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Land Use Institute


  • Vermont Floodplain Management

    The Vermont Law School Land Use Institute's most recent publication is Preparing for the Next Flood: Vermont Floodplain Management. The brochure has been sent to Vermont Regional Planning Commissions, the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, Vermont Emergency Management, and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, River Management Program, to be used as training material for local officials. Topics include: Roles and Responsibilities in Preventing Flood Damage and Harm, Floodplain Management Strategies and Tools, No Adverse Impact Floodplain Management and Protecting Property Rights to Reduce Local Liability.
    Published September, 2009. Link to PDF.

  • Energy Efficiency, Conservation, & Renewable Energy

    Vermont Law School's Land Use Institute recently published this "topic paper" as the first in an appendix of the Implementation Manual for local planning commissioners produced two years ago by the Vermont Land Use Education and Training Collaborative. This topic paper provides ideas for land use decision makers on how to incorporate energy efficiency and conservation into decisions at the community level. The paper explores opportunities for Vermont municipalities to become pro-active about community energy use through both regulatory and non-regulatory efforts. The document is available online (.pdf) and in print from the Land Use Institute.

  • The Supreme Court and the Clean Water Act: Five Essays

    Essays on the Supreme Court's Clean Water Act jurisprudence as reflected in Rapanos v. United States

    Vermont Law School's Land Use Institute, in conjunction with the VJEL, is pleased to present this collection of five essays by a group of thoughtful and distinguished scholars who seek in various ways to complete the preceding sentence and to offer suggestions as to the meaning of the Rapanos decision for the future application of the Clean Water Act. The collection is edited with an introduction by L. Kinvin Wroth, Director of the Institute.

    Published August 31, 2007. (In hard copy and on line at

  • Vermont By Design: Next Steps

    Report of a Conference Held at Vermont Law School February 24, 2006 and Proposed Implementation Plan

    Land Use Pub - Vermont By DesignOn February 24, 2006, Vermont Law School's Land Use Institute sponsored a day-long conference entitled "Vermont by Design: Next Steps" to consider means of implementing Vermont by Design: Challenges and Recommendations on Improving the Structure of Planning in Vermont, the final report of the Vermont Council on Planning, issued in January 2006 (available at The Council was established in September 2004 by the Vermont Council on Rural Development to develop systematic recommendations concerning planning in Vermont. Vermont by Design contains specific recommendations designed to further the goals of advancing governance, authority, and leadership in the planning system; improving coordination and collaboration in the planning process; expanding education and training; and addressing issues of growth and scale. At the February 24 conference, individuals from all sectors of Vermont's planning community, including the drafters of Vermont by Design, other experts, state and local government officials, and private consultants, met to assess and analyze the report and consider means of carrying out its recommendations.

    The present report, prepared by the Land Use Institute, is intended to follow up on the February 2006 conference by:
    1. Summarizing the vision and recommendations of Vermont by Design as presented in January 2006.
    2. Summarizing the plenary proceedings and the conclusions of the break-out sessions at the conference.
    3. Proposing next steps for implementation of the January 2006 report by restating the principal challenges as seen at the conference, establishing a Consortium of stakeholders to take the steps necessary to address those challenges, and setting forth a draft implementation Plan to be refined and carried out by the Consortium.

    Appended to this report are the original Vermont by Design recommendations, the agenda of the February 24 conference, a list of those who attended, and the remarks of Professor Richard O. Brooks of Vermont Law School and Governor James Douglas. A video of the plenary sessions of the conference is also provided on the website of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law.

    Draft legislation prepared by the Land Use Institute to implement portions of the Plan will be presented to the Vermont Legislature in January 2008.

    Published August 1, 2006. (In hard copy and on-line at

  • The Supreme Court and Takings: Four Essays

    Essays on the Supreme Court's takings jurisprudence as reflected in the cases of the 2004 term, Lingle v. Chevron USA, Kelo v. City of New London, and San Remo Hotel v. San Francisco.

    As part of our ongoing series of papers on significant environmental legal and policy issues, the Environmental Law Center, the Land Use Institute of Vermont Law School, and the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law are pleased to present a group of essays on the Supreme Court's takings jurisprudence as reflected in these three cases. The essays examine the cases from a variety of interesting perspectives. They place the cases in context, and illuminate the development of the Supreme Court's takings jurisprudence over time.

    Published April 1, 2006. (In hard copy and on-line at