New efforts to limit development along Vermont's waterways - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New efforts to limit development along Vermont's waterways

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Some lawmakers want to create tougher restrictions for property developments along Vermont's lakes and ponds.

A committee of state senators is putting the finishing touches on their counterproposal to a measure passed by the House last year. The bill would restrict how much of a property and which portions of it can be cleared or covered by impervious surfaces.

Proponents say the move will prevent further degradation of Vermont's waterways. Opponents worry the measure would infringe on private property rights.

"If everybody makes use of their land-- the maximum-- they won't have a lake to use. It will be something quite different. So this is in the collective interest of all the property owners," said Sen. Peter Galbraith, D-Windham.

"There are, I believe, very few people who have to move heavy things in and out of the water sitting in this room, and I do. And there's a whole bunch of this that's just so impractical it's beyond belief," said Sen. John Rodgers, D-Essex/Orleans.

An EPA report found 80 percent of Vermont's lakes and ponds are in poor shape.

The bill is expected to easily pass out of committee and be taken up by the entire Senate. Should the measure pass the full body, members of the House would need to decide whether to accept the Senate's changes or tweak the bill.

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