An Act 250 permit is required for certain kinds of development and subdivision activity — such as commercial projects on more than 10 acres (if the town has permanent zoning and subdivision regulations) or on more than one acre (if it does not) or the subdivision of 10 lots or more in a five year period. Act 250 jurisdictional categories are summarized in the publication Act 250 Jurisdiction and more fully described in the Act 250 Statute and the Act 250 Rules. To determine whether you need an Act 250 permit, contact your Act 250 District Coordinator. Prior Jurisdictional Opinions of the District Coordinators are listed on the Jurisdictional Opinions page.
What is Act 250?
Act 250 is a comprehensive law that evaluates the impact of developments under 10 criteria. Of the approximately 450 Act 250 applications that are submitted each year, about 98 percent are approved — most with conditions, to ensure that the proposed projects meet the 10 criteria. More than 80% of Act 250 permit applications are treated as “minors” — where no hearing is held unless requested by a state agency, municipality, or interested person who may be impacted by the proposed project.
How much does it cost to obtain an Act 250 permit?
The application fee is $6.65 per $1000 of construction costs, including site preparation, utilities, buildings, and landscaping, for the first $15,000,000 of construction costs, and $3.12 per $1000 of construction costs thereafter. In addition, a fee of $125 per lot is required for residential or commercial subdivisions. An additional fee of $0.75 for each $1000 of the first $15,000,000.00 of construction costs is collected on behalf of the Agency of National Resources to account for the Agency of Natural Resources' review of Act 250 applications. Municipal and state projects are exempt from Act 250 fees. See the Act 250 Fee Statute (10 V.S.A. § 6083a) for more detailed information about fees.
How long does it take to get an Act 250 permit?
Two-thirds of Act 250 permits are issued in less than 60 days. More complex projects may take longer. In general, the more effort put into preparing a complete and thorough application, the less time the review process will require.
Do I need any other permits?
Contact the Agency of Natural Resources Permit Specialist regarding other state permits which may be required for your project. The ANR Environmental Assistance Office also publishes the Permit Handbook. It provides an in-depth compilation of information on most Department of Environmental Conservation permit programs and many other Vermont and federal regulatory programs that may be required for your project or business.