Founded 1762
Information for Lakeshore Property Owners

Sharing the Edge: A Guide to Lakeshore Property Owners in Vermont offers guidance on everything from permitting to how to volunteer with the DEC Lakes and Ponds Program.

This property owner’s guide introduces a new or potential landowner to what a healthy lakeshore looks like and describes how Vermont manages its public waters as a natural resource.  Sharing the Edge provides a brief overview of development regulations, including the Shoreland Protection Act and Lake Encroachment.  Readers will learn where to locate the Inland Lakes Score Card, which opens to provide easy-to-read water quality data on Google Earth.  Sharing the Edge introduces the Lake Wise program, which supports and awards properties that embody lake-friendly development.  The guide also answers several frequently asked questions including “Can I have a dock?” and “How long does it take to get a permit?”.

The Vermont Shoreland Protection Act

The Vermont Legislature passed the Shoreland Protection Act, effective July 1, 2014, that regulates activities within 250 feet of the mean water level of lakes greater than 10 acres in size.

The intent of the Shoreland Protection Act is to allow reasonable development shorelands of lakes and ponds while protecting aquatic habitat, water quality, and maintaining the natural stability of shorelines. Standards for the creation of impervious surfaces (such as buildings and driveways) and cleared areas within the shoreland area are intended to preserve functioning lake ecosystems, protect water quality, bank stability, conserve aquatic and wildlife habitat, and further the economic benefits of lakes and their shorelands.

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