Maine shoreland zoning on waterfront property.
Protecting water quality, the Maine wetlands wildlife regulating the use and construction in the shoreland area. Maine shoreland zoning regulations are the do’s and don’ts for the permitted use and new construction along the waterfront today. And Maine’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance is a working document steadily being amended and improved to preserve and protect this precious natural resource.
Prior to 1971 when the Maine legislature passed the mandatory shoreland zoning act, there were no statewide standard rules for waterfront use and development.
This blog post about Maine shoreland zoning regulation of waterfront property.
Shoreland zoning in Maine established land use regulations for real estate properties within 250 feet of ponds, freshwater wetlands that are 10 acres or larger. Maine shoreland zoning rules cover development and use of rivers with watersheds 25 miles or more and land within 75 feet of specific streams.
Maine’s many small towns needed help in coming up with a set of rules to follow for new waterfront construction or use and expansion of existing structures.
Soil erosion control, heck a cutting operation many miles away can affect a Maine lake’s quality because of run off and contaminants dumped into from the watershed drainage.
Watch a Maine shoreland zoning regulations video for the do’s and don’ts around waterfront properties.
Maine shoreland zoning regulations are all about controlling erosion in drainage areas, coastal wetlands and tidal water to protect the natural resource.
Prior to 1971’s enactment of shoreland zoning regulations, a Maine lake property owner might not have thought much about a woodlot cutting operation many miles away. But environmental education, best practice workshops, media coverage and shoreland zoning regulation enforcement changed all that. It spelled out clearing your lot, what you had to keep, what could be pruned and opened up or not.
Shoreland zoning defined conforming or non conforming uses and limitations or presented an outright ban on what a property owner thought they could do on their property.
The shoreland zoning in Maine statutes increased awareness of what helps or hurts the waterfront environment. It provides constantly update rules each Maine community has to adopt.
The 450 townships, plantations and unorganized areas of Maine not just the handful of Maine cities all have waterfront development and use rules. Some stricter than the Maine shoreland zoning ordinance allows. So check with your local Maine code enforcement official empowered for the area of the big state of Maine you want to develop or are thinking of buying before you do.
Protecting the Maine environment through adoption of shoreland zoning rule and regulations.
So current land owners and future generations can appreciate the waterfront that makes Maine such an attractivr state and vacation destination for many.
Before the standardization for the state to follow or elect to beef up with something stricter for shoreland zoning waterfront land use, it was anything goes.
Maine lake loons, fish swimming in the water out front, wildlife around the waterfront has little protection. Development done the wrong way around the Maine waterfront shoreland zones threatened their natural habitat.
Prior to 1971, creating a land bridge to an island, putting out a gravel pier or altering the shoreland by removing rocks or adding a load or two of sand or gravel.
Anything goes with no boundaries set backs to follow for where you could build. No concern on how many trees you can clear and in what period. Missing enforceable regulations lon size and density limits. Or number of structures you can build what size and where had no regulation.
It was take a bulldozer out into the water to move rocks more to your liking. Bring in a dump truck load of sand or gravel to have it your way along the Maine shoreline. Throw in a 55 gallon drum for a septic system. That no one needed to use disclosing tablets down the toilet or camp kitchen sink. To see what is leaching into the water out front of your crudely built cabin or camp with no water resource protection supervision
Forget what Mother Nature provided and rework the shoreland landscape as you see fit for your own personal enjoyment consideration only.
Maine shoreland zoning standardized regulations were much needed in Maine. To set up procedures, what to do in this case, that one. Plus the penalties for enforcement teeth if you were a renegade. Causing havoc and harm for neighbors, wildlife, fish, loons and anything around or in the Maine waterfront.
Human nature kicks in and removing lots or all of trees to improve the view or ripping out protective shoreline vegetation. That’s not what protects the waterfront natural resources Maine is fortunate to possess.
The septic system to handle sewerage loads of laundry or a swinging door of too many guests next to the delicate Maine shoreland waterfront was up to the property owner. Along with Maine shoreland zoning regulation, much was done to tighten up the state’s plumbing code to protect and preserve the waterfront.
Leachfield designs to handle seasonal or more demanding year round Maine shoreland loads kept the wastewater on shore instead of dumping it into the fragile waterfront.
More on Maine shoreland zoning and waterfront development now and over the years.
Maine shoreland zoning helps waterfront property owners know how to protect against erosion while affording scenery and preserving recreation.
Protecting resale value of the Maine waterfront real estate should not be the driving force to do your part to protect the natural resource you are lucky to border. Although the Maine REALTOR’s Shoreland Handbook is a valuble resource.
Being a good steward, passing on the waterfront property to the next person in as good or hopefully better shape than you received it. That is what Maine shoreland zoning is all about… resource protection. Before expanding an existing waterfront property structure, check with the local shoreland zoning officer in your area of Maine.
Don’t just start building. And a seasonal camp needs to go through some inspections and certification to show you are allowed the conversion to a year round residence.
Ever heard of milroil in a Maine lake, pond, watershed?
This is what it looks like and you don’t want it in your waterfront resource. It messes with oxygen levels for the fish, affects the water temperature and enjoyment with the invasive vegetation of a milfoil family plant.
I hope this blog post, video and photos on Maine shoreline zoning is helpful. Please reach out if you have any waterfront development questions about existing or new construction projects you are considering. Here is another excellent state of Maine soil and water erosion protection publication to glean.
Stay tuned for more on Maine shoreland zoning developments and best practices.
For many years I was president of a Northern Maine lake association in Aroostook County. All the camp waterfront owners learned much from the workshops on what causes the harm. We were lucky to get funds to study the entire shoreland of Drews Lake and where to identify problems needing solutions.
Money from soil and water conservation awards help our lake association from successful grant writing to protect the Maine shoreland.
To address non source point pollution, constructing riparian buffers, how to slow water from racing down a hill, what to do to battle milfoil, etc. It’s our Maine waterfront to protect and if we don’t, it’s gone and wasted. You stuck around to the very end of the blog post. Thank you! See you next time on ME In Maine blog and thank you for being a loyal follower.
I’m Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers, ME Broker
207.532.6573 | firstname.lastname@example.org |
MOOERS REALTY 69 North ST Houlton ME 04730 USA