RCL Wetlands & Surface Waters Subcommittee Summary Fall 2016

Rye Civic League Notes

Wetlands and Surface Waters  ‘Conservation Overlay District Subcommittee  of the Planning Board Rules and Regulations Committee 

The sub committee met 6 times between August and October.

Subcommittee official minutes can be found here

Subcommittee meetings live video streaming can be found here (Select Type and Planning Board)

The subcommittee’s charge/tasks as assigned by the Rules and Regulations committee can be found here (see page 9)

Online streaming of the 10/26 Planning Board Rules and Regulations Committee where the subcommittee’s work was discussed, approved and moved to the Planning Board here

The committee examined and compared, line by line, Rye’s current Wetlands ordinance , the 2016 proposed ordinance which never went to the ballot, and Greenland’s ordinance. Other towns ordinances, state laws and regulations were also studied and considered.

A key focus of work was evaluating existing online wetlands and hydric soils mapping tools to see which were best to provide a general guide as to where wetlands are located, state law requiring that only a certified wetlands scientist can actually delineate them.

The committee debated and concluded that given the short time to prepare its recommendations and the complexity of a complete re write that it would propose specific changes to the current ordinance for the 2017 Warrant, with a recommendation to the Rules and Regulations Committee and Planning Board that the work continue into 2017 for 2018.

Summary of Proposed Key Changes to the Current Wetlands Conservation District Ordinance.

Recommendations are subject to Planning Board public hearings, modifications, and vote.

  1. The size of wetlands subject to the ordinance and associated buffers are recommended not to change in 2017 from current
  2. Include links to Town GIS system and NH Wetland Mapper here in an appendix as a general and approximate guide to where wetlands are located in Rye.
  3. In the 301.4 Purpose introduce
    1. use of new defined terms with associated resources to reduce the impact of storm water via Best Management Practices Storm Water and Low Impact Development techniques.
    2. also include minimize spread of invasive species, restrict construction in wetlands to the maximum extent practicable, and enhance water supplies
    3. Allow removal of dead, dying, diseased trees in wetlands using a new defined term Best Management Practices Forestry and associated resource also adding Best Management Practices to Agriculture and Aquaculture in wetlands.
    4. Added that Special Exceptions can only be granted if a Certified Wetlands Scientist has determined that to the maximum extent practicable that the least detrimental impact to the wetlands is shown.
    5. Septics in buffers may be replaced with DES approval but every effort must be made to reduce violation distances and impact.

Member Winebaum of the sub committee did not agree with all the recommendations approved by the subcommittee and Rules and Regulations Committee concerning 30.,8 B Buffer Restrictions, stating so during sub committee meetings and at the Rules and Regulations Committee meeting October 26th. He recommended that existing lawns and landscaping in buffers be grandfathered but also not allowed to expand. Further that substantial construction or reconstruction in a buffer should require establishing a natural vegetated buffer and that any disturbance of 2500 square feet in a wetland buffer during new or substantial reconstruction should trigger a requirement for a grading, drainage storm water management plan according to Best Management Practices Storm Water.

Wetlands Subcommittee meetings  October 12th & 19th:
Draft Meeting Minutes include the charge from the Rules & Regulations/Planning Board:  Click Here
State of NH Storm-water Management guide:  Click Here
Informational Slides from DES:  Click Here
Recorded Video October 12th: Click Here
Recorded Video October 19th: Click Here
RCL Notes of past meetings: Click Here
1.  The size of wetlands subject to the ordinance and associated buffers are recommended not to change in 2017 from current
2.   Include links to Town GIS system and NH Wetland Mapper here in an appendix as a general and approximate guide to where wetlands are located in Rye.
3.    In the 301.4 Purpose introduce
       a. Use of new defined terms with associated resources to reduce the impact of storm water via Best Management Practices Storm Water and Low Impact Development techniques.
b. Also include minimize spread of invasive species, restrict construction in wetlands to the maximum extent practicable, and enhance water supplies
4.  Allow removal of dead, dying, diseased trees in wetlands using a new defined term Best Management Practices Forestry and associated resource also adding Best Management Practices to Agriculture and Aquaculture in wetlands.
5.   Added that Special Exceptions can only be granted if a Certified Wetlands Scientist has determined that, to the maximum extent practicable, the least detrimental impact to the wetlands is shown.
6.  Septics in buffers may be replaced with DES approval but every effort must be made to reduce violation distances and impact.

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