By the Vermont Environmental Assistance Partnership, February 2004
Fact: Act 250, Vermont?s Land Use Planning Law, has regulated certain categories of commercial development since 1970. Of the 600-700 applications per year, over 80% are processed without a hearing, over 60% are issued in less than 60 days, and 95% are approved, with conditions. The Vermont Environmental Board administers Act 250.
Q. How do I know if my business needs an Act 250 permit for my project?
A. Act 250 is a comprehensive law that evaluates the impact of a development project under a number of environmental criteria (see the 10 Criteria below). An Act 250 permit is required for commercial construction of improvements on more than one acre, or ten acres (if the town has permanent zoning and subdivision regulations). Check to see if your project is located in an Act 250, ?10 Acre or 1 Acre town? (for a listof these see: Environmental Board website at: www.state.vt.us/envboard/). For a determination on Act 250 jurisdiction, contact the Act 250 District Coordinator (see Regional Office list, next page).
Q. What are the "10 Criteria" of Act 250?
A. The 10 Criteria are the standards, which the District Commission uses to evaluate a development project. These criteria include such issues as air pollution, waste disposal, wetlands, erosion control, traffic, impact on schools and municipal services, and conformance with town and regional plans. In order to obtain an Act 250 permit, a project must satisfy the 10 criteria.
Q. Where can I get a copy of the Act 250 application forms?
A. The application forms can be downloaded from the Publications Page of the Environmental Board website. They are also available at the five Regional Act 250 Offices located around the state as well as the Environmental Board office in Montpelier. You can stop by to pick up a copy of the application or request that one be sent to you in the mail. You can also purchase a copy on floppy disk by contacting Denise Wheeler at the Environmental Board (802-828-5441).
Q. Where can I get assistance filling out the Act 250 application?
A. If you are new to the Act 250 process or if you have questions about filling out the Act 250 application, applicants are encouraged to schedule a pre-application meeting with the District Coordinator or Assistant District Coordinator to discuss your project and how to fill out the application forms. Private Act 250 consultants are also available (for a fee) if you feel that you need more extensive assistance.
VEAP is: VT-SBDC, VT Department of Environmental Conservation, VT Department of Economic Development, and the VT Manufacturing Extension Center.
This information is provided for reference purposes only. You may want to consult with legal counsel on current Vermont State laws.