WHAT FACTORS DETERMINE WHETHER A WATERFRONT SITE NEAR THE CHESAPEAKE BAY IS VIABLE FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION?
There are several key factors. One is whether the property passes the local health department perc test indicating that it will support a septic system. A second is whether the property extensively slopes to the water; if it does, a variance will be required that probably means supportability for new construction will be limited. A third factor is the location of the 100-foot critical-area buffer line on the property and how that location will impact the ability to develop the lot.
Most waterfront properties can be developed—there just might be limits to the ways in which that development can take place. The key is to match the purchaser’s desires and goals with a property that will maximize all development possibilities. —Cathy Purple Cherry, AIA, LEED AP, CAS, Purple Cherry Architects, Annapolis, Maryland