TRAVERSE CITY - A local ordinance that
would regulate wetland areas within the city limits not
already covered by state environmental laws is being considered
by city officials.
Most of the city's wetland areas are
already covered by state and federal environmental laws
because of the city's proximity to Lake Michigan, city officials
"There's not too many that I'm aware
of that aren't tied to a body of water," city planner Russ
Soyring said. "But there are little pockets of them around
that might be in more of a gray area."
The state, through the Department of
Environmental Quality, regulates wetlands that are:
- Connected to any of the Great Lakes
or Lake St. Clair, or within 1,000 feet of those bodies
- Connected to or within 500 feet of
an inland lake, pond, river or stream.
- More than five acres in size - even
if not connected to a body of water - in counties with a
population of 100,000 or more.
- Any wetland area deemed by the DEQ
as "essential to the preservation of the state's natural
resources," a designation which requires notification of
affected property owners.
Local governments are allowed to regulate
other wetlands by ordinance, providing they complete an
inventory of properties that would be impacted. They must
also use the same defining criteria for wetlands that are
used by the state.
In areas where local wetland permits
are required, the DEQ must also issue a wetland permit before
any construction activities can begin.
City manager Richard Lewis is compiling
cost estimates for completing the required wetland inventory
study. From there the city commission will decide whether
to move ahead with the effort.
Commissioners briefly discussed the
issue last month, and some had questions about how much
it would cost the city to enforce a local ordinance.
Others voiced strong support.
"Protecting our wetlands is certainly
in our best interest," Commissioner Ann Rogers said.
This information is posted
for nonprofit educational purposes, in accordance with U.S.
Code Title 17, Chapter 1,Sec. 107 copyright laws.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for
purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use," you
must obtain permission from the copyright owner.