The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Congress of the New Urbanism (CNU) is pleased announce the completion of Enabling Better Places: A Zoning Guide for Vermont Neighborhoods.  This how-to manual promotes practical, small steps that Vermont’s cities, towns and villages can take to address widespread regulatory barriers that limit the choice of conveniently located homes available at prices Vermont’s people can afford.

The guide culminates a year of work with six Vermont communities through the Project for Code Reform, CNU’s strategic initiative to support cities and towns as they reform outdated zoning codes in favor of more walkable urbanism. With financial support from the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, AARP-Vermont, and the Vermont Association of Realtors, CNU worked with DHCD and Vermont’s Regional Planning Commissions to create the new guide, focusing on increasing housing access and affordability in walkable centers.

The guide emphasizes incremental changes that can have a big impact in a single neighborhood or area of town, making it easy for communities to create solutions right for their needs and circumstances. This focus helps local leaders test approaches, build political will, and gain community support as they go, before moving on to other reforms.

During this time of uncertainty and intense separation, the need for communities to come together to find new ways to adapt and become and resilient becomes even more important.  We hope communities large and small can use the guide to expand access and inclusion in housing, increase vitality and transform into even better places for their residents, businesses, and visitors.

You can download the guide here.