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has been identified as wetlands or floodplains, with the majority of the floodplain area in Colchester along Lake Champlain and the Winooski and Lamoille Rivers. Approximately 3,259 acres are identified as Special Floodplain Hazard Areas.

The lower Winooski River is currently assessed as not fully fishable or swimmable under the criteria of the Clean Water Act. The lower Lamoille is rated as fully fishable and swimmable. Given the drainage basin characteristics, it is not likely that significant contamination enters either the Winooski or Lamoille River from Colchester. The State of Vermont created a Lower Winooski River Basin plan with objectives, goals, and action plans for treating stormwater, managing roads and parking lots, and stream crossings within this larger basin. Both the Lamoille and Winooski Rivers are protected by the Fluvial Erosion Hazard Overlay District in the Development Regulations. In addition, the majority of parcels along the rivers are restricted by the top-of-bank setbacks and Floodplain District requirements. Many properties along the Winooski River were developed prior to these regulations. New development and redevelopment of these properties should address bank stabilization and meet setbacks.

Colchester Pond Colchester Pond is located in the far Northeast corner of Town and is one mile long and a quarter mile wide. The Pond is within the Shoreland Overlay District of the Development Regulations that restricts an area 250 feet back from the mean water mark. The Pond results from impounded drainage. Most of the shoreline of the Pond is undeveloped woodland and pasture. The Pond is hydrologically isolated, has good water quality, and has no known exotic species. Colchester Pond and most of the surrounding land is owned by the Winooski Valley Park District. The State of Vermont has recognized Colchester Pond as an exceptional water resource and has excluded motor-boats.

Floodplains The Town of Colchester is situated between the mouths of the Lamoille River and the Winooski River along Lake Champlain. As a result of these significant features, fifteen percent of the land area in Colchester

The fertile floodplain of the Winooski River, often referred to as the Intervale, is involved in active agricultural production and contains a substantial portion of the Town’s working lands. The 100 year flood elevation of Lake Champlain (Special Flood Hazard Area), as determined by the Federal Flood Insurance Program, is depicted on the FIRM maps. The Floodplain District and the Town’s Shoreland District are identified on Appendices Map 11. Development within the Flood Zone has been prohibited in Colchester for several decades; however, significant development predated the regulations and there are many structures still located in the flood hazard zone. The majority of these structures are seasonal residences and accessory structures that are occupied during the summer months. The 2011 Lake Champlain flood exceeded all known historic floods with the lake level exceeding 102 feet above sea level and flood damage up to 105 feet locally. The Town of Colchester’s Development Regulations ensured that damaged structures rebuilt were floodproofed to Federal standards, and, as a result of these standards, Colchester was able to join the Community Rating System of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2016. This program and the Development Regulations should be maintained during the term of the plan. Through the Town’s proactive policies and education on flooding risk, the Town enjoys a higher rate of reimbursement in declared disasters, and property owners are eligible for discounted flood insurance rates.

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Profile for colchestervt

Town of Colchester's 2019 Town Plan  

The Town of Colchester's 2019 Town Plan is the long-term (20+ year) plan for the community that, while primarily focusing on land use, provi...

Town of Colchester's 2019 Town Plan  

The Town of Colchester's 2019 Town Plan is the long-term (20+ year) plan for the community that, while primarily focusing on land use, provi...