Docks and Shoreline Structures
I am often asked if you can put in a dock or enlarge an existing one in any lake property. There are several aspects to consider. All natural bodies of water are held in trust for public use by the State of New Hampshire. Under RSA 482-A, NH Wetlands Law, constructing new structures such as docks, boat lifts, jet ski lifts, retaining walls, breakwaters and perched beaches in or on any bank, flat, marsh or swamp in and adjacent to and waters of the state requires a permit. This permit serves as permission for an entity to build and maintain a structure within an area held in public trust.
Changing dock size may create issues with abutters
Dock owners may replace a grandfathered dock without complying with statutory setback and other current statutory limitations as long as they do not change the size or configuration of the dock, which would trigger current permitting requirements. Problems arise when the replacement dock is larger or closer, from the abutter’s perspective, which can raise issues of encroachment, trespass and private nuisance, among others.
To determine is a permit is required to do any work on a dock take this survey