Here are the top 4 things you need to know about week 11 up at the capitol.
1. BATC Meets with DNR to Discuss 50ft Buffer Requirement Mandatory 50 feet buffer strips along lakes, rivers and streams continues to be promoted by the Governor. BATC met with DNR staff and confirmed that the bill is aimed at agricultural uses, and residential developments are exempt. Local zoning and NPDES permits would remain the controlling rules. This is a closely watched item as the bill could be amended.
2. Energy Performance Bill Introduced Rep Bob Vogel (R-Elko New Market) introduced a bill on behalf of BATC which would direct the Department of Labor and Industry to adopt an energy performance index to allow greater flexibility in complying with the new energy code.
3. Property Tax Increase for Parks? SF 1946, introduced by Sen. John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin) would create a new revenue generator for local governments to build out park systems. Local property tax payers would fund these park expenditures – BATC opposes the additional park costs given the substantial contributions of new home construction via the park dedication fee paid throughout BATC territory.
4. BATCs Moratorium Bill Needs More Time With committee deadlines upon us and resistance from local government and environmental groups, BATCs bill to require a notice and public hearing prior to a moratorium will likely be pushed into the next legislative session. Strong support exists in the House, but more discussion is needed to gather support in the Senate.
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