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Rural Area Zoning

To quote from the Town Plan:

“The character of the Town of Hinesburg and the identification of Hinesburg’s Village as a distinct commercial center depend on the sense of separation and lower development densities provided by open spaces and rural vistas within the town. In order to preserve this character, particular attention should be paid to balancing growth pressures with preservation of rural vistas as well as the working forested and agricultural landscape.”

For over a decade, the Planning Commission has been discussing ways to make our land use regulations more consistent with the rural area vision expressed in the Town Plan. Furthering the goals of the Town Plan as well as improving the flexibility and predictability of the development review process are central goals in this effort. Based on feedback from public forums dating back to 2008 (see below for info about those forums), as well as feedback at a formal public hearing on September 12, 2012, the Planning Commission forwarded a rural zoning proposal to the Select Board with the following three basic objectives:

  1. Provide rural area landowners with more land use options by expanding the types of uses allowed in the Agricultural and Rural Residential 2 zoning districts.
  2. Clarify and improve rural area development design standards to make sure important natural resources are better defined by the Town, and considered early in the design process.
  3. Define how much residential development is allowed via an objective formula, and allow for smaller lot sizes to increase flexibility when creating new subdivisions.

Project Status

Jan 4 Select Board receives proposal from Planning Commission
Mar 18 proposal presentation by Planning & Zoning staff
April 1 Select Board discussion
April 15 Select Board discussion
May 6 Select Board discussion
May 13 Select Board discussion at special meeting
May 20 Select Board discussion
June 3 Select Board discussion
June 24 Select Board discussion
July 8 Select Board discussion at special meeting
July 15 Select Board discussion – decision to hold a public hearing
July 29 Select Board discussion
Aug 19 Select Board Public Hearing #1
Sept 9 Select Board Public Hearing #2 – Select Board votes to approve rural zoning revisions
Sept 25 Citizen petition received asking for a town-wide vote
Oct 28 Informational meeting for town-wide vote
Nov 5 Town-wide vote – via Australian ballot

VOTING RESULTS – November 5, 2013
Town of Hinesburg – ARTICLE I – Zoning  & Subdivision Regulations
  • In Favor of Repealing the Changes - 533
  • Opposed to Repealing the Changes - 626

Select Board Proposal for September 9 Public Hearing
Proposal Approved by Select Board on September 9

Notice for Sept. 9 Public Hearing: Sept. 9, 2013, 7:30 PM Hearing Notice

Regulation Revisions (4 documents)
Town Plan Revisions (2 documents) Changes Memo/Report
More Info:


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