Progress / Science

Proctor Adopts River Corridor Protections After Requesting Map Change

As part of its work to update town bylaws, the Proctor Planning Commission, with the help of the Rutland Regional Planning Commission (RRPC), decided to strengthen its flood protections by including the state’s Model 4 regulations for river corridors. Even though the Otter Creek runs right through the middle of Proctor village, the town had not yet added either river corridor or fluvial erosion regulations to its zoning. It also was the one missing piece in getting the most favorable Emergency Relief Assistance Fund (ERAF) funding from the state if there is a future flood-related disaster.

marble bridge

The Marble Bridge and Otter Creek, Proctor. Photo credit: Elysa Smigielski, Rutland Regional Planning Commission

However, when RRPC’s Elysa Smigielski shared the state’s river corridor map for Proctor with the town planning commission, the commission voiced concern that the map showed too many homes in the River Corridor. Specifically, the commission noted that the homes on South Street are high enough above and set back enough from Otter Creek to NOT warrant river corridor designation.   Although state maps are based on best available data such as LIDAR and stream geometry, in some cases, the data may require some ground-truthing.

DEC River Scientist Shannon Pytlik offered to field-verify the statewide river corridor mapping with Elysa and a planning commission member.  It turns out that the planning commission had some legitimate concerns about how the river corridor lines were drawn. Based on field conditions that were not showing up in the LIDAR, Pytlik determined that the corridor delineation needed alterations and she revised the map in accordance with DEC’s river corridor mapping procedure.

revised map

Revised DEC River Corridor map for Proctor (area in blue was removed at town’s request).

The town planning commission concurred with the changes and passed the new bylaws on February 2, 2017. The bylaws were then adopted by the Proctor Selectboard on March 13, 2017.