Overview of Woodbury Town Planning Process

Overview of Woodbury Town Planning Process

November 20, 2020

Why a Town Plan: Every Vermont town is legally required to have an adopted plan, updated every eight years.  The plan articulates resident’s aspirations for the town’s future and describes how to achieve them.  A plan will: 1) help Woodbury make better decisions about how to use its resources and apply its regulatory authority; 2) give the town greater access to state, federal, and private grant funding; and 3) give the town a stronger voice in state infrastructure and land development permitting decisions.

History and Current Status: Woodbury’s most recent plan was adopted in 2003, making it long overdue for revision.  An updated plan was drafted in 2016 but was not finalized.  During Town Meeting 2020, Planning Commission Chairman Skip Lindsay proposed, and residents in attendance agreed to, allocating $10,000 for a comprehensive plan revision.  During the summer, the Planning Commission solicited bids from planning consultants to provide technical assistance during the planning process.  The Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission (CVRPC) was the successful bidder.  Planners Clare Rock and Zach Maia are now supporting the planning process and will continue to do so through September 2021 when the plan is scheduled to be submitted for adoption by the Select Board and the CVRPC.

Planning Process and Plan Content

Vermont town planning guidelines call for a five step planning process: 1) Community Assessment; 2) Shared community vision formulation; 3) Goals and policies development; 4) Mapping of desired future land use; and 5) Priority actions identification.  Community assessment includes creating a picture of Woodbury as it is now in terms of history, population, economy, education, infrastructure, housing, communications, transportation, energy use, land use, and natural resources. A core element of the assessment process is engaging residents to understand their perceptions of the town and aspirations for its future.  This information forms the basis for a community discussion about creating a community vision and later to develop goals, policies and actions to achieve the vision.  The CVRPC will gather data and create maps to support the visioning and planning process.   In addition to the above topics, towns are legally mandated to include provisions in the plan to protect large forest blocks and reduce flood impacts.   Towns may include additional topics of local interest.

The Vision

Agreeing on a vision of Woodbury’s future is at the heart of the planning process.  A vision statement typically addresses overall town character, educational and economic opportunities, land and natural resource use, and government services but isn’t limited to these topics.  The vision may include a desire to maintain elements of the town’s character while identifying areas where change is desired.

Where We Are Now

The Planning Commission and consultants have developed a survey to get input from Woodbury full and part-time residents on topics that are critical to developing the vision.  This survey may be completed electronically on Survey Monkey or filled out on a paper form available at the town office until early January.  Members of the Planning Commission will interview selected residents in more depth.

Public Information 

Monthly progress updates will be posted on the town website and on Front Porch Forum.  Survey results will be posted as they are available using an information dashboard that will be developed by a volunteer Woodbury resident.

COVID Considerations

The town planning process usually includes a number of public meetings as the plan is developed to allow community members to interact with each other and with the commissioners. Public meetings are not possible now but the Planning Commission is hopeful that we will be able to hold public meetings next summer.

Planning Schedule

November-December 2020:  Solicit community input as described above.  CVRPC begins data analysis and mapping.

January-February 2021: Summarize interview and survey responses and share them with the community.  Community feedback incorporated into the body of information used to develop the Vision. CVRPC begins updating data and text in the Town Plan.

March-April 2021:  Woodbury Planning Commission and CVRPC develops the vision and goals section of the plan and shares these with the community. CVRPC continues updating the plan.

May-June 2021:  The draft Town Plan is finalized through public meetings, while also seeking comments through electronic media.

July-September 2021:  The Woodbury Town Plan is submitted for town adoption. Public hearings are held by the Planning Commission and then the Select Board. Revisions, if necessary, are made. Upon adoption by the Select Board, the plan will be reviewed by CVRPC for regional approval and legal adoption.

Town-Wide Community Survey Now Available

The Town-Wide Community Survey is a vital tool for establishing a strong, community-held vision for the future of Woodbury.

Please use the following link for the electronic survey, hosted by SurveyMonkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/79L2SXZ.

A paper copy of the survey is available at the Woodbury Town Offices, 1672 Vermont Route 14, Woodbury, VT.

The Planning Commission request that the survey be filled out online or on paper and returned to us by January 6, 2021. The survey seeks opinions on commercial and residential land use, residential and commercial growth, employment opportunities, broadband expansion, zoning ordinance updates,  shoreland and village district’s growth opportunities, forest conservation, recreational opportunities, etc.

Town Plan Press Release

1672 VT RT 14
P.O. BOX 10
E-mail: wdbyselctbdtlindsay@comcast.net
Phone: 802.535.8522

November 4, 2020


The Town of Woodbury Planning Commission announce the kick-off of the project to re-write the 2003 Town Plan, which expired several years ago. The planning process is expected to be completed in fall 2021 following a period of extensive community consultation. Interactions with community members will initially be by telephone or email due to COVID restrictions. The Planning Commission hopes public meetings will be possible next spring.

Vermont towns are expected to have up-to-date plans, which have a number of benefits, including helping Woodbury invest town resources wisely, access grant funding, and have a greater voice in guiding development.

In order to share information and gather input on the development of the new plan, the Planning Commission will reach out to community members, groups and organizations who can provide objective information and help the Planning Commission in understanding opportunities, problems, alternatives and solutions to improve Woodbury as a place to live.  The aim is to work directly with these organizations and Woodbury citizens throughout the planning process to ensure their concerns and aspirations are understood and thoughtfully considered.

A town-wide survey will be released on November 6, 2020. The Planning Commission request that the survey be filled out online or on paper and returned to us by January 6, 2021. The survey will seek opinions on commercial and residential land use, residential and commercial growth, employment opportunities, broadband expansion, zoning ordinance updates, future Woodbury Graded School uses, shoreland and village district’s growth opportunities, forest conservation, recreational opportunities, etc.

Look for the survey link on the Woodbury Town web site. Links to the survey will be published in Front Porch Forum and the Hardwick Gazette as well. Paper copies of the survey may be picked-up and returned to the Town Offices, attention: Woodbury Planning Commissioner.

Planning Commissioners:
Skip Lindsay-email: wdbyselctbdtlindsay@comcast.net
Michael Gray-email: grhayes1956@comcast.net
Dave Barnowski-Phone: 802.456.7094
Jayne Nold-Laurendeau-Phone:802.456.1534
Jim Schweithelm-email: jschweithelm@gmail.com