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Old 08-19-2021, 12:49 PM   #1
Ricky g
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Default shorefront/shoreline beach area question

hi folks,

I'm new to the area. I've lurked on the forum a bit to learn what I can about the the towns and lake life. we recently bought a lake house in Meredith. It has an overgrown little beach area, which we were told was grandfathered in to the property. and, if not maintained (meaning cleared/restored) would be lost. At the waterline and into the water for 10-15 ft is all pebbles. the "beach" area is approx. 15'x15'. I pulled the long weeds and raked up the moss. underneath seems to be a layer of more pebbles and it looks like landscape fabric under that.

We are interested in a sand beach if possible. I'm looking for advice/suggestions on how to clean it up; either manually, rent needed equipment or hire it out. I'm not quite sure of the process. what do others do to maintain their beach? would I put sand into the water? about how long till it gets washed away? do I clear all the pebbles first, or go right over with the sand.

maybe not asking in the clearest way, but you get the idea. thanks for and advice or suggestions.
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Old 08-19-2021, 01:39 PM   #2
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Legally you can't do much of anything without a permit from the state but we all do maintenance to our waterfronts without permits.

Last edited by Biggd; 08-19-2021 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 08-19-2021, 01:41 PM   #3
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Most of what you're suggesting is either not legal or requires a DES permit. You can maintain existing landscaping but that;s on shore. Once you step in the water or start to use machinery, the rules are different. You may want to look into a perched beach. The contractors who do this work are familiar with the rules. There may be some expertise available through NHLAKES.org.

If you have a pebble bottom, that's the way Mother Nature wants it. She's hard to overrule. I'm curious about the "landscape clot. It may be that in the past somebody put that down to control milfoil or other invasives. Your neighbors may be able to tell you about past activity and/or similar efforts that they have undertaken and the success level.
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Old 08-19-2021, 02:02 PM   #4
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A similar question:
https://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums...ad.php?t=26100

No doubt Onshore will also have a reply here.

Alan
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Old 08-19-2021, 02:10 PM   #5
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Perched beaches are the only beaches that are allowed now. So if it were mine, I would clean up the beach you have. You cannot put sand in the lake but can get a permit to refurbish the sand every ?5? years. They don't want sand to wash into the lake. You can rake by hand without a permit. Be patient and keep raking.
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Old 08-19-2021, 02:39 PM   #6
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Funny as I was just literally reading much more into this last weekend as I've seen some interesting things done lately around the lake and was curious to just learn more. To be clear, I am not saying anything was illegally done in any way, shape or form, was just curious to learn more. Here are a few links I found helpful amongst my search:

Vegetation Management Rules: https://www.des.nh.gov/sites/g/files...20-01/sp-5.pdf

Protected Shoreland FAQ: https://www.des.nh.gov/protected-shoreland-faq#faq30936

Waterfront Development: https://www.des.nh.gov/land/waterfront-development

What I still wonder and can not find the answer to is if for example a house has a "Lean To" off the house with the same exact roof line and shingles, if ripped down, could that become additional indoor living space on a new build or addition?
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Old 08-19-2021, 02:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggd View Post
Legally you can't do much of anything without a permit from the state but we all do maintenance to out waterfronts without permits.
Exactly right. There is what is legal or illegal, and then there is what people do or don’t do. Technically, just about anything you do at the shoreline is probably not legal without a permit. And you won’t get a permit to dump sand for a host of reasons, some more valid than others. Have I seen sand being dumped on beaches without a permit? Yes. Would I recommend it? Probably not.

I certainly wouldn’t use heavy equipment or anything beyond hand tools. If you are doing things beyond raking and typical “maintenance” type work, you run the risk of drawing attention and perhaps being reported by neighbors.
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Old 08-19-2021, 02:57 PM   #8
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Default Storefront beach area

First of all, don’t listen to people who say you can’t maintain your beach. Call NH DES in Concord for the latest information. Our Association added sand to our beach last year and while the process is cumbersome it is legal. If you have the money, hiring someone with experience will save you much time in the application process. Make sure you keep a copy of all the paperwork as it will be easier the next time.
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Old 08-19-2021, 02:59 PM   #9
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What I still wonder and can not find the answer to is if for example a house has a "Lean To" off the house with the same exact roof line and shingles, if ripped down, could that become additional indoor living space on a new build or addition?
I would suggest calling the DES shoreland permit office. I have had similar questions in the past, and found them very helpful and willing to discuss the rules and permit process.

FWIW, if your question is asking whether that would be grandfathered in (i.e., the existing “non conforming structure” is within 50’ of the waterline), I believe the lean-to would constitute existing impervious area and you should be able to turn that into living space if it is on the side or back of the house, but not if it is towards the lake from the house. But you would need to obtain a permit.

From the DES FAQs (https://www.des.nh.gov/protected-sho...faq#faq30956):

Projects that involve expanding the footprint of interior living space of existing, legal, nonconforming primary structures require a shoreland permit as well as a proposal to make the property more nearly conforming. These projects include enclosing an open porch or converting a deck to living space. Please note that the enclosure of an open porch or deck located between a nonconforming structure and the reference line would be prohibited by RSA 483-B:9, II, (b).
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Old 08-19-2021, 03:05 PM   #10
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You need a permit to put sand in.
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Old 08-19-2021, 04:10 PM   #11
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So funny to read what you can and cannot do and every bit of it in conflict with what you see going on with virtually every new mcmansion build you see all around the lake. They clear trees, add giant docks and boat houses, add huge stone breakers, create sandy beaches where there were none and it all looks like its no problem. No problem for them,,,

In the end those with the deepest pockets always seem to get away with doing what the want, and the working man goes to jail for refreshing his beach with a pickup truck full of sand,,,

I'm sure someone will chime in and say its not so, but just get in your boat and ride around and take a look at the new construction going on, its like Beverly Hills East. So much money pouring in to the Winnipesaukee area its almost hard to believe, and you never see anyone in these monster homes, the yards are empty.

Totally different than when I was a kid enjoying the modest surrounding and working class people visiting the lake with our big 16' boats and 35 HP motors pulling 2 skiers at once on their wooden plank skis, or while listening to the 9v transistor radio and the one or two channels you might get ;-)

Now we have $150K wake boats rolling tsunami waves with stadium level sound for owners who come up to their $10M+ dollar home on Saturday and leave it empty the rest of the week.

Guess thats progress.
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Old 08-19-2021, 04:56 PM   #12
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XCR, weren't we the lucky ones to have experienced Winnipesaukee when it was so calm, peaceful, and very, very beautiful. More trees on the shores than camps, the nights were usually pitch black and silent, and one could easily see fifteen or twenty feet down in the crystal clear clean water. My first job as a 15 year old was working in the kitchen of Hart's and I would drive there in a 13' foot whaler and never had a problem tying up for a day in front of Chase's Restaurant. Halcyon days, but life goes on and the old New Hampshire becomes more distant each and every day ...but such is the ways of a freedom. I have little use for the big lake anymore but obviously a lot of folks love it.

Ricky G, you are going to do what you are going to do but be careful and discreet and you'll likely skate by. Personally I see far more problems with lawns than small beaches, sand filters, fertilizers pollute. If somehow additional sand does find your beach I suggest that it be septic sand as it has far fewer fines and that greatly reduces the silt milkiness that follows dumping regular sand in the water.
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Old 08-19-2021, 05:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XCR-700 View Post
So funny to read what you can and cannot do and every bit of it in conflict with what you see going on with virtually every new mcmansion build you see all around the lake. They clear trees, add giant docks and boat houses, add huge stone breakers, create sandy beaches where there were none and it all looks like its no problem. No problem for them,,,

In the end those with the deepest pockets always seem to get away with doing what the want, and the working man goes to jail for refreshing his beach with a pickup truck full of sand,,,

I'm sure someone will chime in and say its not so, but just get in your boat and ride around and take a look at the new construction going on, its like Beverly Hills East. So much money pouring in to the Winnipesaukee area its almost hard to believe, and you never see anyone in these monster homes, the yards are empty.

Totally different than when I was a kid enjoying the modest surrounding and working class people visiting the lake with our big 16' boats and 35 HP motors pulling 2 skiers at once on their wooden plank skis, or while listening to the 9v transistor radio and the one or two channels you might get ;-)

Now we have $150K wake boats rolling tsunami waves with stadium level sound for owners who come up to their $10M+ dollar home on Saturday and leave it empty the rest of the week.

Guess thats progress.
It's the golden rule, "he who has all the gold rules".
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Old 08-19-2021, 07:09 PM   #14
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It seems that lower end and mid priced seem to be pulling more money...

https://www.unionleader.com/news/hom...3fadb7d56.html
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Old 08-19-2021, 08:45 PM   #15
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Best to ask for forgiveness than permission...If you're just restoring what was there, do it in the early spring or very late fall when there's minimal lake traffic.
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Old 08-19-2021, 08:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garysanfran View Post
Best to ask for forgiveness than permission...If you're just restoring what was there, do it in the early spring or very late fall when there's minimal lake traffic.
Except that from what the OP has told us--it will not last, and every year there will be this secret sanding which is really bad for the lake. Like dirt, sand is often full of phosphorous. We have a similar beach situation. Our solution was to embrace the pebbles than are there, and are bound to come back naturally anyway. Easy entry into the lake, a bottom that is not mushy, and zero maintenance
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Old 08-19-2021, 09:59 PM   #17
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Default Sandy beach?

Back i n the day, camps always located where there was a sandy beach... No reason to believe Camp Alton was different. So, let's say they had a sandy beach. Maybe subsequent owners wanted to expand the beach. Do the whiners know they did that or that they did or did not have a permit?
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Old 08-20-2021, 07:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Descant View Post
Back i n the day, camps always located where there was a sandy beach... No reason to believe Camp Alton was different. So, let's say they had a sandy beach. Maybe subsequent owners wanted to expand the beach. Do the whiners know they did that or that they did or did not have a permit?
"Back in the day" things were much different and less regulated. Many things we would like to do now are prohibited.

I have a house, first built in the 40's, where there is a dug in water line that comes out from under the house foundation buried and gets above the lake bed about 45 feet from shore. I asked the descendant of the former owners how that was done. He said it was put in "back in the days when you could put a backhoe into the lake"

Probably not advisable today!
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Old 08-20-2021, 01:21 PM   #19
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thank you all for the information. I appreciate those who mentioned the changes and over development on the lake and the McMansions. I'm not on Winni. I'm not building anything new, and I certainly don't have a McMansion. as said, there is an existing small beach area. it had become overgrown. I simply wanted to clean it up.

I'm not looking to do anything illegal. I wasn't sure about dumping sand (on the land or into the water), that's why I asked. since there was already the fabric down, and some passed attempt to keep away weeds. I assumed that I had the right to maintain or restore the area, and was looking for advice from others who do or have maintained their little beach areas on the easiest way to to that to not break by back (thinking maybe rototiller, not back hoe, e.g.) if I didn't have to (work smarter not harder), and certainly not to use any chemicals near the water to kill the weeds. again I assumed that meant I could dig down the 1-2 inches to replace the now old and holed fabric.

I'll keep at it by hand for now, keep mother nature's pebbles and contact the appropriate agencies mentioned re: any necessary permits.

again, I appreciate you all taking your time to share your thoughts and experience.

Last edited by Ricky g; 08-21-2021 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 08-20-2021, 02:00 PM   #20
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That's helpful information. Many years ago, I used to rototill my beach. The idea was to bring up he pebbles so they could be raked and make a softer surface for putting down towels, etc. Worked pretty good the first year. As time went on churning weeds into the ground was more like making mulch and eventually, soil. The weeds started to thrive. So, I stopped. Forty years later, the underwater part of the beach remains clean and sandy as mother nature built it. The land still has sand 8-10 feet back from the water line and not much else is growing, just due to normal foot traffic, and occasional pulling of brush.
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Old 08-20-2021, 02:04 PM   #21
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I have the original permit from 1967 allowing us to dump rocks in the lake to create a ice breaker. A 5x7 piece of paper signed by one person. How times have changed


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Old 08-20-2021, 05:28 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by NH.Solar View Post
XCR, weren't we the lucky ones to have experienced Winnipesaukee when it was so calm, peaceful, and very, very beautiful. More trees on the shores than camps, the nights were usually pitch black and silent, and one could easily see fifteen or twenty feet down in the crystal clear clean water. My first job as a 15 year old was working in the kitchen of Hart's and I would drive there in a 13' foot whaler and never had a problem tying up for a day in front of Chase's Restaurant. Halcyon days, but life goes on and the old New Hampshire becomes more distant each and every day ...but such is the ways of a freedom. I have little use for the big lake anymore but obviously a lot of folks love it.

Ricky G, you are going to do what you are going to do but be careful and discreet and you'll likely skate by. Personally I see far more problems with lawns than small beaches, sand filters, fertilizers pollute. If somehow additional sand does find your beach I suggest that it be septic sand as it has far fewer fines and that greatly reduces the silt milkiness that follows dumping regular sand in the water.
Your post practically breaks my heart- those days!!!
Today, still, I love to recall running through the pine-tree camp grounds where we stayed, until 8:30-9:00 in the evening. Camp fire smoke would begin to fill the air as folks sat around the fire to enjoy each others' company- just for the sake of being together.
I used to catch craw fish/go night crawling, and sell them.
Jeez!
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Old 08-21-2021, 12:18 AM   #23
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Your post practically breaks my heart- those days!!!
Today, still, I love to recall running through the pine-tree camp grounds where we stayed, until 8:30-9:00 in the evening. Camp fire smoke would begin to fill the air as folks sat around the fire to enjoy each others' company- just for the sake of being together.
I used to catch craw fish/go night crawling, and sell them.
Jeez!
Yeah. The crawfish seem to have disappeared. And we don't stop in the channel to feed the ducks like when I was a kid. And the signs about swimming in the channel are gone. Fortunately, there never were any signs about WOT after dark. You kids are missing a lot. No more water ski jump in front of the Weirs docks either, or sea planes. Just pontoons. How sad.
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Old 08-21-2021, 09:28 PM   #24
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I have a grandfathered natural beach with very nice sand. In 62 years it has never needed additional sand.

Today, perched beaches are the only option.
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Old 08-21-2021, 09:59 PM   #25
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My four year old grandson spends hours exploring the creek behind our house for crawfish, water bugs and fish….what a wonderful way to grow up…he told me the other day he loves nature.
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Old 08-21-2021, 11:54 PM   #26
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I haven't seen crawfish for years. They used to be plentiful. My Springer Spaniel would pace the beach for hours, 6-10" deep, put his paw on one and push it into the sand. Then slowly lift his paw and be mystified where the crawfish disappeared to.
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Old 08-22-2021, 01:40 PM   #27
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I haven't seen crawfish for years. They used to be plentiful. My Springer Spaniel would pace the beach for hours, 6-10" deep, put his paw on one and push it into the sand. Then slowly lift his paw and be mystified where the crawfish disappeared to.
we can thank the rock bass..for crawfish going and other evasive speice
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Old 08-23-2021, 12:35 PM   #28
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Red face We Were "Illegal"...

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Originally Posted by WinnisquamZ View Post
I have the original permit from 1967 allowing us to dump rocks in the lake to create a ice breaker. A 5x7 piece of paper signed by one person. How times have changed.
We asked for a large portion of rock wall dumped on our shoreline by a old farm's developer. (New houses going in).

No permit, but this was 1957.

Not delivered by barge, but left by a dump truck after driving over the ice.
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