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Shoreline debate continues - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Shoreline debate continues

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

The debate over restricting development along Vermont's shorelines was not resolved.

The Lake Shoreland Protection commission decided the issue needs more study in the state Senate. This decision came after multiple hearings and public testimony from hundreds of people.

Last session, the House approved a bill requiring property owners to get approval from the Agency of Natural Resources for new development within 250 feet of the shore. Many objected saying it was an intrusion on local zoning.

"We, the people paying a large amount of property taxes, are part of the science that hasn't been taken into account," said Sen. John Rodgers, D-Essex-Caledonia County. "We're part of the ecosystem at this point and we have to balance water quality with people's property rights."

"We're going to be working with the Senate and hopefully get a bill that strikes the right balance. That allows landowners to have reasonable use of their property, to make it not a lot of bureaucracy to get permission to build on a lot, but to make sure that we're protecting vegetated shoreland where it still exists," said Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz.

ANR says less than 20 percent of Vermont towns have adequate shoreland zoning.

Both Maine and New Hampshire have approved statewide rules.

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