The property along New England's coastline, as well as along its lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, is not only beautiful and valuable, it is also subject to an array of federal, state, and local environmental and land-use controls. Special rules apply to all kinds of activities on coastal and shoreland property, including:
- Construction, replacement, or enlargement of houses and other structures
- Construction of docks, piers, revetments, and seawalls
- Changes from one type of land use to another (e.g., residential to commercial)
- Maintenance and clearing of trees and other vegetation
- Beach nourishment projects
- Use and ownership of intertidal land
- Public access to coastal and shoreland areas
These uses may trigger the need for approvals from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state departments of environmental protection, and local boards and commissions. In addition, any development in a FEMA-identified floodplain may have issues related to floodplain permits and insurance.
The attorneys in this group are experienced in all facets of coastal and shoreland property ownership. We help landowners use and enjoy their property to the fullest extent, including through development, resource conservation, and protection of property rights. When coastal and shoreland disputes cannot be settled through other means, whether with a neighbor or a government entity, we establish and enforce our clients' rights through litigation and administrative enforcement proceedings.