Four Things You Need To Be Aware Of If You're Interested In Constructing A Dock

When it comes to marine constructions, builders need to work around not only building code restrictions, but also environmental restrictions from an area's conservation department.

If you're interested in constructing a dock on your property, you need to be aware of both types of restriction. The following are four factors you need to be aware of that could indicate that your projected dock construction project will violate building code or conservation department restrictions:

The length of a dock typically in most locations is not allowed to exceed 1,000 feet.

Many building code and conservation departments enforce a dock length limit of 1,000 feet to minimize the amount of disruption that a dock can create along a shoreline. It may be challenging or impossible to get a permit for a dock construction that's longer than this length. 

A dock construction cannot prevent entry into state waterways.

The public is ensured access to state waterways. As such, a dock construction on a private property cannot restrict access to these waterways. 

If you've got an opening to state waterways on your property and you want to construct a dock, you'll need to work an access point into the design that's open to the public.

Dock construction is usually restricted around sensitive ecological resources like oyster beds.

Before you can have a dock constructed on your shorefront property, you'll need to do some research on the ecological makeup of your surroundings.

The ecological makeup of a shoreline tends to be sensitive to disruptions like large construction. Many different coastal resources are protected by conservation departments nowadays. If you've got an oyster bed along your shore or your shore is home to an endangered species, you are probably not going to be legally permitted to go ahead with a dock construction project.

A dock construction usually cannot extend past a navigable creek.

Your dock design can't close off a navigable creek that cuts into the shore. While you can still construct a dock if you've got navigable creeks cutting into your shoreline, you will have to end the dock at the first navigable creek. 

If all this seems complicated, you might want to consider checking with your area's developer to determine if your lot is appropriate for dock construction.

Often, developers working with waterfront subdivisions create DMPs (dock master plans) to detail any lots they're working with that are eligible for dock construction. This can be a highly useful resource for coastal property owners interested in dock construction. Click here, to learn more about this topic