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Learn about development review in Milton, VT.
If you have questions about any of these applications or the process, please contact the Planning and Economic Development Department.
While the Development Review Board is ultimately responsible for the decision to approve or deny an application, many people are involved:
The Unified Development Regulations are the primary ordinances used in development review and enabled by the State’s Planning Statute 24 VSA 117. Other documents, such as the Comprehensive Plan (PDF) or Public Works Specifications (PDF) may also be considered, where applicable. The application forms identify the main review criteria that will be used by staff, and the Town’s staff will review the application according to all regulations that correspond with the proposal. While the Town aims to make the expectations as predictable as possible, the complexity and uniqueness of many applications can mean that some unexpected items can only be identified and resolved during the process itself.
Many requirements are clearly defined by the regulations and must be fulfilled by the applicant unless a variance is applied for and granted. In some cases, however, the regulations are unclear or conflictual, and the Development Review Board (DRB) must exercise its discretion to faithfully interpret the wording of the regulations or resolve a discrepancy in the language. In other cases, the regulations grant the DRB wide discretion, such as the authority to grant waivers from certain provisions of the regulations or require certain improvements. The DRB always retains the authority to approve or deny an application.
The review process is as following:
Applicants can often save time and money by working with the Planning Department prior to submitting an application. We value the opportunity to discuss how your goals fit into the Town's Regulations.
View the application forms and fees. Forms are also available in the Planning Office. An applicant can submit two applications for a single project for concurrent review. The applications must be submitted together and be able to be heard at the same meeting.
Applications must be deemed complete by the Development Review Planner a minimum of 31 days prior to a Development Review Board meeting. Applications are generally first come-first serve, and an application can only be placed on the agenda if there is space available. Please coordinate your application submission with the Development Review Planner to ensure enough time.
The law recognizes that land use decisions have far-reaching and long-lasting consequences on the natural, built, social and economic environment of our community. The action of one neighbor can positively or negatively affect the property of a another neighbor, and individual development choices, added together, collectively shape how we live, work, consume, play and move around in our community. In other words, they shape our community. We are here to help you navigate this legal process efficiently and approachable.
Please note that only certain people can participate in a Development Review Board (DRB) hearing. Unlike other public meetings, the DRB is not required by law to allow general public input (1VSA312(h)) during a hearing. Only those individuals with “interested person status,” as defined in 24 VSA 117§4465(b), may participate in hearings. Adjoining property owners are always considered interested persons, and receive notification of the hearing by mail. If you require a reasonable accommodation according to the ADA in order to be able to participate, please notify the Planning and Economic Development Office or Town Manager’s Office.
View Development Review Board (DRB) agendas and packets. Plans are not made available for public viewing during the hearing. The public can see what the DRB sees prior to the meeting. The full contents of application files are open to public inspection during office hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
When you arrive at the meeting, you must first sign in to the meeting at the door. All those testifying must take an oath to tell the truth and sign another hearing sheet prior to testifying. If you legibly sign this sheet, the Planning Staff will mail you a copy of the written decision.
The Development Review Board (DRB) Chair will then read a summary of the project and read the numbered items in the Staff Report, allowing comments from the applicant and anyone else who may wish to speak on that topic. The Staff Report frames questions, conditions and discretionary decisions for the DRB’s consideration and Applicant’s response. Applicant must, at this time, testify on the items and state if they agree or disagree. After the items have all been read, the DRB Chair will generally ask if there are any further comments. If you speak, you must state your name for the record and all comments must be directed to the DRB. Once all testimony and evidence has been heard, the hearing will either be closed or recessed to be continued at a later meeting. No further evidence or testimony may be given after a hearing has been closed.
The Development Review Board (DRB) may vote to approve an application in Open Meeting, or they may opt to enter Deliberative Session (a private session permitted by 1 VSA 312) to further discuss the application and evidence prior to voting on a decision.
Written decisions are not final until signed by the Chair of the Development Review Board. Decisions are mailed to owners and applicants by certified mail within 45 days of the meeting. Those who have signed in on the hearing sheet will be mailed the decision via regular mail, or by email if requested. The decision outlines: the facts and findings presented at the hearing, conclusions drawn, and conditions of approval (if approved). The Applicant must work with Planning Staff to make any necessary revisions and satisfy All Applicable Conditions of Approval before being eligible to file a plat and/or apply for a zoning permit.
All decisions of the DRB can be appealed by interested persons to the Environmental Division of the Superior Court within 30 days according to 10 VSA §8504. Participation at the hearing is generally prerequisite to the right to a subsequent appeal. Cases heard by the Environmental Division of the Superior Court are heard de novo, or as if they are being considered for the first time.
State Statute (24 VSA §4464) guides how the Planning Office makes applicants, interested parties and the public aware of the hearing. The type of application determines the process used, some applications must be “warned,” while others must be “noticed.”
All single-family houses are allowed, per Vermont law, to have one accessory dwelling unit (ADU) ontheir property. The dwelling unit can be attached to the principal structure(the house), located in an accessory structure, or detached. However, thelandowner must obtain a zoningpermit and meet the following requirements:
1. The ADUmust have provisions for independentliving, such as sleeping, food preparation, and sanitation.
2. The ADU canbe up to 900 square feet or 30% of the total habitable floor areaof the house prior to creation of the ADU, whichever is greater.
3. The ADUcannot contain more than 2 bedrooms.
4. The ADUmust meet applicable dimensional standards for the zoning district.
5. The ADUmust meet parking requirements for residential uses.
6. The ADUmust share a driveway with thehouse.
7. Thelandowner must obtain a town or state water/wastewaterpermit for the ADU.
8. The landowner must live in the house or theADU.
In many cases, permits are required if you are building a porch, deck or patio. See the below flow chart to see if a permit is required for your project.
In some cases, you will need a zoning permit to put up solar panels. The diagram below explains whether or not you need a permit:
Most swimming pools require a zoning permit. The chart below will explain whether or not you need one for you property.
For some fences, you will need a zoning permit.
Some sheds are exempt from permitting; others are not.
There are three different classifications of home businesses in Milton's Unified Development Regulations: home office, home occupation, and home business.
Yes, a Zoning Permit is required for most signs. See Section 3015 of the Unified Development Regulations (PDF) for information regarding signs. Please contact the Zoning Administrator for any questions regarding signs.
Zoning Permits expire two years from the approval date. A Zoning Permit can be renewed for an additional year for an additional fee. If a renewal is required, contact the Department of Planning & Economic Development prior to the permit’s expiration.
A Certificate of Compliance is required for each approved Zoning Permit. Once submitted, the Zoning Administrator will perform an inspection of the construction ensuring the project meets the requirements of the Zoning Permit. If the Certificate of Compliance is approved, Staff will contact you via phone to return to the Town Office to file the certificate with the Town Clerk and pay applicable fees.
Although the issuance of a Letter of Compliance is common in some Vermont towns, the Town of Milton does not partake in this practice. The Town of Milton requires that a Certificate of Compliance be completed for each approved Zoning Permit. If you have a specific permit number, Staff can check to see if a Certificate of Compliance has been issued.
The fees for a zoning permit vary depending on your project. Please see the Zoning Fee Schedule (PDF) for information.
The Impact Fees are listed in the fee schedule. Commercial and industrial development are not subject to an impact fee. The Impact Fees are due upon Certificate of Occupancy Application. See the Impact Fee Ordinance (PDF) for additional information regarding Impact Fees.
The Town of Milton does not require a Zoning Permit for interior improvements within a single family home. However, if your property is in the Special Flood Hazard District, you may need a Zoning Permit for some interior changes. Please contact the Planning and Economic Development office for further information.
Planned Unit Developments, Minor and Major Conventional Subdivisions, Conditional Uses, Variances, Site Plans, and Appeals are some types of development that require review by the DRB. See our Application Forms and Fees page for specific application fees. To learn more about the DRB, visit the DRB's page.
Abuse Prevention Orders, sometimes called TROs, are issued by the Family Court. If you are trying to obtain such an order during normal business hours, you need to go to:
Family Court32 Cherry StreetBurlington, VT
After court hours, you can contact the Milton Police Department at 893-2424 for assistance. Vermont Family Court can be contacted at 802-651-1800.
Police Officers have 30 days to conduct an investigation and file a report. In the event the accident reports are not at the front desk, it is suggested that you call the investigating Officer or the Officer in Charge.
The State of Vermont actually brings charges. In criminal cases, the State of Vermont, through a State's Attorney, makes a decision whether to bring a charge. In some cases, the State's Attorney may bring a charge even if the victim is not cooperative or does not wish to cooperate.
We strongly recommend that you ask for the Officer’s business card, or write down the Officer’s name. If you did not get the Officer’s name, you can email the Milton Police Department's Administrative Assistant or call the Milton Police Department between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Monday through Friday) at 802-893-6171.
Vehicles are usually towed because they were in violation of the Town Ordinances, State Laws or were towed from a privately owned lot, at the request of a property owner/agent. In any case, the company that towed the vehicle is required to contact our communications center and report the vehicle’s registration, make, date and location from where it was towed. You can email the Milton Police Department's Administrative Assistant or call the Milton Police Department between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Monday through Friday) at 802-893-6171. After hours please contact 802-893-2424 for our 24-hour dispatch.
If you are required by the court to provide fingerprints to the Milton Police Department, yes. If you are required to have your fingerprints taken for employment purposes, you need to call the Chittenden County Sheriff's Department at 802-863-4322 for an appointment. Please note that neither agency provides fingerprinting for immigration purposes. If you require such a service, please contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in St. Albans.
Tenant occupancy and property ownership are complex issues that are covered under Vermont Law. These issues are not covered under criminal law, and often police will respond to explain the legal issues or make referrals. Generally speaking, a tenant cannot be evicted from their property without cause. Landlords and property managers cannot deny access to the residence, electricity, heat, water, other utilities or property. You may obtain further information on the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity website.
Evidence and property is stored in a secure location at the Police Department and can only be accessed by a very few people. You can call the Milton Police Department between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Monday through Friday) at 802-893-6171.
Registration and payment (via credit/debit card) for programs and activities can be completed online with our new online registration portal. Alternatively you may complete a Program Registration Form and submit with check via postal mail, or with check/cash to the Milton Recreation office. Checks should be made payable to the Town of Milton. An after-hours drop box is located at the front entrance of the Milton Municipal Building.