January 14, 2022 | Montpelier, VT - As part of Act 182 enacted in 2022, the Legislature directed the Natural Resources Board to issue a report with recommendations on how Act 250 jurisdiction should apply to agricultural businesses, including those located on properties already operating as farms:
“The Board shall consult with the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, the Vermont Planners Association, the regional planning commissions, and other interested stakeholders. The report shall include recommendations as to how to clarify what is and what is not an accessory on-farm business. The report shall address the current land use planning requirements for farms and farms with accessory on-farm businesses and whether different types of businesses associated with farms and farming require different levels of review. The report may consider whether or not the location of such businesses is relevant and may consider the designation or adoption of agricultural business innovation zones with different levels of review.”
As an independent body within state government, the Natural Resources Board is responsible for administering Act 250, Vermont’s pioneering land use and development law. As such, this report is intended to inform the Legislature, the Administration and Vermonters on current Act 250 permitting and policies as they relate to farming and agriculture and to evaluate potential statutory and policy modifications that can clarify and improve understanding of Vermont’s land use regulations as they apply to farming and agricultural businesses.