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Shoreline bill falls by the wayside - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Shoreline bill falls by the wayside

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Legislative efforts to protect Vermont's shorelines from damaging development have fallen by the wayside this session.

Among other things, the bill, as first proposed, would have required homeowners to get permits for shoreline development, restore vegetative buffer zones to prevent runoff and avoid clear-cutting. Supporters say a major contributor to water quality is runoff from eroded shorelines. Opponents saw the bill is an attack on property rights and that the state was in no position to enforce the rules.

Lawmakers say they want to hear more from the public.

"Most any other piece of legislation that affects so many people you go out in public and have public hearings-- that's what I asked for basically, public hearings. I represent about 127 miles of shoreline and when people realize that the bill, what it was going to do without their input, were concerned and rightfully so," said Sen. Dick Mazza, D-Grand Isle County.

A special committee is expected to hold up to five public hearings around the state this summer.

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