Coastal Erosion Area Permits
What is a Coastal Erosion Area?
A Coastal Erosion Area is a designated land area along the Lake Erie shore that is anticipated to be lost due to Lake Erie related erosion if preventative measures are not taken. Specifically, it is a zone that begins at the water’s edge and extends landward a specific distance based upon the rate of recession along that stretch of bluff, bank or beach ridge. The Coastal Erosion Area includes all land predicted to erode within a 30-year period if that distance totals 11 or more feet as of the 2010 CEA Mapping process. (For the 1998 CEA maps, land predicted to erode 9 feet or more in a 30-year period was included in the CEA.)
Coastal Erosion Areas are not fixed in position. They are a constant distance that is measured from the bluff, bank, or beach ridge at its current position. Less than one-third of the Ohio shoreline is designated as a Coastal Erosion Area.
How Do I Obtain a Coastal Erosion Area Permit?
A Coastal Erosion Area Permit application may be found in the Ohio Coastal Management Program's Coastal Permits and Lease Booklet, which may be obtained from the ODNR Office of Coastal Management at 105 West Shoreline Drive, Sandusky, Ohio 44870, or by calling 419-626-7980 or toll free at 1-888-644-6267.
The Coastal Erosion Area Permit application must demonstrate that measures to control erosion and bluff instability will be constructed prior to or concurrent with construction of the building, septic system or addition, and will meet certain criteria. These criteria generally require the erosion control measure to function effectively for an equivalent period of 30 years.
How were Coastal Erosion Areas Determined?
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Geological Survey used scientific records and data to analyze recession of the Lake Erie shore and forecast erosion rates. This process is based on Administrative Rules that were adopted in 1996. Geologists, engineers, local officials and lakeshore property owners assisted with and provided input on development of these rules. The ODNR is mandated to review and update the Coastal Erosion Area once every 10 years.The CEA was originally mapped in 1998 and the updated maps were certified in December 2010. (See also www.ohiodnr.com/CEAm)
What is the Objective of having Coastal Erosion Areas?
The objective of the Coastal Erosion Area program is to promote wise land use. A permit must be obtained to construct a new building or septic system within a Coastal Erosion Area. The Coastal Erosion Area Permit requires that measures be taken to effectively protect the building or septic system from shore erosion and bluff instability. As a result, the risk of damage to or loss of property, possessions, infrastructure and life due to coastal erosion will be greatly reduced.
What requires a Coastal Erosion Area Permit?
In accordance with Ohio Revised Code Section 1506.07, a Coastal Erosion Area Permit is required prior to construction of a new building ( i.e. residential, commercial, industrial, institutional or agricultural) or septic system within a Coastal Erosion Area.
Furthermore, an addition of 500 square feet, as measured at ground level, to an existing building also requires a permit. The only exceptions to these requirements are if the property is not immediately adjacent to Lake Erie or if the building is a stand alone structure not designed for human occupation, such as a garage or shed. ODNR can assist you with determining if your project requires a Coastal Erosion Area Permit.
How can I find out if my property is included in the Coastal Erosion Area? How do I locate where the Coastal Erosion Area is on my property?
The Coastal Erosion Area is depicted on aerial photographs of Ohio’s Lake Erie coast; the Coastal Erosion Area distances are assembled in tables. You will need to reference these maps and tables to determine if all or a portion of parcel of property is within the Coastal Erosion Area.
The Office of Coastal Management will help you identify whether all or part of a parcel of property along Ohio’s coast is included in the designated Coastal Erosion Area. (Click here to request a delineation).
ODNR distributed a copy of the maps and tables to certain municipal, township and county offices. These local offices provide a location for public inspection of the maps during normal business hours. These locations also have written guides to help you understand the maps and tables. (Click here for a list of inspection locations).
To accurately locate the Coastal Erosion Area on your property, use the Coastal Erosion Area maps to find the transects that are nearest your property. Measure the distance given for those transects in the Coastal Erosion Area tabular data where those transects are shown. The anticipated distance is the correct column to use for measurements which should be measured from the current top of bluff (assuming no fill material has been placed). Draw an imaginary line between those measured points. The Coastal Erosion Area is lakeward of that imaginary line. Please contact the Office of Coastal Management for assistance in interpreting the maps if needed.
If a Coastal Erosion Area crosses only a portion of my property is all of my property included within a Coastal Erosion Area?
No. Only that portion of your property which is lakeward of the Coastal Erosion Area line is within a Coastal Erosion Area.
What if I already have an erosion control measure on my property?
If you decide to build a new permanent structure in the Coastal Erosion Area, you will need to apply for a permit and submit the design specifications of the existing erosion control measure to ODNR. ODNR will assess the existing erosion control measure based on the same performance standards as a proposed erosion control measure.
What must I do if I want to sell my property?
If you want to sell any property, part of or all of which is located within a designated Coastal Erosion Area, you must disclose that information to potential buyers on the Residential Property Disclosure Form (see page 3, Section "I") that is required with all residential real property transactions in Ohio. This applies to all Coastal Erosion Area designated properties - both those located adjacent to the lake and those not adjacent to the lake.
When will I get my Coastal Erosion Area Permit?
After you submit a complete Coastal Erosion Area Permit application, the ODNR must make a decision on your application within 30 days. However, you may also be required to obtain other local, State, and Federal approvals.
To help insure that you submit a complete application and have obtained all of the necessary approvals, contact ODNR as early as possible. ODNR also recommends that applications be filed well in advance of the anticipated construction start date.