Home News and Features Sponsored Content A Message From City Hall: Get to Know the 2024 City Plan 

A Message From City Hall: Get to Know the 2024 City Plan 

Front facing picture of city hall, blue sky in background.
Photo by Carla Occaso.
By Michael Miller, Director of Planning and Community Development

If you’ve seen our social media, signed up for city email updates, or visited the Farmers Market recently, you’ve probably heard about the 2024 City Plan. The Montpelier Planning Commission has been hard at work over the past eight years reworking the previous Montpelier “Master Plan” into the new City Plan. 

What is the City Plan and Why is it Important?

The City Plan is a document that guides city activities and outlines major projects and goals to be accomplished over an 8-year period. The City Plan is created collaboratively by the community and the Planning Commission, and will eventually be voted on by the city council for adoption. The City Plan helps the city council make decisions and prioritize projects, and it acts as a source of information on the long-term vision of the city.

The City Plan has 11 Chapters, in no particular order: 

  • Historic Resources 
  • Housing 
  • Arts and Culture 
  • Transportation 
  • Energy 
  • Natural Resources 
  • Land Use 
  • Community Services 
  • Utilities and Facilities 
  • Public Safety and Community Development 
  • Economic Development
Each chapter of the City Plan has two parts: a storyboard and an implementation plan. Each storyboard is a web-based format that introduces people to the topic, discusses the background of the plan, and summarizes the implementation plan. The goal of each storyboard is to provide a general understanding of the topic and how its accompanying implementation plan works. 

The implementation plan is a detailed review of the aspirations, goals, and strategies for each chapter of the City Plan. Aspirations are our vision for where we want to be in the future. Goals are the individual components that characterize our ideal aspirations. Strategies are the detailed steps that we can take to achieve our goals. The purpose of this new City Plan is to outline tangible steps we can take to get us where we want to go. 

The Process

Over the summer and fall, the city will be hosting a series of public input sessions to talk with city staff members, ask questions about the plan, and provide an opportunity to share your feedback and ideas. The public input phase will look at three chapters every month until all 11 chapters have been reviewed. 

The City Plan kick-off event took place on Monday, May 13, at Wilder Arts Studio. The meeting on May 13 began a months-long process of reviewing the draft City Plan chapters and implementation strategies. You can watch the recording of this meeting and all other meetings thus far on ORCA Media’s YouTube channel, and on our website here: montpelier-vt.org/1478/City-Plan-2024

The Planning Commission will review and compile all the input to make a final public hearing draft. At that point, the commission will warn the official public hearings and a second round of input before the city council holds hearings to adopt a final version.

History of the City Plan

The current City Plan was adopted in December 2017 and was titled the City Master Plan. Updating this plan started before 2017 with two primary missions. The first mission was to update the goals and strategies to make a more actionable plan rather than a policy document. The second mission was to shift the document to a web-based plan. This format will better serve the needs of the public and make it easier to connect with the material. 

We want to maximize the opportunity to connect with residents and visitors and make our plans more transparent to everyone. We hope everyone enjoys the new format.

Updating the implementation strategies for each of the chapters of the plan was completed by meeting with various committees and commissions that are the resident experts on each topic. For example, meeting with the Historic Preservation Commission for historic resources; MEAC for energy; the Housing Committee for housing, etc. Those implementation strategies were then reviewed by the Planning Commission for consistency between chapters and for format. 

Adapting the City Plan to a web-based format was completed mostly over the past 18 months to get topics put into a consistent format and align the focus to be as informative as possible. These web pages are intended to explain why housing, for example, is important and what the critical issues are. These would be the old “plan chapters” in a written plan including topics like transportation, energy, land use, utilities and facilities, public safety, and community services.

How Can I Contribute to the City Plan? 

Over the next six months, there will be lots of opportunities to share your thoughts and contribute to the City Plan. We want to hear from as many residents as possible so the final plan accurately reflects our collective goals as a community. What do you like about the plan? Is there an area that needs more attention? Please share your thoughts with us online through the input areas in the storyboards, in person at a public input meeting, or by emailing me, Michael Miller, at MMiller@montpelier-vt.org. You can also stop by our table at the Capital City Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and chat with us. 

Also, please make sure you’ve signed up for updates from the city so you’ll be notified when the next public input process is scheduled. Sign up for updates from the city on our website at montpelier-vt.org/list.aspx 

Thank you for taking the time to learn about the City Plan and your role in its creation. We hope you take a moment to look through the online storyboards and share your thoughts with us. Please reach out to the Planning and Community Development Department if you have any questions on the plan, the process, or ways to contribute.