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Land Use Institute

Aerial view of Williston, Vt.

About Us

The Land Use Institute (LUI) addresses land use law and policy issues that are intensifying at the local, national, and international levels and are critical to the development of a sustainable society. These issues include application of smart growth principles, ecological planning, affordable housing, flood hazard mitigation, improving the confluence of energy and land use regulatory decision-making and other permitting processes, and land conservation strategies. LUI works with VLS faculty and students, and other nonprofit legal and professional planning partners, to provide sound and innovative information, experience, and education to advance the practice of land use law and planning. This mission is served through direct support for local and regional planning agencies, forums and conferences for issue development, preparation of legislation affecting critical land use issues, education and training for state and local land use planners and regulators, practical and scholarly publications, and graduate professional teaching.


Current Institute projects include:
  • Preparation of fact sheets and a pamphlet on flood plain issues for use by Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission in working with local officials
  • Presentation of a conference for local planners and housing officials on land use issues regarding affordable housing in conjunction with the Upper Valley Housing Coalition
  • Development of legislation for Vermont to require coordination of energy and land use planning standards in approval of major energy and development projects in conjunction with the VLS Institute for Energy and the Environment
  • Preparation for Smart Growth Vermont of legal materials to be included in a web-based land use "toolbox" for use by citizens and local planners in Vermont
  • Presentation of a conference for developers, lenders, planners and regulators on brownfields development in Vermont in conjunction with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
  • An assessment of training needs of local land trusts, in conjunction with the Land Trust Alliance and the University of Vermont's Rubenstein School of Natural Resources