An informational pamphlet about planning and zoning has been created by the The Vermont Institute for Government, a non-profit organization offering education and training to state and local officials and to the public. You may find this pamphlet helpful: Isn’t This My Land? An Introduction to Planning and Zoning in Vermont.
The Maidstone Town Plan lays out a vision for the Town that is intended to reflect the considerations and priorities upon which the majority of the townspeople want decisions on future town developments to be made. The Maidstone Zoning Bylaws are the rules that guide, regulate, and govern land development in our Town, ensuring that development is in alignment with the vision expressed in the Town Plan. Maidstone first established Zoning Regulations in 1974, in accordance with the Vermont Planning and Development Act. Those regulations were amended in 1994, in 2002, and again in 2016.
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When do I need a Zoning Permit?
According to the Maidstone Zoning Bylaw §502, “no land development, as defined in 24 VSA §4303(10), may be commenced without a permit issued by the Zoning Administrator.”
The definition of land development, as stated in 24 VSA §4303 (10), is: “Land development” means 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, or landfill, and any change in the use of any building or other structure, or land, or extension of use of land.”
I have an approved Maidstone Zoning Permit, now what?
Three more Bylaws apply:
- §502 Zoning Permits (7): “No zoning permit issued pursuant to 24 VSA §4449 shall take effect until the time for appeal in 24 VSA §4465(a) has passed, or in the event that a notice of appeal is properly filed, such permit shall not take effect until final adjudication of said appeal.”
- §322 Initiation of Construction: “Construction may not be initiated under a Maidstone zoning permit for projects requiring an Agency of Natural Resources Waste Water and Potable Water supply permit until such permit is issued by the Agency under 10 VSA Chapter 64.” (See below for more information and links.)
- §514 Certificate of Occupancy: A Certificate of Occupancy (COO) certifies that the building or use at the referenced location conforms to the plans and information submitted with the approved zoning permit or as amended with the approval of the Zoning Administrator, as well as with all applicable provisions of the Maidstone Zoning Bylaws.
What is the Certificate of Occupancy?
As was stated just above, a Certificate of Occupancy (COO) certifies that the building or use at the referenced location conforms to the plans and information submitted with the approved zoning permit or as amended with the approval of the Zoning Administrator, as well as with all applicable provisions of the Maidstone Zoning Bylaws.
According to 24 V.S.A. § 4449 (a) (2) If the bylaws so adopted so provide, it shall be unlawful to use or occupy or permit the use or occupancy of any land or structure, or part thereof, created, erected, changed, converted, or wholly or partly altered or enlarged in its use or structure after the effective date of this chapter, within the area affected by those bylaws, until a certificate of occupancy is issued therefor by the administrative officer, stating that the proposed use of the structure or land conforms to the requirements of those bylaws. Provision of a certificate as required by 30 V.S.A. § 51 (residential building energy standards) or 30 V.S.A. §53 (commercial building energy standards) shall be a condition precedent to the issuance of any such certificate of occupancy.
Maidstone Zoning Bylaws do include a Certificate of Occupancy. §514 Certificate of Occupancy was added when the Bylaws were revised in 2016. It states, “No use or occupancy of any land or structure may commence until the Zoning Administrator has issued a Certificate of Occupancy in accordance with 24 V.S.A. § 4449 (2).” “At the time the application for a Certificate of Occupancy is submitted, the applicant shall also submit a copy of the septic permit from the State of Vermont, or a letter of determination from the State of Vermont stating that no such permit is required. At the time the application for a Certificate of Occupancy is submitted, the applicant shall also submit a certificate of compliance with residential or commercial building energy codes, or credible evidence that no such compliance is required, pursuant to Vermont Public Act No. 89.” (See below for more information and links.)
Don't forget about Curb Cuts and Town or State right-of-ways!
This affects any work within a Town Road’s right-of-way or doing work on adjacent property that will affect drainage reaching a Town Road or Town Road right-of-way. For State Highway Access, see further down this page for more information and links.
§304 Curb Cuts and Drainage Curb cuts adjoining or affecting town roads, state highways, right of ways, or surrounding private properties may not be created without adequate drainage. Prior to the creation of any curb cut, the individual seeking to establish such curb cut shall obtain approval from the Town of Maidstone Road Agent [Road Commissioner]. Approval may be conditioned upon installation of one or more culverts in specified size(s) and location(s).
Why do I need State permits or Certificates of Compliance, too?
The State of Vermont has jurisdiction over the following important areas, for which more information and links are included further down this page:
- Shoreland Development and Clearing: “Any new development, redevelopment, or clearing within 250 feet from mean water level of lakes over 10 acres in size may require a permit.” Maidstone Lake is approximately 750 acres in size, so the Shoreland Protection Act applies. (See below for more information and links.)
- Drinking (Potable) Water Systems and Wastewater Systems (See below for more information and links.)
- Residential and Commercial Building Energy Standards: “Vermont’s Building Energy Standards were established to set minimum efficiency requirements for new and renovated buildings. The standards are designed to provide more reductions in energy use and emissions over the life of a building, when compared with a similar building constructed prior to the standards going into effect.”
- State Highway Access : A State Highway Access and Work Permit must be obtained from the Vermont Agency of Transportation (Agency) before doing any work within the State Highway right-of-way or doing work on adjacent property that will affect drainage reaching the State Highway right-of-way. A State Highway Access and Work Permit is also required for access to any new subdivision of land or development which has direct access to a State Highway, even though an existing driveway will be used (19 V.S.A. § 1111). There is no fee for residential or agricultural purposes, according to 19 V.S.A. § 111
- Please contact Jeff McMahon, Permit Specialist for the State of Vermont, to assist you in State required permits. Jeff may be contacted at (802) 477-2241. or by email: email@example.com.
Vermont’s Shoreland Protection Act
Effective July 1, 2014, Vermont’s Shoreland Protection Act is intended to “prevent degradation of water quality in lakes, preserve habitat and natural stability of shorelines, and maintain the economic benefits of lakes and their shorelands. The Act seeks to balance good shoreland management and shoreland development,” as stated on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Shoreland Permitting page.
“Any new development, redevelopment, or clearing within 250 feet from mean water level may require a permit or registration. A helpful summary of the Shoreland Protection Act describes the types of activities that are jurisdictional to the Shoreland Protection Act and the standards of the Act.”
Please read the following two pages on the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s website to learn more about the Shoreland Protection Act and what it might mean to you:
Please note, “It is strongly recommended that applications be submitted at least 45 days before the proposed beginning date of the project. If you are unsure as to whether your project requires a Shoreland Permit, Shoreland Registration, or is an exempt activity, please fill out the Vermont Shoreland Protection Act Worksheet.
State of Vermont Wastewater Systems and Drinking (Potable) Water Systems
State of Vermont Residential and Commercial Building Energy Standards (RBES and CBES)
According to Maidstone Zoning Bylaw §514, a certificate of compliance with residential or commercial building energy standards must be submitted with an application for a Certificate of Occupancy.
State of Vermont Department of Public Service’s Residential Building Energy Standards page.
30 V.S.A. § 51 Residential building energy standards: This affects all new homes built after July 1, 1998. It is the energy code for all residential buildings 3 stories or less above grade in Vermont.
The Vermont RBES Energy Code Handbook: The new 2020 RBES took effect on September 1, 2020, and applies to construction commenced on or after the effective date. RBES applies to all new residential construction, including additions, alterations, renovations, and repairs. This effective date applies to both the RBES Base code and the RBES Stretch code. The RBES Stretch code is used to satisfy criterion 9(f) of all Act 250 projects.
2020 Vermont RBES Certificate: 30 V.S.A. § 51 (f) (1) states, “A certification may be issued by a builder, a licensed professional engineer, a licensed architect, or an accredited home energy rating organization. If certification is not issued by a licensed professional engineer, a licensed architect, or an accredited home energy rating organization, it shall be issued by the builder. Any certification shall certify that residential construction meets the RBES….The person certifying under this subsection shall provide a copy of each certificate to the Department of Public Service and shall assure that a certificate is recorded and indexed in the town land records.
30 V.S.A. § 53 Commercial building energy standards: “Commercial buildings” means all buildings that are not residential buildings, as defined in subdivision 51(a)(2) of this title, or farm structures as defined in 24 V.S.A. § 4413.
State of Vermont Department of Public Service’s Commercial Building Energy Standards page.
“Free hard copies of the updated 2020 Vermont Commercial Energy Codebook are available. Electronic copies are also available for purchase through the International Code Council (ICC) website. Please contact the Energy Code Assistance Center on 1-855-887-0673 to receive a free hard copy. There is also a free viewable only copy available on the ICC website.”
State of Vermont Highway Access and Work Permit
A State Highway Access and Work Permit must be obtained from the Vermont Agency of Transportation before doing any work within the State Highway right-of-way or doing work on adjacent property that will affect drainage reaching the State Highway right-of-way. A State Highway Access and Work Permit is also required for access to any new subdivision of land or development which has direct access to a State Highway, even though an existing driveway will be used (19 V.S.A. § 1111). There is no fee for residential or agricultural purposes, according to 19 V.S.A. § 1112