If your property is on a lake or wetland, then you will most likely need a DES permit to do many of your landscaping projects. DES is the Department of Environmental Services. They have jurisdiction and require permits for projects included, but not limited to, things such as new patios, walks, shore improvements, etc.
There can be some pretty hefty consequences for not obtaining the proper permitting, so we suggest that you contact your landscaper as your first contact to help guide you through any permitting needs.
You may have some ideas and expectations of what you’d like in your landscaping.
Perhaps you want a good sized patio and a shorefront wall to protect the water. Maybe you’d like to improve the beach. Maybe you want a paver walk from the drive to the front door and assume it’s not necessary to obtain a permit for that…. Not so fast!!! If your project is within 250’ of the shoreline, then you may need a permit after all.
The permit may limit the size of that patio you want, or may require that the pavers be done in a “permeable” application. You may also be told that a wall at the water isn’t allowed, and instead do a “living shoreline”. So, we suggest that you speak with your landscaper and learn what you’ll be allowed as far as permitting goes.
It’s much better to compromise on your expectations (such as a smaller patio) than be forced into a solution by the State later that is worse than the original compromise would have been. Not to mention any citations that may arise if work is done without the proper permitting.
Please start by getting professional advice and be a good steward of the environment. The rules are there for a reason.