“StormSmart Coasts” regulations adopted but Town of Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard
As part of the StormSmart Coasts Community Pilot project, the Oak Bluffs Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously, on September 16, to adopted special permit regulations associated with the town’s floodplain district zoning bylaw. These regulations are the first “StormSmart Coasts special permit regulations” detailing fair and equitable submission requirements, design criteria and performance standards to minimize potential loss of life, destruction of property, and environmental damage; enable safe access for homeowners and emergency response personnel; and diminish monetary loss and public health threats.
When the pilot project began, Mass CZM staff assisted Oak Bluffs local officials with drafting amendments to their existing Floodplain Overlay District Bylaw, which was adopted by town meeting in spring 2010 by a near unanimous vote. The bylaw allows specific land uses by special permit. CZM and Oak Bluffs officials then turned to preparing special permit regulations that clarify the process and parameters for development within the floodplain district. Another first – these regulations also incorporate CZM coastal landscaping with native plants can help coastal property owners prevent storm damage and erosion, provide wildlife habitat, and reduce coastal water pollution—all while improving a property’s visual appeal and natural character. CZM congratulates the Town of Oak Bluffs for it progressive work to protect its residents, businesses, and natural resources. Regulations will be available for download soon at http://www.mass.gov/czm/stormsmart/index.htm
Great new coastal landscsaping website with plant lists, design plans, etc. is available at http://www.mass.gov/czm/coastal_landscaping/index.htm