Shorelands Bill becomes law

It’s not perfect, but after a long and wrangling journey, Vermont now has a shorelands protection law (H.526.)  

A truly contemporary sign of political personhood, “Defeat H.526” even had its own Facebook page, which only got 134 “Likes.”  That kind of indicates to me that they probably got it more or less in balance.  Even naysayers must admit something had to be done to.

It was quite a bone of contention up in the St. Albans area, where some property owners chaffed at having to yield perceived property “rights” to the public good.  They’ll get over it though; and they did get some protections for those rights “grandfathered” in.  

“This law is a good step forward. It won’t undo the damage we’ve done where we’ve built too close to our lakes, it will help safeguard water quality and wildlife habitat for future generations of Vermonters. In the coming years, we’ll be very glad we took this step as a state.” – Kim Greenwood, VNRC water program director/staff scientist.

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

One thought on “Shorelands Bill becomes law

  1. As I told one person who didn’t want to have to have the state regulating their lake property activities – they could (and perhaps still can) work to have their town enact ordinances covering its shoreland protections.  They would then have local enforcement if that suited them better.  

    Personally I wish current uses weren’t grandfathered as the air at many lakeshore properties on a given summer day is filled with the sound and emissions from weedwackers, lawn mowers and chainsaws, scalping most every bit of vegetation from sight.  Where are the birds supposed to nest and garter snakes live?  And I’d have liked to have had a requirement that native vegetation be used for new or replacement projects.  And for Pete’s sake, leave the duff on the ground.  Leave stumps in the ground.  Many if not most lakes are surrounded by sloping land and every bit of vegetative ‘infrastructure’ we leave in place will help protect against extreme weather events.  

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