Access Management

Techniques of Transportation infrastructure management intended to; reduce congestion and accident rates, lessen need for highway widening, conserve energy, and reduce pollution. Examples include; limiting entrance and exit of traffic on highways, use of medians and turn lanes, placement and timing of signals, as well as implementation of supportive local ordinances.

Access Management Plan

A municipal plan to manage traffic and access onto public roads from adjacent property that complies with 19 VSA 1111. See 24 VSA 4432 (1)


The facilities and services that make it possible to get to any destination, measured by the availability of physical connections (roads, sidewalks, etc.), travel options, ease of movement, and proximity of destinations.

Accessible Pedestrian Signal

A device that communicates information about pedestrian timing in nonvisual format such as audible tones, verbal messages, and/or vibrating surfaces

Accessory Building or Structure

A building or structure that is subordinate to and is used for purposes that customarily are incidental to those of the principal building or principal structure located on the same lot (for example, a freestanding garage, garden shed, or fence).

Accessory Dwelling Unit

24 VSA 4412 (1) (E): A dwelling unit that is located within or appurtenant to an owner-occupied single-family dwelling (an efficiency or one-bedroom apartment that is clearly subordinate to a single family dwelling and complies with the standards and conditions established by 24 VSA 4412 (1) (E) and (F)).

Accessory Use

A land use that is subordinate to and customarily incidental to a principal use located on the same lot (for example, off-street parking for a store).

Act 200

Otherwise known as the Vermont Growth Management Act of 1988, Act 200 originally contained 4 “Process Goals” and 32 “Planning Goals”, which were paired down to 12 Goals in 1990, then increased to 13 in 2003. This law established mechanisms to help integrate Local, Regional, & State perspectives during the planning process, as well establish consideration of the “spillover effects” of land use decisions of one municipality upon another. A major objective of Act 200 was to ensure that decisions were made at the most local level possible.

Act 250

A Vermont State land use law that requires a permit from the District Environmental Commission or the Vermont Environmental Board prior to commencing a major development or subdivision on a property.

Act 78

The law establishing Vermont’s solid waste management program. See 10 VSA Chapter 159.

Active Recreation

Recreational activities in which people actively participate in doing (such as skiing, hunting or leisure walking).

Administrative Officer

A person officially designated by a municipality to administer and enforce a bylaw. See 24 VSA 4448.

Administrative Procedures Act

The laws governing how State agencies adopt rules and regulations and render decisions in administrative proceedings. See 3 VSA Chapter 25.

Advanced Traffic Management System

ITS applications designed to enhance traffic movement usually along transportation corridors.

Adverse Impact

Inadequate, unsafe, or unhealthy conditions that result from a Land Development.

Advisory Commission/Committee

24 VSA 4433: A body established by a municipality to assist the Legislative Body or Planning Commission to prepare, adopt, and implement a municipal plan. An advisory commission authorized by 24 VSA 4433 or by Chapter 118 (Conservation Commissions) may advise Appropriate Municipal Panels, applicants, and Interested Parties in accordance with the procedures established under 24 VSA 4464.


Consideration for the appearance of the natural or built environment.

Affordable Housing

24 VSA 4303 (1): Housing that is owned by its inhabitants or rented by its inhabitants, whose gross annual household income does not exceed 80 percent of the county median income (or of the MSA median income if the municipality is located in an MSA), as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the total annual cost of the housing is not more than 30 percent of the household’s gross annual income. The “total annual cost of housing” includes; A. For housing owned by its inhabitants: principal, interest, taxes and insurance and, B. For housing rented by its inhabitants, rent, utilities, and condominium association fees.

Affordable Housing Development

24 VSA 4303 (2): A housing development of which at least 20 percent of the units (or a minimum of five units) are affordable housing units that are subject to covenants or restrictions that preserve their affordability for a minimum of 15 years or longer, as provided in municipal bylaws.

Agency of Commerce & Community Development

The State agency that contains the departments of Economic Development, Tourism and Marketing, and Housing and Community Affairs.

Agency of Natural Resources

A cabinet-level Vermont state agency that oversees environmental issues for the state and is responsible for SIP adoption (T3 VSA, Chapter 51).


Any of various loose, particulate materials such as sand, gravel or pebbles used in a road aggregate base or surface layer of a road.

Agricultural Runoff

Stormwater that has flowed over property used for agriculture.

Agricultural Soils

See Primary Agricultural Soils and Forestry and Secondary Soils.


For the purposes of Vermont’s Current Use Program of assessing agricultural property for property taxation, 32 VSA 3752 (1) defines “agricultural land” as any land, exclusive of any house site, in active use to grow hay or cultivated crops, pasture livestock or to cultivate trees bearing edible fruit or produce an annual maple product, and which is 25 acres or more in size except as provided below. There shall be a presumption that the land is used for agricultural purposes if it; A. is owned by a farmer and is part of the overall farm unit; B. is used by a farmer as part of his farming operation under written lease for at least three years; or C. has produced an annual gross income from the sale of farm crops in 1 of 2, or 3 of the 5, calendar years preceding of at least: i) $2,000for parcels of up to 25 acres; and ii) $75 per acre for each acre over 25, with the total income required not to exceed $5,000. iii) exceptions to these income requirements may be made in cases of orchard lands planted to fruit producing trees, bushes or vines which are not yet of bearing age.

Air Rights

The right to separately own or use a specific volume of space located in the air above the surface of land.

Airport Improvement Program

FAA program that assists the development of public-use airports by providing funding for airport planning and development projects.

Airport Information Management System

An annually updated database of airport project descriptions, costs, and scoring factors of capital projects negotiated with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Airport Layout Plan

A scaled drawing of existing and proposed land and facilities necessary for the operation and development of the airport. The ALP shows boundaries and proposed additions to all areas owned or controlled by the airport operator for airport purposes, the location and nature of existing and proposed replacement airport facilities and structures, and the location on the airport of existing and proposed non aviation areas and improvements thereon.


Congressional earmarked project, authorized in SAFETEA-LU intended to enhance Vermont’s rail infrastructure on the Western Vermont Corridor.


A public or private vehicular access affording only secondary means of access to abutting property.

Alternatives Analysis

A study which explores the effect of a project on the overall transportation system. Information included in an AA are costs, benefits, and impacts of potential changes to the transportation system.

American Association of Railroads

Association members include primary freight railroad companies in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, as well as Amtrak.

American Association of Retired Persons (Formerly)

Established in 1958, AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, but is simply “AARP” today to reflect that membership is possible for non-retirees also) is a US-based non-governmental organization, non-profit, advocacy, and lobbying group for people age 50 and over.

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

Publishes standards for transportation infrastructure for use throughout the U.S.

American Community Survey

An ongoing nationwide survey that produces about U.S. population and housing. The ACS replaces the decennial census long form questionnaire (from the year 2000 and back), which collected this data every 10 years.

American Factfinder

An online application intended to assist the public in dissemination and reporting of Census data.

American Institute of Certified Planners

A non-compulsory planning certification recognized in the United States.

American Planning Association

A nonprofit education and membership guild for professional planners.

American Public Works Association

Chartered in 1937, the APWA is the international educational and professional association of public agencies, private sector companies, and individuals dedicated to improving public works goods and services.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

A $787 billion Recovery plan includes federal tax cuts and incentives, an expansion of unemployment benefits, and other spending on social entitlement programs. In addition, federal agencies are using Recovery funds to award contracts, grants, and loans around the country. The Recovery Act was intended to jumpstart the economy but many of the projects funded by Recovery money, especially those involving infrastructure improvements, are expected to contribute to economic growth for many years.

American Society of Civil Engineers

ASCE is the oldest national engineering guild in the United States, founded in 1852 at the offices of the Croton Aqueduct, New York City (originally formed as the American Society of Civil Engineers and Architects). ASCE is comprised of Regional Councils, Younger Member Councils, Sections, Branches, Student Chapters and Clubs, International Student Groups. ASCE posits its mission as “making this a better world by design”.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Federal legislation passed in 1990 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.


The process of diminishing a total sum of money by payments over a period of time sometimes used to depreciate (extinguish) the value of a nonconforming structure so that a zoning prohibition of the nonconformity avoids being a Taking.


The inclusion of land that currently is not a part of a government’s jurisdictional territory into that government’s jurisdictional territory. See 24 VSA 1316 and 1461.

Annual Average Daily Traffic

A key statistical indicator for roadway counts (i.e. traffic volume), known as the ‘Annual Average Daily Traffic’, or AADT, has been developed to represent the average amount of vehicular traffic in both directions of travel, passing on a given point of road, over a 24-hour period, on a typical day (i.e. seasonally adjusted) of a specified year.


The process used by an authorized party to contest a zoning decision. A zoning decision made by an Administrative Officer may be appealed to a Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) or to a Development Review Board (DRB); see 24 VSA 4465, 4468, and 4470. A zoning decision made by the ZBA, DRB, or Planning Commission may be appealed to the Environmental Court, unless the decision was made on the record (in which case an appeal is pursuant to Rules 74 and 75 of the Rules of Civil Procedure; see 24 VSA 4471.

Appropriate Municipal Panel

24 VSA 4303 (3): A Planning Commission performing development review, a Board of Adjustment, a Development Review Board, or a Legislative Body performing development review. See 24 VSA 4460.


See; “Truck Apron”

Archaeological Resources

Land, water, or construction that shows evidence of artifacts or significant design elements of human activity, usually from a time period of which only vestiges remain.

Architectual Controls

Regulations and procedures requiring development to conform to design standards intended to increase the likelihood that the structure will be in keeping with the general appearance, historical character, and/or architectural style of the structures in a surrounding area.


Geographic Information System (GIS) software for database development and management.


Windows-based Geographic Information System (GIS) for the layperson to use geographical data.

Arterial Street or Highway

A major street or highway. It is a general term which includes expressways, major and minor arterial streets and interstate, state or county highways having regional continuity. It is a road intended to move a relatively large volume of traffic at medium to high speeds.

Articulated Bus

Segmented bus that has rear portion flexibility, but is permanently connected to a forward portion and has no interior barrier to hamper passenger movement between the two portions. The advantage to this type of vehicle is that seated capacity is increased up to 60-80 people, and a superiour turning radius (diminished off-tracking) to that of a standard bus.

Asphalt Concrete

A macadam or petroleum based, flexible substance used in roadway surface construction (also known as “tarmac” – i.e. tar macadam).

Association of State Floodplain Managers

The Association of State Floodplain Managers is an organization of professionals involved in floodplain management, flood hazard mitigation, the National Flood Insurance Program, and flood preparedness, warning and recovery. ASFPM has become a respected voice in floodplain management practice and policy in the United States because it represents the flood hazard specialists across many sectors and disciplines.

Attainment Area

Air quality designation where measures of selected pollutants do not exceed established (NAAQS) standards.

Automatic Traffic Recorders

A pneumatic triggered device, utilizing rubber tubes installed upon a roadway to count, classify, and record speed data. ATRs are the tool used to capture Total Vehicle volume (used to calculate AADT), truck & bus data, 85th percentile & 10 MPH pace speed data, et al.

Automatic Vehicle Identification

A type of ITS, AVI generally signifies the recognition and recording of motor vehicles, usually automobiles, as they pass through facilities for automatic collection of tolls, thus eliminating stops.

Automatic Vehicle Location

A system which tracks real-time location of fleet vehicles to assist in dispatching.

Average Daily Traffic

The Average Daily Traffic (ADT) indicator of vehicular traffic flow (or bicycle & pedestrian traffic for that matter) is not a representation of the normally used “Annual Average Daily Traffic” (AADT). This is due to the lack of a full set of year-round data from which to develop seasonal coefficients necessary to calculate “AADT”. More accurately described, ADT is an estimate of general volume within the period of time counted only. For Bicycle & Pedestrian traffic counts obtained from infrared radiation sensor equipment, a common factor reducing the level of observation (i.e. undercounting) of data is lack of the pyroelectric sensor’s ability to detect adjacent-travelling bicyclists or pedestrians. In such case, it is good to do a simultaneous manual count for a few hours to verify the level of error.