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Thread: Shoreline zonng measurements

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2005
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    Ann Arbor,Michigan
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    152

    Shoreline zonng measurements

    I don't even know where this is being posted so I apoligize in advance. I am working in a community with a number of lakes. I have had several inquires today on how to measure the linear shoreline for particular lots. The county zoning ordinance makes no reference to how lot widths along the shoreline are to be measured. Is it typically measured in a simple straight line or by following every twist and curve the shoreline makes. Any information would be appreciated!

  2. #2

    Registered
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    Williston, VT
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    Measuring the actual shoreline, which in many cases is in a constant state of change, is not the way to go. Straightline it from property line to property line at the required setback from the water.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    montana
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    I agree with Lee. Straight lines are the way to go.

    Off-Topic: Another thing we've run into with the one lake in our jurisdiction is people wanting to count land that is under water as part of their required open space. Their argument is that technically, what's under what is part of the lot; why shouldn't they be able to count it? Our response has typically begun as a restrained "you're joking, right?" We did have a struggle with one property over it, but the ruling body backed us up, saying that open space needed to be useable, and what's under water didn't count.

  4. #4
         
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    May 2006
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    Chicago, Illinois
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    Property could be considered what could be resonably be revealed by the lake in the next few years. I beleive it's Devils Lake that is having this problem. The Resort lake has shrunk something like 60% in 5 years, doubling the size of some peoples properties but leaving them with miniscule lake frontage.

    Another Question: what do you do with Piers and Docks? Are they private property built on public land?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I say use the simplest method ( mentioned by Lee and seconded by others). The last thing you want is to get into a legal battle over where the shoreline begins and ends. The State of UT got into a decade old battle withe the Federal Govt. over the Great Salt Lake and where the state lands ended and the Federal lands began. I think it ended up costing the state millions of dollars and the courts basically said take the average elevation of the lake. Everything that is usually below water is the feds, and everything that is above water is the states. It didn't really accomplsh anything though and then the battle turned to how long back to we go to find the average elevation of the lake. A real mess.

    As with docks, you allow them within regulations: We used to own some lake front property on Bear Lake in UT/ID and the county made us (and all the other lake front property owners) pull our dock when the water receeded in the lake. When the water rose, we put the dock out. It seems that every 3-4 years the dock would come out, and then go back in a few years later. The only regulation they had was that the dock couldn't be at a depth greater than 5 feet and couldn not be longer than 50 feet.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian solarstar's avatar
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    Aug 2002
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    Florida
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    Maybe this is unique to Florida, but we have "sovereign submerged lands" for water bodies. They are specifically mapped, and piers and docks on any waterbody must obtain approval from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

    If it's just a shoreline measurement for info purposes, we use the survey traverse line. But setback requirements are measured to the mean or ordinary high water lines (or, if there is a concrete seawall, the outer edge of that seawall).

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Ann Arbor,Michigan
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    Thanks for the professional advice everyone. I think the county I am working with has been measuring the actual shoreline which has been scrutinized because of the changing shoreline. Measuring the lot width is much more appropriate!

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