Town of Dummerston

Windham County, Vermont

Development Review Board
 

Development Review Board - Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a permit? What is land development?

Land development in Dummerston must be in conformance with the Town?s Zoning Bylaw and authorized by a Zoning Permit, unless specifically exempted by State law or the Zoning Bylaw. Land Development is defined as: the division of a parcel into two or more parcels, the construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation or enlargement of any building or other structure, or of any mining, excavation of landfill, and any change in the use of any building or other structure, or land, or extension of use of land.
Zoning permit applications are available from the Zoning Administrator at Town Office.
 

What if I think the Zoning Administrator has made the wrong decision in issuing, or not issuing, a permit?

First, we urge you to talk to the Zoning Administrator; the ZA may have additional information that affected the decision, or be able to explain to your satisfaction the basis for the decision. You may have information the ZA was not aware of. If you still feel the ZA's decision was incorrect, and you qualify as an "interested person", you may appeal the decision asking for the DRB to hold a hearing and make a different decision. Appeals of permit decisions must be made within 15 days. The Zoning Administrator will assist you with the appropriate appeal forms.
 

What if I can't attend the DRB hearing, but have opinions or information to share?

Citizens are encouraged to attend and offer their own testimony; you can likely best describe your opinions and explain the reasons. The DRB tries to keep the meetings as informal as possible while adhering to requirements for process. However, you may also have someone else represent you at the hearing; it can be an attorney, or it can be anyone else. Finally, the DRB can accept a written statement or letter, but this is less effective as the Board or other parties will not be able to ask you to further explain or ask questions to better understand. Only persons who attend, or are represented at the hearing, have the right to appeal.
 

Who decided/wrote/approved the zoning?

The Town's Zoning Bylaw is prepared by the Town Planning Commission based on the Town Plan and community input. After public hearings the Bylaw is recommended to the Town Selectboard, which may adopt the Bylaw after an additional public hearing.
 

What if I don't like the zoning requirements?

The Planning Commission annually reviews the Zoning Bylaw and considers possible changes. Let the Planning Commission know how you feel the zoning can be improved, along with your reasons. You'll be most effective if you present your ideas in writing. Remember, the Planning Commission must consider the entire community and its needs, and must also follow state guidelines.
 

How long does the DRB hearing and decision process take?

The DRB keeps current with incoming applications, although if several come within a short time, the latest ones may get delayed a month; in the past the DRB has sometimes held an extra meeting to address this need. The time from application to hearing depends primarily on when in the monthly cycle an application is received; a minimum 3-4 weeks lead is needed for the required hearing notices. Hearings sometimes, but not usually, must be continued in order to get needed information. Once the hearing is closed the DRB must issue its formal written decision within 45 days; we are generally able to do it in less time.
 

What if I don't agree with the DRB decision?

Parties who are qualified as "interested parties" may appeal a decision of the DRB to the Vermont Environmental Court. This is a more formal process and an attorney should be consulted.