About Us

What is the Northwest Regional Planning Commission?
The Northwest Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) is one of eleven commissions serving Vermont municipalities (Vermont Regional Planning Commissions). NRPC operates under the Vermont Municipal and Regional Planning and Development Act and its adopted bylaws (Title 24, Chapter 117, V.S.A.). By definition, a "region" consists of a group of contiguous municipalities which "constitute a logical geographic and coherent socio-economic planning area." All municipalities, by law, are members of the Regional Commission, however active participation is voluntary. As adopted in 1997, the mission of the NRPC is:

  1. To conduct regional planning programs.
  2. To assist local municipalities,through education, technical assistance, grants and funding; and to aid municipalities in their planning efforts as authorized by Vermont planning laws.
  3. To serve as a center of information and as a resource to support the region and its municipalities'interests, growth patterns and common goals.
  4. To provide a forum for the discussion of issues which are regional in nature and/or unique to our area of the state, and to serve as a mediator to resolve conflicts as appropriate. Common sense and a spirit of compromise must be allowed to enter the discussion so that the impacts of development may be mitigated.

Our region is made up of 23 (19 towns, 3 incorporated villages, and 1 city) located in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties in northwestern Vermont. The region's total year round population numbers around 45,000, and its land area covers over 1,200 square miles.

What types of projects does the Commission work on?
The Commission provides services to local municipalities, area non-profits and other regional organizations. Projects the Commission works on include:

  1. Preparing municipal plans, zoning and subdivision regulations
  2. Responding to questions about local, state or federal regulations
  3. Assisting with grant preparation and administration
  4. Preparing local and regional maps which depict information such as road names, current land use, or flood plains
  5. Providing census data and other demographic information
  6. Coordinating recreation path projects such as the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail
  7. Conducting traffic counts on local roads

In addition to our other programs, each year the Commission provides member municipalities up to forty hours of free assistance for project related work.

Who governs the Commission?
Commissioners appointed by local officials to represent local governments on the Board of Commissioners govern the Commission. The Commission has a voting representation system that reflects the equal planning status of all jurisdictions under state law, regardless of population or geographic area. The Commission's "clients" are municipal governments and, under our bylaws, each one is offered equal representation on the Board. The Regional Commission is not a super government; it has no regulatory or taxing authority. Any authority the Commission has comes from local or state action. As a representative of local government, we are charged with making policy decisions at the regional level; and then helping to implement those decisions within each community.