Lakefront Living: An Overview of Shoreland Restrictions and Permitting

By April 14, 2017January 21st, 2019Uncategorized

When planning a landscape project for a lakefront home, there are many shoreland limitations that you have to take into account to make sure that you are protecting the lake and its wildlife, all while achieving the goals you have set for your property. The beauty of a lakefront home is found in its lakes and there is a 250 foot buffer zone from the water’s edge that is considered protected shoreland.

Preventing erosion control and stormwater runoff are key components to protecting our lakes. Ensuring that natural filters are in place, walkways are mapped properly, erosion is controlled and invasive plant species are not brought to our lakes are a few ways to maintain healthy bodies of water for generations to follow.

shoreland restrictions

Start planning your landscape projects early to ensure the permitting and design process does not delay your project. As you start thinking about your project, there is a lot to consider when it comes to understanding and navigating the NH Shoreland Protection Act and the shoreland permitting process. We have helped hundreds of your neighbors navigate this process efficiently and smoothly and we are here to help you do the same.

shoreland buffer zone

Image provided by NH Department of Environmental Services

“Where do I start?”

Having a design plan in mind gives you a good starting point for figuring out what can be done within the various buffer zones on your property. In New Hampshire, there are three buffer zones, the 50 foot Waterfront Buffer and the 100 foot Woodland Buffer and the 250 foot protected Shoreland Buffer Zone. Each zone has different restrictions and it is important to work with someone who understands what is permissible in each zone.

The big question: “Do I need a permit?”

Permits are required within the Waterfront Buffer zone for things like creating walkways, expanding beaches, adding sand to existing beaches and building a perched beach, patio or gazebo, just to name a few. Each shoreland buffer zone has its own set of limitations, restrictions and permit requirements. It’s best to discuss your landscape dreams with an expert who can help make your dreams a reality and protect your lakes at the same time.

shoreland permitting

A few more things to consider while planning your lakefront landscape project

It is important to make sure that the plants you use on your property are legal in New Hampshire and that they are not considered invasive species. At Belknap Landscape, our palettes consist of primarily native plants that thrive in their native environment.

Over the past 28 years, we have helped hundreds of people navigate and understand the shoreland permitting process while building the landscape of their dreams in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.

At Belknap Landscape Company, we are a member of the New Hampshire Landscape Association and we employ several New Hampshire Landscape Certified Professionals. We are a family owned company that is active in the community. We take pride in preserving the quality of our area lakes and we specialize in lakefront design, builds and permitting that respects the shoreland restrictions.

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