Visual Impact Assessment (VIA) Guidelines

CDOT’s VIA Guidelines are rooted in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to inform transportation decision-making. These Guidelines provide NEPA practitioners contemporary guidance for preparing visual resource assessments through an “easy to follow” step-by-step process.

The VIA process captures key visual issues, documents adverse and beneficial impacts, and provides a framework for developing effective mitigation measures for projects along transportation corridors, with the goal of achieving visual compatibility with landscape character, viewers (travelers and neighbors), and visual quality.  These Guidelines describe CDOT’s comprehensive process for assessing visual impacts and have been incorporated into Chapter 9 of CDOT’s NEPA Manual. The templates included below should be used to document VIA scoping, and (if required) preparation of a VIA Memorandum or Standard VIA.

2020 VIA Guidelines

VIA Scoping Questionnaire (2020) - pdf and Word

VIA Memo Template (2019) - pdf and Word

VIA Standard Template (2019) - pdf and Word

VIA Guidelines Briefing Paper

VIA Myth Busters