Friday, December 21, 2007

Erosion Rates determine CAMA structure setback lines

One of the most important aspects of buying property and/or owning property close to the Ocean is knowing what your setbacks are. Every platted parcel is subject to property line setbacks, but those properties in close proximity to the Ocean have an additional setback consideration. It is called the CAMA small-structure setback line. It is my understanding, though accuracy should be confirmed with CAMA at their website, that the small structure setback is the line at which your dwelling most be landward from the body of water. I wish I could tell you that this setback is X amount of feet for everybody, but it is not. Here's how it is done for single family dwellings:

Each property, or even portions of each property are calculated from the starting point of the first line of stable natural vegetation. Once the starting point is established, then calculations from that point follow the formula of 30ft x Long-term erosion rate. The long-term erosion rate is calculated in feet as the potential amount of annual erosion that potentially can happen (over the long term) in any given year. The minimum amount is 2ft, thus the minimum small-structure setback requirement for any property from the Ocean is 60ft. In areas of high erosion, let's say 8 ft p/y, your setback can be 240ft from the first line of vegetation which may end up compromising your ability to build on the lot. If I am a current property owner (which I am) or am thinking about buying an undeveloped lot, I would want to know if my property if affected by CAMA setback regulations. I not trying to scare anyone here, just keep you informed. Let me know if anyone would like help on their individual property.

To find out the different erosion rates CAMA uses for the 4WD area,

Click here for Swan Beach and South
Click here for N. Swan Beach to the Virginia line