Before you purchase that lake, ocean or river front land, home or cabin in Maine, you should know a little about shoreland zoning rules. This includes all area within 250 feet of the normal high water mark of the water feature. Knowing the basic rules will help you better select a property that meets your expectations.
As Mainers, we often take good water quality for granted. It is well protected here, but that is not the case in every state. Recognizing the value of water quality to fish, wildlife and us humans, the state adopted shoreland rules with beginnings in the 1970’s that continue to be updated today. The reasons for mandatory shoreland zoning are many, including such goals as preventing water pollution, protecting wildlife habitat, and conserving the scenic beauty of our special places to name a few.
The rules do depend on where the property is located, either organized or unorganized township. Also, what property type you are going purchase, such as an unimproved waterfront parcel or an existing residential structure. Also, please note that every organized town can have slightly different rules depending on the ordinance they have adopted, but all will comply with the minimum requirements. Check in the code enforcement officer (CEO) of the town to get the local ordinance.
For unimproved lots, here are the basics.
- Minimum Lot Size – For tidal areas 30,000 square feet ( just less than 7/10 of an acre) For non-tidal areas 40,000 square feet (just over 9/10 of an acre)
- Minimum Water Frontage – For tidal areas 150 feet For non-tidal areas 200 feet
- Minimum Lot Width – within 100 feet of the high water mark shall be equal to or greater that the required water frontage.
- Minimum Set Back for buildings – For great ponds and rivers flowing to great ponds 100 feet from the high water mark. For other water bodies, 75 feet from the normal high water mark.
- Vegetative Clearings – This is a probably the most misunderstood of all shoreland rules. Review the ordinance for formulas to use prior to any harvesting of trees and/or other vegetation and do consult with the CEO prior to beginning to avoid possible fines and other penalties.
If you are purchasing a non-conforming ( AKA “grandfathered”) structure the rules for additions, expansions and other changes can vary a lot depending on the size, setback, height and other features of the structure. All of these changes will at a minimum require CEO approval, commonly planning board approval.
There are many exceptions to the above. This can be a complex topic, so I have provided a link to the Maine Department of Environmental guidelines here should you need additional information.
What a difference a year has made for Maine waterfront. Coming into the end of 2016 it appears that the waterfront land market is heading in the direction of a sellers market. The indicators are a 20% increase in the number of waterfront land sales in the past 12 months as compared to the 2015 numbers and an average market time reduced by nearly 50 days . Depending on the part of Maine you are in you are seeing prices, that were flat in the beginning of 2016 caused by an excess of inventory, now starting to creep up a little.
Factors in our markets contributing to the increase in sales are a combination of a number of things. Asking prices being lowered by sellers who have realized that the values of the mid 2000's are in many cases unobtainable, low interest rates offered by some of Maine's land lenders and owner financing increasing in popularity.
We are seeing new lakefront, riverfront and other waterfront parcels in both approved subdivisions or divisions of existing properties coming into the market. Strong interest from buyers both prior to and after the presidential elections leads me to believe that waterfront prices will continue to increase slightly in 2017 assuming that inventories continue to dwindle.
Is it time to sell your land? All market areas are different, give us a call and we can give you an idea what your property might be worth on the market today.
If you have been looking for some quality owner financed lakefront land in Maine take a look at these lots on beautiful Wytopitlock Lake in Aroostook County. The lake has little development and still offers a great wilderness experience yet is less than one hour from civilization. All remaining lots are priced under $40,000 We have four lots available on the lake with eastern exposure on a large peninsula providing shelter from bad weather.
The lake front is good quality with small rock and slate along the shoreline. This is a good lake for swimming, boating and fishing.
The four lots have a semi-completed driveway, have all been soil tested and the boundary lines have been completely surveyed and marked on ground.
The lots are 1.25 acres and larger all with more than 200 feet of frontage. The land has had some pruning done in potential building sites to open up the views of the lake.
Wytopitlock Lake is over 1100 acres in size. There is a public boat ramp not far from the land for sale. The lake maximum depth is 24 feet. It is in both Glenwood and T2 R4 WELS in southern Aroostook County.
The lake has a good fishery for smallmouth bass and white perch. The outlet stream is a nice canoe trip to its confluence with the Mattawamkeag River just south of the village of Wytopitlock.
Call 800-286-6164 today if you are interested in seeing these properties.
Some of the most affordable and beautiful properties for sale in Maine don't include power lines! Check out this new off the grid listing in Otis, Maine in the heart of Hancock County.
The cabin has nearly 1,200 square feet of living space with 1 bedroom on the first floor and a large loft to accommodate multiple guests. A fully functional kitchen and full bath/laundry round out a cabin with a large living rooms with cathedral ceilings.
The cabin sets on the western boundary of the property with sunrise views over the hardwood forest. The 52.4 +/- acres has some beautiful hardwood timber with impressive examples of ash and maple trees. There is a lot of game sign on the property from whitetail deer to grouse and other upland birds. The lot has a babbling mountain brook running through the property with slow pools mixed with small waterfalls.
This property is located on a ridgeline between several of Hancock Counties best cold water lakes and Ponds. Beech Hill Pond, Green Lake, Floods Pond, Mountainy Pond and Burnt Pond are all within a short distance of the land.
This is a great property for a seasonal vacation spot, hunting cabin or year round home. Located between Bangor and Ellsworth it is a reasonable drive to an international airport and Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.
Are you ready to get back to a more simple lifestyle and relax in the woods of Maine? Maybe you just need a weekend place to get away, no matter your motivation, come see this perfect coastal mountain retreat today.
Tiny homes are all the rage across the nation. I wonder if this is a trend driven by a desire to simplify our lives? No matter the reason a tiny home certainly has some upsides like reduced ownership cost from heating, electric, maintenance and property taxes.
For those interested in the tiny home concept, we have a newly listed property in Springfield, Maine you need to see. Not only is this home tiny, but it is built as a tree house. The multi-level home is perfect for a simplified primary residence or the ultimate get-away second home or sporting retreat.
The 544 square foot tree house is perched in a pine grove on 23 +/- acres fronting for about 1,000 feet on babbling Wrights Mill Brook. The land for sale with this unique home is a mixture of forestland, fields, apple trees and meadows. The home is located on a secondary road and is the last home on the town maintained section of the road. Privacy should not be a problem here.
Springfield is located on the edge of large forestlands with lots of game and within a 10 minute drive to the boat launch of the Grand Lake chain of lakes. The lakes include Junior Lake, Sysladobsis Lake, Scraggly Lake, West Grand Lake as well as other lakes and ponds. For the outdoor enthusiast there is no better location. ATV/Snowmobile trails can be reached from the property.
Call 800-286-6164 and ask for Traci Gauthier for a chance to see this one of a kind tiny home.
My childhood home was just off the banks of the Piscataquis River in central Penobscot County where I could often be found wading its shores honing my fly fishing skills. I have many fond memories of exploring this little known river. It was here that I hooked my first Atlantic salmon while fishing for trout.
Visitors to Maine and locals as well, often bypass this river for the more famous rivers to the north and west. When paddling or fishing this river expect to have a lot of solitude. This is a place where you will see abundant wildlife from whitetail deer and moose to daily sightings of bald eagles, heron and a diversity of waterfowl.
The Piscataquis River flows from small creeks and glacial ponds in its headwater just south of Greenville for approximately 65 miles to its confluence with the Penobscot River in Howland. Along the way small river and stream tributaries increase the Piscataquis River volume.
The headwaters are in a semi-remote section of Piscataquis County. This is an area with a large moose population and wild eastern brook trout. The river flows through the woods until it emerges along Route 6/15 in the village of Abbot. From here the river flows through Abbot, Guilford and Dover-Foxcroft. Paddlers should pay attention along the way for rapids and portages. This section of river is sometimes stocked with brook trout. You will see fisherman above and below the covered bridge in Guilford, just move a half mile up or down stream to avoid any crowd.
From Dover the river flows through Sebec, Atkinson and Milo adding the waters from the Sebec and Pleasant Rivers along the way. Milo to Howland is a beautifully peaceful canoe trip. Anglers will find this a good place to wet a line with abundant smallmouth bass and possible landlocked salmon and brook trout near the mouths of cold tributaries.
Pick up a Delorme Maine Atlas and Gazetteer to for more details of the river and to help you find access points and boat landings. Please remember that the river flows through mostly private property, respect the landowners by packing everything out that you bring in.
* "Howland Dam bypass, Maine 1" by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region - Howland Dam bypass, Maine. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Howland_Dam_bypass,_Maine_1.jpg#/media/File:Howland_Dam_bypass,_Maine_1.jpg
This new listing on Wilson Pond in Greenville, Maine is the best value on a vacation cottage setting lakeside with unobstructed views of the lake and Rum Mountain. This property has 11 +/- acres with the main camp, guest cottage, storage building, woodshed, dock and more.
This great family recreation property is priced to sell at $225,000. Call Peter at 207-794-4338 for an appointment to see it!
Our new property listing on Saponac Lake in Burlington, Maine is our pick of the month for a lake front bargain. The property has electric, is on a year round maintained camp road, has a full septic, heat and all you need for 4 seasons of recreational enjoyment. The Burlington property comes with 10 acres and 300 +/- feet lake front. Priced at $139,900. Call Today!
The Nowland Brook Forest provides an exceptional opportunity to purchase a family recreational retreat property. The parcel consists of 349+- acres of heavily wooded land with nearly 2 miles of interior gravel roads. There are numerous paths and trails to hardwood ridges, beaver ponds, woodland meadows, and dark spruce forests. The varied terrain and privacy of the acreage make this property exceptional as a hunting retreat. Moose, black bear, whitetail deer and plentiful grouse call this place home. You can also find marten, fisher and bobcat hunting the forest edges in search of plentiful snowshoe hares.
The improvements to the property are numerous. There are 5 hand scribed log buildings that make up the heart of the retreat. The main camp has a bedroom, dining area and kitchen within its 500 square feet of log construction. This cabin was built around 1936 and formed the base for what now is a 5 cabin compound. The other cabins are named Wildcat, Spikehorn, Big Bear, and Pine Marten. Each of the cabins is a hand scribed log structure that was built in the 1930s from logs harvested on site. Each cabin has a woodstove for heat during the cooler seasons, as well as beds for sleeping. Wildcat, Spikehorn and Pine Marten are each approximately 150+- sq ft in size. Big Bear is 252 +- sq ft of log construction.
There is a tool shed near the cabins that is 96+- sq ft as well as a wood shed and two log constructed outhouses. A few hundred feet from the cabins a 480+- sq ft barn, with a concrete floor and second story storage is there to provide a place to house your atvs, canoes and other recreational tools. The soils near the barn have been used for gardening and are still open and tillable.
There is a drilled well located about 100 feet uphill from the cabins and it provides drinking water to the main cabin via gravity feed. There is a hand dug well that has cool spring water available to use as well. Lighting in the cabins is produced by gas lights using propane that is delivered to the site by Dead River Company located in Ashland, ME. For more details call Rick Theriault at 207-731-9902.
Have you dreamed of having the privacy that a northern lake could offer? Consider the opportunity to purchase an entire Maine island for sale. Pitch a tent, build a yurt or construct a cabin. This is a rare opportunity on a great body of water.
Where: Marion Township
- County - Washington
- Lat/Long 44.796145, -67.375532
Lake Description: Gardner Lake
- Size - 3886 acres plus connected to 1,650 acre Second Lake
- Max Depth - 56 Feet
- Fish - Salmon, Smallmouth Bass, White Perch, Chain Pickerel, Smelt
- Boat Launch - Paved ramp with a well marked and designed facility, plenty of parking
The Island - Unnamed Island
- Size - 3.8 +/- Acres
- Building Site - Elevated site with panoramic views
- Trees - spruce, pine and maple
- University Maine Machias
- Atlantic Ocean
- Maine Public Reserve Lands
Price and Terms - $70,000 cash
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