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January 16. 2013 11:04PM

Group continues review of Shoreland Protection rules

WOLFEBORO - The Shoreland Protection Ordinance Committee met Wednesday in a continuing effort to clarify municipal regulations concerning waterfront lot development.

The committee, made up of property owners and planning board and conservation commission members, meets regularly to review the current ordinance and to determine what, if any, changes are required.

In an update after the meeting, Director of Planning and Development Rob Houseman said the committee is not submitting any proposed amendment to voters this year.

The Wolfeboro Shoreland Protection Ordinance was adopted last year following changes to the state's shoreland protection regulations in 2011. Houseman said the town's version from 2012 re-adopted the more stringent state shoreland protection rules prior to the 2011 legislation.

"Basically, we, the town of Wolfeboro, are more restrictive as it relates to shorefront development," he said, adding the state sets the minimum guidelines, but that towns can implement more restrictive guidelines. For example, the state's rules allow 100 percent of a shorefront lot to have an impervious surface (such as pavement), but require a stormwater management plan for lots that have more than 30 percent impervious surface.

Wolfeboro, on the other hand, does not allow for 100 percent impervious surface and requires a stormwater management plan for any site with more than 30 percent of an impervious surface.

"That's a 70 percent difference," Houseman said.

Some of the questions the committee is considering include whether to have a different standard pertaining to fully developed lots - those that will not have a natural vegetation barrier. One idea is to provide an incentive for homeowners with fully developed lots to re-establish or renew vegetation within a buffer or setback area. Another idea is to add flexibility with how and where a planting can occur.

Houseman said that as far as the town's shorefront development rules go, he does not hear many complaints.

"As the person responsible for issuing permits, every permit application we have received has been issued," Houseman said.

After the Wednesday meeting, he said the committee made some headway, but no decisions were made regarding rules for planting standards for lots with no unaltered space.

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