As the Mad River Valley Planning District approaches the end of its fourth decade, the district’s steering committee wants to revisit the original mission in light of how the work has changed/evolved since 1983.


To that end, the planning district partners will meet next month on January 12 to discuss how the original mission has stood the test of time and how it may need to be updated for its next four decades.


In 1983 Warren, Waitsfield and Fayston, along with Sugarbush, the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission and the state signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to ensure coordination and collaboration around the issue of monitoring major development in The Valley. Two years later the relationship was formalized when the three member towns created the Mad River Valley Planning District as a union municipal district, the first of its kind in Vermont. The purpose of the district was defined as carrying “out a program of planning for the future of the Mad River Valley.”

The planning district is governed by a steering committee made up of a planning commissioner and select board from each of the three towns, a Sugarbush representative and a representative from the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce as well as a representative of the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission.

Since being formed, MRVPD has navigated the issues and challenges of the Mad River Valley, providing leadership, technical support, and ideas on how the three towns, Fayston, Waitsfield, and Warren, can best respond and rise to the challenges it faces.

With its 40th birthday looming on the horizon, the steering committee, recognizing that the needs, priorities, successes, and challenges of The Valley have changed and evolved since its creation.

“Hence it is hosting the event with organization partners in order to review MRVPD’s purpose and work, assess its relationship with its members, and identify elements that will ensure organizational relevance and community success in the years to come,” said steering committee chair Bob Ackland, a select board member from Warren.


“This is an opportunity to take stock of where both MRVPD and the MRV have been, where it is, and ensure the best process in charting its path forward,” said Joshua Schwartz, executive director of the planning district.

The January 12 event takes place at the Village Meeting House downstairs at the Waitsfield United Church of Christ from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Paul Costello and Ted Brady will facilitate the meeting. Participants will include the select boards and planning commissions of the three member towns, the chamber of commerce, Sugarbush and the regional planning commission. The public is invited and public input will be sought.

The draft agenda for the meeting includes reviewing the accomplishments of the planning district, reviewing why it exists, how it works and what are its deliverables along with a discussion of The Valley’s current and anticipated challenges. There will be a discussion of the effectiveness of the planning district in addressing and collaborating on recent issues and needs within the community.

Documents relevant to the meeting can be found at and include:
• MRVPD Articles of Agreement.
• MRVPD 1983 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
• MRVPD 1998 MOU.