Landscaping choices made by landowners near the lake can affect the quality of the lake. Construction of houses, driveways, and lawns can increase runoff. Runoff increases erosion, aquatic weed growth, and sediment, while reducing water clarity. An area of vegetation along the lake shore can lessen the adverse effects of development on lake quality. The Lake Fairlee Association strongly supports the maintenance of these buffer zones. See the category labeled “Lake Environment” in the column to the right.
The Town of Thetford, which adjoins the southern “half” of our lake, is evaluating its zoning ordinances and considering revisions. Its Planning Commission has been discussing proposed new language, which includes requiring buffer zones for new construction along the lake. The Thetford Planning Commission has invited input from the Lake Fairlee Association, which we gladly provided. Its proposals will require adoption by the Selectboard for approval.
Neither Fairlee nor West Fairlee, the other two towns that border our lake, have such requirements. We urge their consideration.
The Town of Thetford can be contacted at their website or at 802-785-2922.