Riparian Control of Beachfront Property

On July 2, 2013, P.A. 98 became law. Section 30101a is significant for riparian land owners. In relevant part, a state issued permit is not  required for placement of a private noncommercial dock used for recreational use. A permit is not required for reasonable beach sanding. A permit is not required for the withdrawal of water.

Multiparty docks do not apparently meet exempt status. What constitutes “reasonable” for purposes of beach sanding can be a point of debate. While the statutory amendments do not use the term “reasonable” water withdrawal, common law clearly imposes such a restriction. Further, local regulations and permitting are not impacted by the amendments.

Despite some remaining issues, P.A. 98 is a definite plus for riparians.

Attorney William L. Carey specializes in water and riparian rights issues and has successfully represented waterfront property owners at all levels of the courts in Michigan, including multiple appearances before the Michigan Supreme Court.