wsmd home
public notices
dec home > wsmd home > permits > shoreland

Shoreland Permit Program


Welcome to the new Shoreland Permit Program homepage.

Effective July 1, 2014, the Vermont Legislature passed the Shoreland Protection Act (Chapter 49A of Title 10, §1441 et seq), which regulates shoreland development within 250 feet of a lake’s mean water level for all lakes greater than 10 acres in size. The intent of the Act is to prevent degradation of water quality in lakes, preserve habitat and natural stability of shorelines, and maintain the economic benefits of lakes and their shorelands. The Act seeks to balance good shoreland management and shoreland development.   

This permit program is managed by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Watershed Management Division. Contact:

Dan Homeier or Misha Cetner

Shoreland Permit Analysts

(802) 490-6196

Use the new Shoreland Project Worksheet (PDF, 218 KB) to determine if your residential project needs a permit or registration.

If you would like to schedule a site visit or have a question, click here!

You may submit this Inquiry Form (98 KB, PDF) via e-mail to help us understand your proposed project.

We have also developed The Vermont Shoreland Protection Act: A Handbook for Shoreland Development (PDF, 2.3 MB) to help explain the Shoreland Protection Act and the permit or registration process.


Informational sessions and technical training workshops have been scheduled!

2014 Shoreland Information Sessions

2014 Shoreland Training Workshops


What activities need a permit or registration

Any new development, redevelopment, or clearing of a property, may require a permit or registration. A permit or registration is not required for a projects that qualify under the following transition language:

Section. 9 Transition (PDF, 81KB)


The following are examples of projects that do not need to be registered or permitted through the Shoreland Permit Program. Refer also to 10 V.S.A Chapter 49A, Section 9. TRANSITION.

  • Maintenance of existing buildings, gardens, and lawns, without enlarging them.
  • Creation of a single six foot wide footpath to access the lake.
  • Re-construction of existing impervious areas without increasing or changing the current footprint, such as rebuilding a house, deck, or driveway within the exact same footprint.
  • Removal of 250 square feet of vegetation under three feet in height, 25 feet from the mean water level, is allowed as long as the Vegetation Management Practices are met and the duff layer is not removed.
  • Tree removal and pruning within 100 feet of the mean water level using the Vegetation Management Practices.


Application (Instructions, Registrations, Permits & Fees)

It is strongly recommended that applications be submitted at least 30 days before the proposed beginning date of the project. The standard minimum review times is 15 days for registrations and 40 days for permit applications.




Registration form (PDF, 111 KB) or  Registration form (Word, 126 KB)




Application form (PDF, 114 KB) or  Application form (Word, 736 KB)


The Vermont Shoreland Protection Act: A Handbook for Shoreland Development (PDF, 2.3 MB)

Use the following Handbook Appendices for guidance:


Fee schedule: The appropriate application fees, pursuant to 3 V.S.A. Section 2822(j) (32), are listed below.


     Registration Application

     Permit Application


New Impervious Surface Area



$0.50 per square foot


Review & Public Notice

To review and submit comments regarding Shoreland Permit Applications, please visit the Shoreland Permit Public Notice webpage.


Shoreland Registration Applications

Application Type


(click hyperlink below)

Date Received
Debra Burnor


(Category A)

1  (1 MB) Lake Elmore July 7, 2014 Effective as of July 22
Scout Camp (Novak)


(Category A & B)

2  (448 KB) Amherst Lake July 11, 2014 Under technical review
Peter Timony


(Category A)

3 (565 KB) Halls Lake July 17, 2014 Under technical review
Matthew Mertens


(Category B)

5 (266 KB) Lake Champlain July 28, 2014 Under technical review


Note that all administratively incomplete applications are not immediately available for review. Please contact the Shoreland Permit Program for information regarding permit or registration applications deemed administratively complete.



Decisions by DEC may be appealed to the Vermont Environmental Court - 2418 Airport Road, Suite 1, Barre VT 05641-8701; (802) 828-1660 - within thirty days of the date the decision is issued, pursuant to 10 V.S.A. Chapter 220. For additional information, visit the Vermont Rules for Environmental Court Proceedings, available on line at

Shoreland Application Resources

Delegated Municipal Authority

Municipal Delegation Summary (PDF, 111 KB)

The Shoreland Permit Program will delegate permit authority to municipalities, as long as the municipality seeking delegation has fulfilled the following requirements:

  • Has adopted a bylaw or ordinance functionally equivalent to the shoreland standards.
  • Has adequate resources for administration and enforcement of the bylaw or ordinance.

The delegation agreement between the Shoreland Permit Program and the municipality seeking delegation:

  • Must establish the terms for revocation of delegation.
  • May allow the Shoreland Permit Program to implement enforcement proceedings under 10 V.S.A. chapter 201 if the delegated municipality cannot address noncompliance.

Once the municipality is delegated, it must:

  • Have a process for accepting, reviewing, and processing applications and issuing permits for construction of impervious surface or cleared area in the Protected Shoreland Area.
  • Take timely and appropriate enforcement actions.
  • Commit to reporting annually to the Shoreland Permit Program.
  • Address issues with the bylaw/ordinance when notified to do so by the Shoreland Permit Program.
  • Designate a municipal zoning administrator/employee.

For more information, contact Susan Warren, Lakes & Ponds Program Manager at (802) 490-6134,


Additional Resources


Updated July 28, 2014

VT DEC Watershed Management Division 1 National Life Drive, Main 2  Montpelier, VT  05620-3522  Tele: 802-828-1535   Fax: 802-828-1544


State of Vermont Agencies & Depts.     Access Government 24/7     About Vermont.Gov     Privacy Policy

A Vermont Government Website Copyright 2003 State of Vermont - All rights reserved