Historic Preservation Commission RFQ


Contact:         Sarah C. McShane, Zoning Administrator

Date of Issue:  Monday, September 25, 2017

Deadline:   Friday, October 20, 2017 4:30 PM


The Montpelier Planning Commission recently completed a comprehensive rewrite of the Montpelier Zoning and Subdivision Regulations including revised boundaries and review standards for the Design Control District.  The proposed regulations were developed without the input of the Historic Preservation Commission and did not meet the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for historic preservation projects. After receiving concerns from the Historic Preservation Commission, the Planning Commission agreed to revert back to the existing Design Control District regulations and pursue grant funding to allow the Historic Preservation Commission to closely evaluate the Design Control District and develop regulations that meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, while satisfying the needs of the community and preserving the historic character of Montpelier.

This project will allow the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) to work collaboratively with the community and consultant to develop design review regulations which ensure the historic nature and fabric of Montpelier’s historic district is protected.  The Commission anticipates the consultant will facilitate the community engagement process and draft design review language to be incorporated into the Montpelier Zoning and Subdivision Regulations. Following completion of this project, the Commission intends on applying for additional Certified Local Government funds to complete Phase II of the project which includes developing visual interpretive design guidelines.

Funding for this project is being provided by the Certified Local Government Program administered by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. This Request for Proposals (RFP) is intended to aid the City in the competitive selection of a qualified consultant.


The objective of this project is to engage the community in a public planning process to evaluate the Design Control District boundaries and the current review criteria, and develop revised review standards for exterior building alterations within the district. The expected product is updated design review regulations.

As noted in the City’s application for funding from the Division for Historic Preservation, the audience for the project is a diverse one.  It includes property owners and developers who require permits under the City’s zoning ordinance, the Montpelier Historic Preservation Commission, Design Review Committee, and the Development Review Board (DRB), as well as the Department of Planning and Community Development staff who assist applicants. Other professionals, decision makers, and members of the public also constitute elements of the audience.

When completed, the proposed design review regulations will be presented to the Montpelier Planning Commission and subsequently Montpelier City Council.  Potential respondents should note that this project is supported by both the Planning Commission and City Council. The grant application was authorized, approved, and accepted by the City Council at duly warned meetings.


The City of Montpelier has one of the largest National Register historic districts in the state, a Designated Downtown, and a Design Control District. The City is widely recognized for its walkability, historic character, and engaged citizenry. For over forty years, the City has had a design review element within its zoning ordinance and has continually recognized the importance of design review in maintaining the historic character of the City.  As time goes by and development and redevelopment take place in the City, the potential for negative cumulative changes will be very real. Historic preservation is seen as a critical part of the City’s efforts to retain the character and integrity of the City.

Funding for the project is modest and the budget will require careful management by the consultant or team engaged to complete the work. Funding includes $7,800 in Certified Local Government funds in the form of a grant from the State and Federal Fund allocation, matched with donated time from volunteers and city staff.  Proposals with a budget over the CLG funding amount will not be excluded from consideration, the City requests a justification for a budget amount exceeding the available CLG funding.  The Historic Preservation Commission is comprised of members with significant professional experience in historic preservation, architecture, and preservation planning.  It is intended that the Commission and city staff will work closely with the consultant to complete the project.


The area of interest for this project is defined by the boundaries of the proposed amended Montpelier National Register Historic District and Design Control District.


 The method for analyzing the design review regulations will be straightforward. A consultant having both content and process expertise will review the existing regulations and prepare recommendations regarding the design review district boundaries, standards for review, and design review approval process. Input on improvements will be sought from the community, elected officials, and members of the Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Commission, and Design Review Committee. The consultant will be charged with drafting the regulations based on their meetings with HPC and staff. The revised regulations will be presented at a public meeting, circulated for comment, and revised as necessary.

Public involvement will be an important part of the project. As noted in the application to the Division of Historic Preservation, the community will be informed about the project using a range of approaches, techniques, and media. Activities completed to inform the community about the project will include, at a minimum, the following:

  1. Press release prior to first meeting with HPC
  2. Notice of work sessions with Planning Commission, HPC, DRC or City Council as needed
  3. Informal/alternative information session(s)
  4. Historic Preservation Commission –host presentation of draft revised regulations (carried out in conjunction with consultant) including a map outlining the area of review
  5. City Council and/or Planning Commission-host presentation of final revised Regulations


In its application for CLG Funds, the City estimated that the consultant’s portion of the project will take approximately six months to complete.


Date Task/Product Competed
January –February 2018 Evaluation of Design Review District boundaries.  Consultant to work with HPC and city staff to evaluate the district boundaries and present options to the public.  Consultant to lead and facilitate one public input meeting.
March-April 2018 Evaluate Standards & Design Review Criteria.  Consultant to prepare draft review criteria for projects within the district boundaries.
May 2018 Evaluate Design Review Process.  Consultant to prepare draft process for projects requiring design review approval.
May 31, 2018 Consultant to provide the following deliverables:  1) Proposed district boundaries; 2) Proposed Design Review Standards and Criteria; 3) Proposed Design Review Process
June 2018 Consultant and HPC to host public input meeting.  Consultant to present proposed design review regulations and facilitate public comments.


Respondents to this RFP are asked to provide evidence of their ability to meet these or similar milestones.  When addressing their ability to meet the milestones, consultants should present schedules reflecting their understanding of the project, good planning practice, and the requirements of the CLG program.


Any consultant hired to undertake the project will work primarily with the Montpelier Historic Preservation Commission and City staff to complete it.  The project coordinator will be the Zoning Administrator and will act as the principal contact with the consultant.


  1. All documents should be provided in both hard copy (paper) and digital format. All copies of draft and final reports shall be printed on both sides (i.e. double-sided).
  2. All data, databases, reports, programs, photographs, and other materials, in digital and hard copy format, created under this project shall be transferred to the City of Montpelier upon completion of the project and will become the property of the City of Montpelier. Any data and databases used to create maps shall be submitted in a GIS format compatible with ArcView or ArcGIS (geodatabase). Such data shall be provided in NAD 83 Vermont State Plane Meters coordinates.
  3. Documents should be submitted a minimum of one full week prior to meetings at any public meetings at which they will be discussed.


The consultant selection will be made by a committee consisting of representatives of City staff, the Historic Preservation Commission, and the Planning Commission.  The committee is expected to select the consultant in November. The selection committee will review and evaluate consultant qualifications and make a selection based on the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrated ability to carry out the project.
  2. Billing rates and cost-effectiveness.
  3. Prior experience/record of performance, as reflected in resume and experience on similar projects.
  4. Availability/ability to work within time schedule.
  5. Experience complying with public funding regulations and ability to work with grant requirements (see below).
  6. Ability to work with the Commission, City staff and volunteers.

It must be noted that criterion 2 (“Billing rates and cost-effectiveness”) does not impose on the City any obligation to select the consultant on the basis of charging the lowest fee.

As part of the consultant-selection process taking place after the initial review of materials, one consultant or team (or possibly more) will be asked to submit a billing proposal and proposed scope of work.

Owing to the source of a portion of the project funding, qualifications required of the consultant include the following:

  1. Comply with the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 1913.
  2. Comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of race, color or national origin, against people with handicaps, and on the basis of disability and age.
  3. Comply with all the requirements of Title 21 V.S.A. Chapter 5, Subchapter 6 relating to fair employment practices to the extent applicable.
  4. Comply with Federal requirements governing grants (OMB circulars A-87 or A-122, 43 CFR 12 or A-110, and A-128).
  5. Hold the City of Montpelier and the State of Vermont and its officers and employees harmless from any damages to persons or property arising from any act, omission or action relating to this project.
  6. Furnish periodic reports, statements or other documents as necessary.
  7. Promptly inform the City of any significant problems, or delays or adverse conditions.


Submittals should not exceed 10 pages.

Responses to this RFP should consist of the following:

  1. A brief cover letter expressing the consultant’s interest in working with the City of Montpelier.
  2. A brief introduction to the consultant.
  3. A brief summary of the relevant qualifications of the consultant.
  4. Billing rates of relevant key individuals.
  5. A brief statement demonstrating the consultant’s success on similar projects, including a brief project description and a contact name and address for reference.
  6. A representative work sample similar to the type of work being requested. If the consultant so chooses, a description of the approach it would recommend completing the project may also be provided. This description shall not count toward the page limit.


Consultants interested in this project must submit their materials via email Sarah McShane Zoning Administrator, City of Montpelier at smcshane@montpelier-vt.org . Paper copies are not desired or required.

Submittals must be submitted by 4:30 PM Friday October 20, 2017. The City reserves the right to reject any proposals and/or modifications received after this time.

Questions about the project should be directed to Sarah McShane at the above address or Kevin Casey, Community Development Specialist at kcasey@montpelier-vt.org at (802) 223.9507

All submissions become the property of the City of Montpelier. The expense of preparing and submitting materials is the sole responsibility of the consultant. The City of Montpelier reserves the right to negotiate with any qualified source, or to cancel in part or in its entirety this solicitation as in the best interest of City of Montpelier.  This solicitation in no way obligates the City of Montpelier to award a contract.

The City of Montpelier assumes no responsibility and no liability for costs incurred by consultant in responding to this solicitation, or in responding to any further request for interviews, additional data, etc. prior the issuance of a contract.

Please contact us with any questions.

NNECAPA Email: nnecapa@gmail.com

Web Design and Development