Shoreland Protection Act Three years after it went in to law in N.H.

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., NHRE# 02863

 

Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act – New Hampshire

It’s been nearly 3 years since the CSPA was enacted, but there is still more to learn about the requirements, and the use of Waivers and Variances. Building with in the Shoreland zone has gotten more expensive (permitting) and the days of McMansions taking up the entire foot print of the site are over. This act has added an additional 1,390 miles of river to the protection area. If you are interested in building on a Waterfront site in N.H. plan early for delays…if an existing property is in your sights, you can still buy a property much closer to the waters edge than you can currently build one.

            

Pictured above is a Condo Project we developed and sold back in the late 1980’s…You’ll never see one this close to the water again, so re-sales can offer something new construction can not. Just be careful if you intend to renovate in the future, as you’ll be subject to state permitting too.

A brief summary of the substantial changes effective July 1, 2008 are:

 

PERMIT REQUIRED

most all work within the protected shoreland now requires a formal permit from the NH DES Shoreland Division (there are a few exceptions - see CSPA rules).  Work in the bank that requires and receives a NH DES Wetlands Bureau Permit will not be required to seek a separate CSPA permit, but will be reviewed such that the project meets the CSPA standards related to the project...

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMPERVIOUS LIMITS

all land within the protected shoreland is now subject to impervious surface limits of 20% or 30% coverage subject to varying levels of environmental protections and stormwater management (see above)...

 

 

 

 

 

 

WATERFRONT BUFFER

all land within 50 ft of the reference line is now subject to tree cutting and groundcover impact restrictions based upon a 50 ft x 50 ft grid system and is called the "Waterfront Buffer"...

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNDISTURBED AREA

all land in the "Woodland Buffer" (150 ft of the reference line) is now subject to a restriction on disturbance - 50% of the area outside the impervious area limits must be maintained in an "unaltered state" including temporary impacts (see specific rules detail for lots less than 1/2 acre)...

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATEWIDE 50 ft SETBACK

all new primary structures must be set back at least 50 ft from the reference line statewide (towns and cities cannot set lower limits, but may enact greater standards)...

 

 

In the past shoreland oversight , rules and permits used to occur at the municipal level, the new CSPA requires that landowners seeking to commence construction, excavation or filling activities within the Protected Shoreland must obtain a new permit or exemption directly from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES). "Protected Shoreland" remains defined as all land within 250 feet of the natural mean high water level, high tide line, or full pond waterline for artificially impounded water bodies. However, the revised CSPA reinvents many of the restrictions that had applied to development within the Protected Shoreland.

 

Simply stated these laws require anyone seeking to alter in anyway property that is with in 250 feet of a major water way – to apply for a Permit at the state level. Further since in most cases the applicant is seeking to build (using impervious material) you will be paying for engineering to accompany the application. You will need to know the exact location, size and disturbance area required to complete your project. And you’ll need to be prepared to wait for the states approval before you scratch the surface of the property.Need waterfront advice for your building project give Alpine Lakes Realty a call.

 Waterfront homes and condos designed and built by Cargill Construction Co.

 

 

Posted by

                       

                                                                                                                                                                              Your-White Mountain New Hampshire real Estate Expert

                    steve@alpinelakes.com toll free 800-926-5653 /cell 603-381-7898

                        MLS search and Realtor web site: www.alpinelakes.com

                         My outside Blog: www.steveswhitemountainblog.com

                    Lincoln NH &  Local interest site: www.localism.com/nh/lincoln

    Grafton County NH MLS search

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Rainmaker
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Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

We have two DES applications in at this time and the engineering costs for homes covering less than 20% of the gross surface area (including driveway and other impervious landscaping) has been an additional cost to the project of about $3,000. If you exceed 20% -but are under the limit of 30% the price goes up. If you seek a variance to cover more of the site...well who knows what you'll be into the project for and with no guarantee you'll get the waiver.

Apr 26, 2011 03:26 AM #1
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Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert

Very informative post.  I suppose it's simply a matter of time before we adopt such requirements in our area.  I can see the wisdom in protecting the purity and natural beauty of the water ways, but all that red tape is such a challenge to maneuver through...

Apr 26, 2011 03:31 AM #2
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Larry Story
Total Care Realty - Greensboro, NC
Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate

Wow Steve well that certainly gives a homeowner an edge if they are already on the water's edge.  Puts them into a very good position considering supply (now fixed) and demand.

Apr 26, 2011 03:32 AM #3
Rainmaker
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Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Janna, Interesting to note, the Weeks Act which established the foundation for all the National Forest preservation's was first completed in the White mountain National Forest (100 years ago last month)...to preserve the water-ways in the North East, it is fitting that the Shoreland protection act seeks to strengthen that theories 100 years later. John Weeks was a New Hampshire native and lived in what is now part of the White Mountain National Forest.

Apr 26, 2011 03:44 AM #4
Rainmaker
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Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Larry, We offer Adirondack design build services and find it much more difficult to build near the water these days. But over-all these are good acts of preservation, erosion control and water quality. You are right and existing property close to waters edge offers a unique (irreplaceable) location.

Apr 26, 2011 03:48 AM #5
Rainmaker
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William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Steve, we have dealt with this for many many years.  We are now dealing with updates and even more restrictive regs.

Apr 26, 2011 05:15 AM #6
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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Steve, Connecticut has been revising its guidelines for construction along the Connecticut River.  I understand the need for guidelines, but ours are starting to border on the ridiculous.

Apr 26, 2011 07:08 AM #7
Rainmaker
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Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

George, The state gave us 6 months notice to get any subdivisions designed and approved, this gave developers the right to grandfather approved lots. But after July of 2008 - you had to live with all the new rulings. I was able to design and install a 50,000 square foot pond about 100 feet from the river with a approval I got in October of 2007...which had a 5 year time limit to complete. I have till next October to get this done. I think states can be reasonable about these laws. If people didn't act in time to sure up their permits well -shame on them.

Apr 26, 2011 07:29 AM #8
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Marilyn Boudreaux
Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s - Lake Charles, LA
Lake Charles LA Century 21 Realtor

Your waterfront is more strict than our waterfront but way down here in the bayou we do have to pay attention to the "wetlands" that are protected and can't be built on

Apr 26, 2011 02:15 PM #9
Rainmaker
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Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Marilyn, you would think after the flooding you have experienced the government would have toughened the laws in your state?

Apr 26, 2011 02:38 PM #10
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