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Introduced by   Representative Deen of Westminster

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Conservation and development; public waters; docks and encroachments

Statement of purpose:  This bill would expand the jurisdiction of the agency of natural resources to permit encroachments, such as docks and piers.  The bill would expand jurisdiction to include encroachments on all public waters, not just lakes and ponds.  Public waters are the navigable waters of the state.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  29 V.S.A. § 403 is amended to read:


(a)  Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, no person shall encroach on any of those waters and lands of lakes and ponds public waters under the jurisdiction of the board without first obtaining a permit under this chapter.  No permit shall be granted if the encroachment adversely affects the public good.

(b)  A permit shall not be required for the following uses provided that navigation or boating is not unreasonably impeded:

(1)  Wooden or metal docks for noncommercial use mounted on piles or floats provided that:

(A)  the combined horizontal distance of the proposed encroachment and any existing encroachments located within 100 feet thereof which are owned or controlled by the applicant do not exceed 50 feet and their aggregate surface areas do not exceed 500 square feet; and

(B)  concrete, masonry, earth or rock fill, sheet piling, bulkheading, cribwork, or similar construction does not form a part of the encroachment;

(2)  A water intake pipe not exceeding two inches inside diameter;

(3)  Temporary extensions of existing structures added for a period not to exceed six months, if required by low water;

(4)  Ordinary repairs and maintenance to existing commercial and noncommercial structures;

(5)  Duck blinds, floats, rafts, and buoys.

(c)  Existing encroachments shall not be enlarged, extended, or added to without first obtaining a permit under this chapter, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(d)  This chapter shall not apply to encroachments subject to the provisions of 10 V.S.A., chapter 43, concerning dams, or regulations adopted under the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 1424, concerning public waters.

(e)  This section shall not apply to the installation on lake bottoms of small filtering devices not exceeding nine square feet of disturbed area on the end of water intake pipes less than two inches in diameter for the purpose of zebra mussel control.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont