Land Use Planning

Residents and visitors often take the strategy and care of planning community's trees and forests for granted. Urban forestry can significantly contribute to the long-term sustainability of Vermont communities and their smart growth plans, particularly when considering trees and forests as green infrastructureGreen infrastructure planning accepts continuing development and strives to integrate greenspace in the planning process to make smarter, well-informed land use decisions. The following resources highlight the community planning process pertaining to urban forests.

Planning the Urban Forest This report is about the intersection of urban and community forestry with the process of community planning. It describes where and how planning can advance the goals and benefits of urban forestry.

Community Strategies for Vermont’s Forests and Wildlife: A Guide for Local Action There are many different ways that communities can help sustain forests and wildlife at the local and regional levels. This guide provides town officials and interested citizens with the tools – both regulatory and non-regulatory – to do just that.

Street Tree Manual "The road to a thoughtful street tree master plan. A practical guide to systematic planning and design." 

Urban Forestry Watershed Manuals provide a three-part series on using trees to protect and restore urban watersheds. 

Part 1: Methods for Increasing Forest Cover in a Watershed

Part 2: Conserving and Planting Trees at Development Sites

Part 3: Urban Tree Planting Guide

To learn more about land use planning in Vermont, visit:

Vermont Planning Information Center

Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Vermont Natural Resources Planning Toolkit

Flood Ready Vermont

Community Wildlife Program

Vermont Designation Programs

Vermont has established a framework of “designations” that provide incentives which encourage communities to maintain a land use pattern of compact community centers surrounded by rural landscapes. These programs are also designed to help align environmental, housing, and transportation policies, programs, regulations, and public investments to maintain and enhance the landscape cherished by Vermonters and visitors alike.