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Shoreland Permit Program


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!

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.


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, 117 KB) or  Registration form (Word, 127 KB)


Application form (PDF, 116 KB) or  Application form (Word, 736 KB)

Application Instructions (PDF, 235 KB)


Jurisdictional Determination Request form (103, PDF, 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 (last updated 10.24.2014)

Registration 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 Effective as of July 29
Peter Timony

Category A

3 (565 KB) Halls Lake July 17, 2014 Effective as of August 1
Matthew Mertens

Category B

5 (266 KB) Lake Champlain July 28, 2014 Effective as of August 14
Keewaydin Foundation

Category A

12 (176 KB) Lake Dunmore August 6, 2014 Effective as of August 23
Martha Shapiro

Category B

15 (321 KB) Lake Champlain August 12, 2014 Effective as of August 27
Robert & Deborah Hartenstein Category B 16 (582 KB) Lake Champlain August 18, 2014 Effective as of September 3
Daniel & Micheline Pellerin Category B 17 (280 KB) Bomoseen August 18, 2014 Effective as of September 3
Kurt & Katherine Laird Category B 18 (684 KB)

Lake St. Catherine

August 18, 2014 Effective as of September 3
Sott & Holly Robbins Category A 19 (332 KB) Lake Champlain August 25, 2014 Effective as of September 13
Francis J. Brady Category A 21 (295 KB) Lake Champlain August 29, 2014 Effective as of September 13
Patricia Anderson Category B 24 (492 KB) Lake Elmore September 3, 2014 Effective as of September 22
Mark Milnes Category B 27 (356 KB) Lake Memphremagog September 5, 2014 Effective as of September 23
Robert & Katherine Stiffler Category A 28 (415 KB) Lake Rescue September 10, 2014 Effective as of September 26
Douglas E. Spencer Category A 31 (542 KB) Lake Champlain September 16, 2014 Effective as of October 7
William G. Mills & Susan L. Mills Category A 34 (619 KB) Lake Champlain September 18, 2014 Effective as of October 7
John and Anne Arnold Category A 33 (439 KB) Lake Champlain September 22, 2014 Effective as of October 8
Joyce Dobbertin Category B 39 (456 KB)

Comerford Dam

(Connecticut River)

September 26, 2014 Effective as of October 15
Daniel J. Harvey Category A 40 (441 KB) Lake Champlain September 26, 2014 Effective as of October 15
Robert & Beth Brody Category A 42 (463 KB) Lake Reponda October 6, 2014 Effective as of October 21
Stephen & Deena Smead Category A 43 (577 KB) Nelson Pond October 3, 2014 Effective as of October 21
Michael Garner & Susan Bayer Category A 51 (507 KB) Lake Champlain October 23, 2014 Under Technical Review
Greater Burlington YMCA Category A 47 (205 KB) Lake Champlain October 8, 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.

Landowners in delegated municipalities do not need a state shoreland permit for creation of cleared area or impervious surface within the Protected Shoreland Area. Contact the appropriate municipal office for information regarding permitting of projects in the shoreland. The following is a list of delegated municipalities:

  1. Town of Colchester (link to webpage)
  2. Town of Greensboro (link to webpage)
    • Only certain shoreland areas in Greensboro are delegated to the town. The state retains jurisdiction over projects located in the following shoreland areas: Horse Pond, east shore of Lake Eligo, and Little Eligo Pond.

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


Additional Resources


Updated October 24, 2014

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


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