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

Blog

Jim Cohen Appointed to Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority

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Patrick Scully Nominated to Maine PUC

On May 24, Governor Janet Mills nominated attorney Patrick Scully , who was most recently the Chief Executive Officer of Bernstein Shur, to serve a six-year term on the Maine Public Utilities Commission. For...

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Aquaculture

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

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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...

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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.

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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...

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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...

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Federal and State Funds to Support Maine Climate Action Plan’s Transportation and Broadband Goals

Last week, the Maine Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) and Office of Policy Innovation and the Future jointly presented to the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities, and Technology (EUT) Committee a report outlining a four-year funding plan...

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Maine Legislature Adopts Major Revision to Its Net Energy Billing Program

On July 1, 2021, LD 936, An Act To Amend State Laws Relating to Net Energy Billing and the Procurement of Distributed Generation became law after Maine Governor Janet Mills allowed the legislatively enacted...

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Jim Cohen Interviews Maine Governor Janet Mills on “Eggs & Issues”

After two years as host of “Eggs & Issues,” the monthly business breakfast of the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce, Jim Cohen concluded his twentieth appearance with an hour-long interview of Maine Governor Janet...

Contact Verrill at (855) 307 0700