This project by Walnut Hill boasts a vanishing-edge pool overlooking the Chesapeake, a mahogany pergola, a fireplace and flagstone terrace.

Ask the Pros: Landscape Architecture

Advice on designing the perfect home by the bay

What regulations should homeowners keep in mind when designing a landscape project in a critical area?

One limiting factor in Maryland is that there is a buffer that prohibits the construction of any kind of structure within 100 feet of the water. Homeowners must also consider the rules governing impervious cover, which refers to any kind of surface that water can’t penetrate, including driveways, pathways, terraces and pools. In Maryland, only 15 percent of a property can be impervious on lots of a half-acre or larger. While this is a challenge, there are solutions. For example, decks don’t count as long as there’s a quarter-inch gap between the boards.

—Mike Prokopchak, ASLA, Walnut Hill Landscape Company, Annapolis, Maryland