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About us...

Sterling Mountain Community Planning & Design, LLC is a Vermont-based urban planning practice with 30+ years of experience to help create and sustain communities both large and small, rural and urban.


We work closely and directly with local planners, developers, institutions, resorts, businesses, advocates, and community members. We seek to broaden their perspective about what is possible, and expand their capacity to undertake meaningful change.


We bring a big picture and long range perspective with an emphasis on practical application and finding the interrelationships and hidden opportunities at the edges of projects and issues.


Sterling Mountain Community Planning & Design, LLC was founded in 2022 by David E. White, FAICP - a leader, urbanist, and innovator in fostering and facilitating successful and vibrant community planning and urban development projects. David is the former Director  of Planning for the City of Burlington VT, and has spent more than 30 years working in the public-sector.  The firm specializes in helping communities, planners, consultants, nonprofits, and enlightened developers improve the quality, vitality, sustainability, and livability of their projects.

Our Engagement Ideal:

  • Collaborating in partnership with in-house staff and/or other consultants to leverage a diversity of skill sets and experience, and provide an extension/expansion of their capacity to develop cutting-edge community plans and development codes.

  • Providing perspective and insight as a seasoned, experienced, and objective advisor and mentor for local planning staff, new planning directors, and planning consultants.

  • Advising progressive and enlightened developers during the conceptual design phase to help ensure their projects are a good fit for the local context and regulatory objectives of the community.

How can we help?

A substantial portion of the practice is devoted to small projects and pro-bono work, so be in touch and let's talk about what you might be looking for and how Sterling Mountain Community Planning & Design, LLC can be part of your solution!


  • 30+ years experience in local land use and development planning (both long range and current planning), administration, and leadership

  • Recognized leader in the planning field at the local, regional and national levels

  • Experienced in policy research, development and implementation 

  • Creation of award-winning plans and planning projects

  • Diverse and direct experience in a wide range of planning topics - land use, urban design, transportation, economic and downtown development, resort and institutional development, housing, land conservation, and historic preservation

  • Successful creation and implementation of many creative, innovative, and cutting edge planning programs, projects and projects.

  • Collaboration by nature and a bridge across related disciplines - architects, engineers, landscape architects, code officials

  • Big picture and long range perspective with an emphasis on practical application

  • Systems-thinking always looking for the inter-relationships and hidden opportunities at the edges of projects and issues

  • A decade of experience overseeing and modernizing Vermont’s largest city’s complex regulatory process to ensure predictable outcomes that advance the community’s long term goals.

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