisions and policies we put in place today shape how our towns look tomorrow is a science and a passion. We have the expertise on hand and the passion in our bellies for making our region the best region in the country.
Mixed uses. Human-scale design. Multi-modal transportation. Traditional street designs (bringing back grids). Caring about buildings. Form to create a sense of place for humans. Incremental growth. Buildings that are adaptable. Clean cities in which people want to live. Community planning from the bottom up.
Separation of uses. Mega-projects. Car-centric engineering. And parking lots (yep, we went there). Cul-de-sacs. “Throw-away” buildings. Function over form (modernists). Development designed around cars (aka sprawl). Buildings that are single-use. Regions treated like machines where no one wants to live. Centralized planning from the top down.