Shoreline Construction Requirements

Note: A Lakebed Administrative Permit must be obtained prior to applying for a building permit.

A Lakebed Administrative Encroachment permit is required for construction or placement of:

  • Fills
  • Retaining walls
  • Piers
  • Floats
  • Boat lifts
  • Docks
  • Or any other construction that is lakeward of the High Water Mark

Water Marks

  • Shoreline Requirements SchematicLow Water Mark = 0 feet (ft) Rumsey (1318.26l ft mean sea level (M.S.L.))
  • High Water Mark = 7.79 ft Rumsey (1326.05 ft M.S.L.)
  • 100 year Flood Level = 12.75 ft Rumsey (1331 ft M.S.L.)

The following is an informal summary of the construction requirements:

Fill & Retaining Walls

  • No fill or excavation is permitted lakeward of the High Water Mark
  • No portion of a retaining wall (including footing) is permitted lakeward of the High Water Mark
  • Retaining Walls must be constructed to a minimum height of 11.5 ft Rumsey.
  • Retaining walls greater than 4 feet in height must be engineered (Building Department requirement)
  • A "7.79 Survey" is required prior to construction of a retaining wall on a vacant parcel (3 points minimum)
    • The survey must be performed by a licensed surveyor or civil engineer with a survey license
    • An original with a wet seal and 2 copies are required for permit approval

Piers, Floats, Boat Lifts, Docks, Conduit, Etc.

  • No living quarters are permitted lakeward of the High Water Mark
  • All structures are subject to a 10 ft setback from adjacent property lines
    • Upon request of the department, and prior to any issuance of the permit, the owner of the parcel shall provide, as a minimum, a boundary determination map that designates the side property line(s) to 0 ft Rumsey and indicate 2 points along the line
    • The property owner shall have the 2 points, per property line, marked for field verification by the department
  • All structures are subject to a height limit of higher than 20 ft Rumsey
  • No structure may extend further than 100 ft lakeward of 0 ft Rumsey or lakeward of minus 10 ft Rumsey, whichever is most limiting
  • Fish houses, storage, etc. lakeward of the High Water Mark cannot be larger than 100 square feet and must be open on at least 1 side
  • The width of a residential pier or dock, including all of its parts, shall not exceed 50% of the shoreline frontage of the parcel or 35 ft, whichever is most limiting
  • The width of a single lane boat ramp shall not exceed 14 ft

Shoreline Requirements SchematicSchematic Shoreline Construction Requirements

  • Disturbance of vegetation is prohibited from the High Water Mark to the waters edge. Exceptions require approval by the Department of Fish and Game
  • Control or removal of aquatic plants in Clear Lake requires an Aquatic Plant Management Permit
  • An encroachment lease with an annual lease payment will be required for structures lakeward of the Low Water Mark
    • A lease is available at the Public Works counter
  • All property lines must be verified prior to the issuance of a permit
  • A contractor possessing the appropriate license must do pile driving work
    • A list of known currently licensed contractors is available from the Public Works Department; the list is not intended as an endorsement of any business or individual