More Information on H526

According to VT Digger:  Sen. Dick Mazza, D-Chittenden-Grand Isle, struck a deal with the Senate leadership and Sen. Bob-Hartwell, D-Bennington, chair of the Natural Resources and Energy Committee, that will put H.526 on hold until next January.  To see the entire article, follow the link.

In addition, Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) reports, “The shoreland bill, H.526, is still in the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee. However, in an interesting twist, Section E. 126 of H.530 (the Senate version of the appropriations bill) creates a Lake Shoreland Protection Commission to take testimony regarding the regulation of disturbance, clearing, and creation of impervious surfaces in the shorelands of lakes and to summarize the scope of all existing regulations regarding protection of the waters of the state. That assessment would include a review of local regulations and a description of other states’ regulations. The commission would conduct five meetings around the state and be authorized to meet an additional three times. The commission would
comprise all five members of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee plus two House members appointed by the Speaker of the House and would report to the legislature by January 15, 2014.  There appears to be a substantial difference of opinion between the House and Senate and even among senators as to whether something akin to the House-passed version of H.526 or a study in conjunction with a one-year moratorium on shoreland development or just a study should be enacted this year. This is another instance of the legislature keeping a discussion alive, this time on shoreland protection.  VLCT will follow the committee’s work closely if the Senate approves this section and the House agrees to this provision of the big bill.”

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