Mooers Realty Maine Real Estate Blog
Empty Maine Lake Lots, What Can I Do, Where Do I Start?
The land on a Maine lake, a lot of property acreage.
Just land and nothing built on it or whatever was there is long gone. Has no pulse but does have a location on the parcel that can get you up close to the waterfront. Don't tear it down yet or you lose your place in the shore land zoning regulations for land on the water in Maine.
What can you do, what you see done around the Maine lakes means time for the shore land zoning homework.
Because changes are made on the state level and local municipalities tweak the regulations concerning shore land zoning. Going above and beyond the Maine state law on lake development happens most in towns where the price tags are highest. Where there are enough people to serve on the local boards that police and protect the local Maine lakes.
So back to the blog post headline, the question about what can you do, where do you start with lake land? Or whatever lot is on the water whether a river, pond, ocean front or simple stream location. The size of the land, can it support a septic system and will it be pressure-rized water or not?
Simple is best and hurts the natural habitat less when talking building on a Maine lake lot.
Treading lightly and protecting the wildlife, the fish and the waterfront is respect. That if ignored will mean no more waterfront worth passing down to the next generation. Here is the link to the latest Maine shore land zoning regulations for development.
Being 100 feet back from the high water mark, if no structure for camp or boathouse is on the Maine lake lot makes the depth of the parcel critical. You don't want to have to try to buy more land that may not be available. Or the price too steep because the owner knows you have to have more land to complete the waterfront lake lot development.
Will everything fit on the land that is lucky enough to be located next to a Maine lake?
The sideline set backs, what are they for the location in Maine? Does the terrain add to the challenge of developing the Maine lake lot? Sure you can zip line down to the shoreline, but getting back to camp on the hill top? And think as you get older, that treacherous slippery with vegetation pathway to the lake is only going to be more of a challenge as you age and return to camp or the home on the Maine lake you create from scratch.
The best lots on a Maine lake are gone someone said?
Or new roadways to approach what were landlocked or not served with an easy access way do happen.
But can you afford the new lots created to comply with current shore land zoning in Maine guidelines? Like being on the ocean, Maine lake front has gotten pricey and is never over supplied for listing inventory of waterfront listings.
Waterfront properties in Maine are always a good investment but developing them and affording them only gets harder not easier. More on building on land in Maine. Besides does everything fit on the lot that is conforming for waterfront development, it is not just an exercise to fit the septic disposal system, the structures to jive with the set back guidelines on the actual lot of land.
The neighboring pieces of property, where are their wells for drinking water if not lake drawn for the H20 to run the camp or home? Where is their septic, sewer waste disposal set up? Are their right of ways for power poles or roadways that have to be considered? And the dock out front, the pathway cleared to the lake's edge? Winding smallest pathways work best, not the straight down and wide ones.
The dock for the wharf out front has to not cause boat navigation hazards and being marked for safety the longer it extends.
The ice of winter will destroy what is left in the water or hauled up on land for the wait to spring arrival and the roll it back in to the Maine lake. Permits for rebuilding retainer walls, for just about any lakefront development are needed. Work with the local waterfront officials and bring them onboard in the beginning, not during the fining stage because you forgot to included them early one.
Clearing the land on a Maine lake, you don't just fuel up the chainsaw and have at it like a busy beaver.
What are the rules about clearing a Maine lake lot? And beyond what the shore land zoning area of 250' around the waterfront regulators spell out. What about good practices for clearing to avoid erosion, for water racing to the lake when it rains that chokes the fish, causes the vegetation to grow in the lake for the reeds out front what you plan to build to enjoy the lake? More about non source point pollution, run off of silt and debris on a Maine lake.
When you see the long lush green lawn that is not natural to the local surroundings, that you know has had a steady IV drip of too much weed and feed on a Maine lake.
You shudder and should. Lake living is natural, not meant to be like being planted on a golf course or surrounded by manicure grass not natural tree and wild bush vegetation. If fish could talk, they would gurgle and sputter about how much they detest lawns. For the lack of ground cover to protect the soil. For the ugliness of all those camp and home structures out in the open for all to see that are out on the Maine lake enjoying the great outdoors.
Building on a Maine lake, start with the vacant lot investigation with a soil test HHE 200. Ring up the local soil tester and tell him or here to meet you at the lake land in Maine with their clipboard and dirt auger for the let's see what we have below the surface. Once you determine the lot is big enough to see if it can service the surface water run off, the sewer / septic needs for disposal.
The big pump it up a hill leach field design with the pump from the septic tank is designed to handle 90 gallons per day per bedroom in the waterfront property home or camp.
To handle the needs of living at the lake full or part time. You can not enjoy the lakefront with a cesspool, a 55 gallon drum tin can that is rusted, failing, leaching into the lake whatever you flush down the toilet. You don't want it and all the other toilets, sinks, showers and bathtubs running into the Maine lake right?
Cutting operations far away from the Maine lake are critical to the health of the waterfront too. Those streams and brook tributaries that feed the Maine lake bring in whatever happens in the watershed around the waterfront.
Plunge pools to slow the water down on steep roadways accessing the Maine lake are needed. Rock lined ditches to hold the dirt in place during heavy rains, spring run off around a Maine lake lot. The proper size and slope of drainage culverts is critical too. Roadways built wrong or over burdened for their design and purpose are 50% of the erosion around the Maine lakes and what is dumped into them.
Lots to consider building from scratch or whatever is grandfathered in on a Maine lake. Here for questions and guidance, plus also offering a selection in all price ranges of waterfront properties with and without structures in Maine.
MOOERS REALTY 69 North Street Houlton Maine 04730 USA