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.

Note: Low Water Mark = Zero Rumsey (1318.26l ft 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 and Retaining Walls: 

Construction Guidelines No. 2

  • 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 ft. 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 point’s 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 10ft 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’ Rumsey and indicate two points along the line. The property owner shall have the two points, per property line, marked for field verification by the department.
  • All structures are subject to a height limit of + 20 ft Rumsey
  • No structure may extend further than 100-ft lakeward of zero 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-sq. ft. and must be open on at least one side.
  • The width of a residential pier or dock, including all of its parts, shall not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the shoreline frontage of the parcel or thirty-five feet (35'), whichever is most limiting.
  • The width of a single lane boat ramp shall not exceed fourteen feet (14').

Shoreline Requirements No. 1

Schematic 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.

Chapter 23- Clear Lake Shoreline Ordinance

Shoreline Requirements Schematic 1

Shoreline Requirements Schematic 2

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