Temporary Shore Structure Permit
Recent sustained high water levels on Lake Erie have resulted in severe damage to coastal properties due to coastal erosion and flooding. ODNR recognizes the need for a rapid response to these events to prevent further damage and loss to coastal property.
To expedite the permitting process, Temporary Shore Structure Permits are available during the current high water levels for emergency construction of new erosion control structures or for emergency repairs to existing unpermitted structures that are necessary to safeguard life, health, or property along Ohio’s Lake Erie shore.
Temporary Shore Structure Permits are intended for emergency situations, such as those currently being experienced on Lake Erie due to severe storms and high Lake Erie water levels, where immediate action is necessary and the time to complete the usual permit process is not feasible. Review of applications for temporary permits is expedited and, in most cases, is completed within a few days of receipt of the application. There is no fee to apply for a Temporary Shore Structure Permit.
How does a Temporary Shore Structure Permit differ from a Shore Structure Permit?
Shore Structure Permits are required prior to the construction or placement of any measure along or near the shore of Lake Erie structure that will control erosion, wave action, or inundation. Temporary Shore Structure Permits are issued by ODNR when it is determined necessary to safeguard life, health, or property. The services of a Professional Engineer are not required to apply for a Temporary Shore Structure Permit. When a Temporary Permit is used to authorize a structure, a standard Shore Structure Permit must be applied for and obtained within two years.
What is eligible for a Temporary Shore Structure Permit?
Temporary Shore Structure Permits are available for emergency construction of new erosion control structures or for emergency repairs to existing unpermitted structures. Examples of structures that could be authorized to be constructed or repaired by a Temporary Shore Structure Permit include stone revetments, concrete seawalls, and crib bulkheads. Existing structures that already have a Shore Structure Permit can be repaired to their original permitted size and condition without any additional permits from ODNR.
What is not eligible for a Temporary Shore Structure Permit?
Placement or dumping of unconsolidated debris, concrete or other rubble, rebar, or fine-grained soils is not permitted along or near the shore. It can result in unsafe conditions on a bluff face, beach, and in the waters of Lake Erie. Additionally, structures not immediately necessary to safeguard life, health, or property along Ohio’s Lake Erie shore cannot be authorized under a Temporary Shore Structure Permit. Examples of structures that are not eligible for a Temporary Permit include breakwaters, groins, docks, piers and jetties.
How long is a Temporary Shore Structure Permit valid?
Temporary Shore Structure Permits provide temporary authorization for a period of two years. By submitting the application form, the applicant agrees apply for and obtain a standard Shore Structure Permit prior to or upon expiration of the Temporary Shore Structure Permit. A Temporary Permit cannot be extended beyond its original two-year term.
What information is required to obtain a Temporary Shore Structure Permit?
A sample application is included in the Guidance Packet. A complete application for a Temporary Shore Structure Permit should include:
- recent photographs taken with your phone or camera showing the current condition of the shoreline requiring emergency shore protection
- a map from the Internet or otherwise showing the location of the project site
- copy of the deed/conveyance instrument confirming the current property owner(s)
- hand drawn sketches depicting both an overhead view and side view of the proposed new structure or repairs to the existing structure containing:
- project dimensions (i.e. length along the shore, height of top of structure, distance structure will extend lakeward from the bluff or bank toe)
- type and size of material to be used (i.e. armor stone & size, concrete block & dimensions, steel crib member and stone fill type and dimensions, etc.)
How does ODNR review Temporary Shore Structure Permit applications?
ODNR reviews applications based on the following criteria:
- Whether the structure is necessary to safeguard life, health, or property.
- Whether the size and height of the structure appears appropriate and adequate.
- Whether the proposed structure or repair will be constructed or performed in a manner and of materials that appear sufficient to control erosion, wave action, or inundation.
General guidelines for erosion control structures are included in the Temporary Shore Structure Permit Project Guidance Packet (pdf). It includes a listing of construction materials that are generally suitable for use along the shore and a listing of those that are not suitable. Additionally, it provides general guidelines for structure dimensions (length, width, height, and slope) that are appropriate for successful erosion control projects. Following these guidelines now may decrease the need for any changes to the structure later in order to obtain a Shore Structure Permit upon expiration of the Temporary Permit.
How do I apply for a Temporary Shore Structure Permit?
The permit application is a PDF form that can be filled in electronically, so it is separate from the Guidance Packet. You can download one here or request one via phone or email from the Office of Coastal Management. The application can be submitted via email or can be printed and mailed to the Office of Coastal Management.
When will my Temporary Shore Structure Permit be issued?
ODNR understands the serious impacts that high water levels are having on Ohio’s Lake Erie coast and will process applications as quickly as possible with the intent of issuance of permits within days of application receipt.
What other authorizations may be required?
Other local, state, and federal authorizations may also be required. Coastal Regulations — Guidance Sheet No.1 is included in the Guidance Packet. It includes a listing of authorizations that may be required for structures along or near the Lake Erie shore.
Staff at the ODNR Office of Coastal Management are available to assist with assessing erosion issues. At the request of the property owner, ODNR engineers can meet with the property owner on-site and assess the current conditions and make recommendations for erosion control options best suited to the site. Assistance with the permitting process is also available.