Colchester Planning Commission


The Planning Commission:

Currently the Planning Commission is finalizing several amendments to the Development Regulations and will likely soon begin a review of design in the Town’s Growth Center (Severance Corners). The Commission also:

    • Oversees revisions to the Town Zoning Regulations
    • Undertakes planning studies for the long-term growth of Colchester (updating the open space plan is possible during this term)
    • Updates the Town Plan (will kick off in 2024)

The Commission has a written policy for considering zoning change requests. See this adopted policy for more information. 


Meetings are held at the Town Offices Outer Bay Conference Room (3rd floor) at 781 Blakely Rd. and online via Zoom as needed (see agenda). 


  • Rich Paquette, Email Chair 
  • Sarita (Sarah) Austin
  • Wendy Critchlow
  • Rebecca Arnold
  • VACANT (Youth)

Further information on the Commission can be obtained by contacting Cathyann Larose, Director of Planning and Zoning at 802-264-5602 or the Department of Planning and Zoning.

Agendas & Minutes

Click here for Agendas and Minutes


The process for amending the Development Regulations is transparent and allows multiple opportunities for comment:

Planning Commission (PC) Review 

• The PC will often hold one or more public but informal meetings to discuss a topic

 • The PC must then warn and hold at least one public Hearing

• A report shall be prepared indicating how the proposal meets Section 4441(c) 

• The public hearing must be warned 15 days prior to the meeting and copies of the amendment sent certified to all abutting towns, the regional planning commission, and State dept of housing and community affairs

• The Commission then submits the amendment to the Selectboard

Select Board Review

• Not less than 15 days nor more than 120 days after a proposed amendment is submitted to the Selectboard, the Board shall hold a warned, public hearing

• The Selectboard may make changes to the proposed amendment but shall not do so less than 14 days prior to a second public hearing (therefore you can make changes after the first public hearing but not after the second public hearing without warning a new hearing)

• If any part of the proposal is changed, the Selectboard, at least 10 days prior to the second public hearing, the Board shall file a copy of the proposed change with the Town Clerk and with the Planning Commission. The PC can submit comments at or prior to the public hearing on the proposed changes.

• The amendment needs to be adopted by a majority of the members of the Selectboard and can be adopted at any time following the close of a public hearing

• The regulation is effective 21 days after adoption date and a signed copy shall be filed with the Town Clerk

April 2023 Update:

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on amendments to the the Colchester Development Regulations on February 21, 2023 and voted to deliver those proposed changes to the Colchester Selectboard for its March 14, 2023 meeting. The Selectboard has warned a public hearing for April 11, 2023 at 6:35 pm. 


April 11, 2023

Supplement 45 of the Colchester Development Regulations

The Colchester Selectboard has warned a public hearing for Tuesday, April 11, 2023 for the purpose of considering amendments of the Colchester Development Regulations. Pursuant to Title 24 VSA, Chapter 117.

The proposed amendments are as follows:

a. Update and clarify sections pertaining to water and wastewater infrastructure, as necessitated by warned changes to Chapter 8 of the Colchester Code of Ordinances [2.04E, 2.05J, 2.07E, 2.14, 2.15, 3.06B, 3.07B, 4.05E, 7.03C, 7.04E(3), 9.02B(1), 9.05A, 9.05G, 9.05H, 9.07C, 10.14, 11.01, 11.02, 11.03B, 11.04A, 11.05A and 12];

b. Reorganization of application requirements for Site Plan, Conditional Use, and Subdivision applications; add language regarding responsibility of adjoining landowner notifications [8.05D, 8.05G, 9.04D, 9.04E, and Appendix G];

c. Add language regarding required setbacks from public infrastructure [2.07, 2.19C, (2.15 and 11.02 also relate to this purpose but are already included in ‘a’ above)];

d. New definitions, including “Appurtenances,” “Degree of Encroachment” and “Footprint” [Article 12].

e. Add to Appendix B a figure illustrating “Degree of Encroachment.”

This is a summary of the proposed changes. Copies of the adopted and proposed regulations can be viewed at the Town Offices at 781 Blakely Road and the Burnham Memorial Library, 898 Main Street Colchester. They may also be reviewed online at To participate in the hearing, you may 1) attend in person or 2) send written comment to the Colchester Selectboard via USPS at the address herein or via email to Cathyann LaRose,

Meeting Videos

View the meeting live at 7PM (generally) the first and third Tuesday of the month.

View web broadcasts of previously held meetings.