Williston photos
What is a wetland?
Wetlands are lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water. For an area to be classified as a wetland it must have one or more of the following attributes: (1) at least periodically, the land supports predominantly hydrophytes (wetland plants); (2) the substrate is predominantly undrained hydric soil; and (3) the substrate is nonsoil and is saturated with water or covered by shallow water at some time during the growing season.

Wetlands Classes? State and Federal Wetland Regulations
Wetlands are classified into one of three classes which are used to determine the level of protection. Class I and Class II wetlands are “significant wetlands.” There are no Class I wetlands in Williston. Class II wetlands appear on, or are contiguous to wetlands that appear on, the Vermont Significant Wetlands Inventory Maps prepared by the Agency of Natural Resources. Class III includes all other wetlands.
Information on Vermont’s state wetlands regulations may be found on-line at: http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/waterq/wetlands.htm

Are Class II wetlands protected in Williston?
Class II wetlands are protected by state law and Williston’s Unified Development Bylaw. Class II wetlands must generally remain in their natural vegetation, but may be crossed by roads, trails, or utility lines where there is no feasible alternative to such a crossing and where all work is conducted in compliance with an approved Runoff and Erosion Control Plan and a Conditional Use Permit approved by the Agency of Natural Resources. Class II wetlands must have a buffer of at least 50 feet above the delineated boundary of any Class II wetland. Conventional laws are not permitted in wetland buffers.

Are Class III wetlands protected in Williston?
Class III wetlands generally are not protected by state law, but may be protected by Williston’s Unified Development Bylaw and are definitely regulated by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Williston Development Review Board (DRB) may, upon the recommendation of the Williston Conservation Commission, require that Class III wetlands with significant functional values remain in their natural vegetation. The Conservation Commission may also recommend, and the DRB require, that a functional assessment of the Class III wetlands on the proposed development site be provided along with the delineation. Class III wetlands do not have a designated buffer requirement however the DRB, upon recommendation of the Conservation Commission, may require a buffer above Class III wetlands that have important functional values.

Related links:
June 22, 2009
Williston Unified Development Bylaw Chapter 29: Watershed Health
July 21, 2005
Williston's Watershed Protection Buffer Program
Williston Class II Wetlands Map
Hydrologic Soils Map

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