Supervisor Asks County To Defy State Shoreland Mandate

May 16, 2017

Council Grounds State Park
Credit www.goodfreephotos.com

One Oneida County board supervisor is askingĀ  supervisors on the Planning and Development committee to defy a state mandate concerning shoreland zoning.

In 2015, the legislature's Joint Finance Committee included in the budget a provision rolling back local county protections on shoreland zoning to a standard size that applies across all counties, be they with few lakes or more than a thousand like Oneida county. State Senator Tom Tiffany at the time said it was a move to make it easier to regulate shoreland zoning by the state.

Counties were granted the right decades before that to make rules stronger than state rules if they felt it was in their interest to do so. The change in 2015 prevented that, and forced counties to rewrite their stronger statutes to meet looser state regulations.

Oneida county has had 77 meetings on the topic and recently three public hearings...since then trying to get it's rules to conform to the state statutes.

Supervisor Bob Mott asked the county committee to defy the state and keep its former rules to maintain higher water quality standards...

"...I would like to challenge the Oneida county(committee) and include language that goes beyond(new shoreland standards). It's $221 million..the tourism impact in Oneida county. Yet without a whimper, the(committee) has rolled over to not protect the very thing that drives that tourism industry...."

Mott says there is a large difference between a county with few navigable waterways and a water rich county like Oneida. Mott says legislators he's contacted have either supported the new standards or did not return his calls. County Board Chair David Hintz asked the board to withhold comment on Mott's statement and rather wait until a later meeting when that topic will be the focus of discussion.