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.

Firm Highlights

Matter

Aquaculture

Verrill represents both growers and coastal landowners regarding leasing and licensing of aquaculture enterprises.

Blog

Task Force Releases Report on Modernizing Maine’s Electric Grid

Blog

Verrill Attorneys Present on Issues in Maine Energy and Electric Utility Regulation

The energy and environmental landscape is constantly evolving. On Thursday, April 22, 2021, Halfmoon Education Inc. presents a full-day, virtual program, "Issues in Maine Energy and Electric Utility Regulation," which will highlight the current...

Blog

Virtual “Eggs & Issues”: Jim Cohen Interviews U.S. Senator Susan Collins

On March 10, Verrill partner Jim Cohen moderated a virtual “Eggs & Issues” business forum with US Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine). The March forum, hosted by the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce , covered...

Matter

Appellate Practice: Coastal Property Rights in Kennebunkport

We represented coastal landowners in a high-profile appeal before the Maine Supreme Court, in which the Town of Kennebunkport claimed ownership of Goose Rocks Beach against numerous homeowners whose deeds described property down to...

Blog

MPUC Issues Order Setting Forth “Discrete Electric Generating Facilities” Safe Harbor

Today, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) issued an Advisory Ruling establishing a safe harbor for the determination whether a generation facility is a Discrete Electric Generating Facility for the purposes of qualifying for...

Matter

Enforcement

Verrill has negotiated and litigated with federal, state, and local entities to resolve violations related to coastal development, including homes, docks, seawalls, shoreland clearing, and commercial fishing operations. We have also negotiated beach management...

Matter

Piers, Seawalls and Sand dunes

We have assisted clients in obtaining federal, state, and local regulatory approvals for seawalls, piers, boat ramps, other water-dependent structures, and dune nourishment projects up and down the coast of Maine.

Blog

Maine Public Utilities Commission Invites Net Energy Billing Report Comments

Yesterday, the Maine Public Utilities Commission issued a request for comments related to the MPUC’s Net Energy Billing Report to the Legislature. The Commission broadly invited any interested person to submit information or comments...

Matter

Shoreland Zone Development and Land Use

Verrill represents landowners and developers in siting structures in the shoreland zone and ensuring compliance with the restrictions that govern shoreland zone clearing and development. We have worked with numerous landowners to resolve enforcement...

Contact Verrill at (855) 307 0700