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Vernon to hold public hearing on revised Floodplain Bylaw

VERNON—The Vernon Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on a proposed Inundation/Flood Hazard Area Bylaw Thursday, Aug. 19, at 6:30 p.m., at the Vernon Town Offices on Governor Hunt Road.

Members of the public can read a copy of the proposed plan and review a map of the affected areas on the Selectboard’s website at www.vernonvt.org.

According to the Planning Commission’s Inundation/Flood Hazard Area Bylaw report, the purpose of the bylaw is to “avoid and minimize the loss of life and property, the disruption of commerce, the impairment of the tax base, and the extraordinary public expenditures and demands on public services that result from flooding.”

Vernon’s current town plan has a policy stating flood hazard areas should be “reserved for agriculture, open recreation or other low impact purposes, which do not significantly impair the lands natural ability to handle floodwaters” for both existing and new construction.

The bylaw governs new and existing buildings within areas at risk for flooding and conforms to state requirements regarding flood plains and Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which includes flood insurance, floodplain management and hazard mapping.

The state requires towns to develop floodplain bylaws as part of their town plans. Vernon’s interim bylaw expires October 2010.

After the planning commission incorporates input form the Aug. 19 meeting, the revised bylaw will be sent to the Selectboard for further review. There will be another public hearing prior to final adoption.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #63 (Wednesday, August 18, 2010).

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