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Rich Roedner - Community Land Use: Towns Take on the Challenge - Vernal Pool Regulation

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Rich Roedner - Community Land Use: Towns Take on the Challenge - Vernal Pool Regulation

  1. 1. Community Land Use: Towns Take on the ChallengeVernal Pool Regulation 2012 GrowSmart Summit October 23, 2012 Rich Roedner, Planning Director, Town of Topsham
  2. 2. Current Regulations• State of Maine – Significant Vernal Pools – 250’ Buffer• US Army Corps of Engineers – All Vernal Pools – 750’ Buffer
  3. 3. Conflicts• DEP and ACOE use different definitions – SVP versus all vernal pools• DEP and ACOE use different buffer requirements – 250’ buffer versus 750’• Current Regulations ignore needs of species involved – Uniform buffer width versus direction migration
  4. 4. History of Process• New Vernal Pool regulations• UMO effort to help towns (11 communities) proactively map potential vernal pools – grant funded - 2008• UMO/Town effort to train volunteers on vernal pool identification techniques• Town efforts to demonstrate benefits to landowners of early determination• Town/UMO effort to identify Significant Vernal Pools – 2009 - 2011
  5. 5. History - Continued• UMO/Town (2 communities) efforts to consider how improve vernal pool regulations – Certainty – what regulation is and when applied – Clarity – how to identify and measure – Consistency – same between all levels of government – Capacity – communities have capacity to regulate on behalf of DEP
  6. 6. Vernal Pool Denizens
  7. 7. #22
  8. 8. #14
  9. 9. #15
  10. 10. #16
  11. 11. #31
  12. 12. #32
  13. 13. Gotta be a better way!
  14. 14. Local Approach - Topsham• Based on Comprehensive Plan designated Growth Boundary• Recognizes that many vernal pools in growth area are already impacted• Uses cost basis to obtain funding to purchase rural vernal pools, with appropriate buffer areas
  15. 15. Features of Local Program• Pre-designated conservation areas, based on Natural Resource Plan• Appraisal-based effort to determine value of land opened for development, as well as land to be protected• Protection methods include fee purchase, easements, purchase of development rights• Third party participation in preserving funds and making voluntary acquisitions or holding easements
  16. 16. Features - continued• How best to protect a particular pool? – Ownership – Easement – Directional buffer – Fixed buffer – Combination• Takes the place of State and Federal permit process
  17. 17. Benefits• New ACOE general permit, that is triggered when a community has an ordinance and program in place. Other areas would adhere to existing rules• DEP authority delegated or relegated to PBR• Provides for development where it belongs, and restricts development in less desirable areas, while making property owners whole
  18. 18. Who’s Involved?• Aram Calhoun – UMO• Dawn Morgan – UMO• Vanessa Levesque – UMO• Dave Owen – USM• Robb Freeman – EMCC• Mark Eyerman – Planning Decisions• Liz Hertz – Maine Coastal Program• Steve Walker – MeDIFW• Evan Richert – Town of Orono• John Shattuck – Topsham ECD• Rod Melanson – Topsham Planning Office• Regulators – DEP, EPA and ACOE

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