Any development or redevelopment activity that occurs on a lot or parcel that includes a Buffer must be mitigated through a Buffer Management Plan approved by the Department of Land Use and Growth Management
Types of Buffer Management Plans (BMPs)
1. A Simplified Buffer Management Plan is a basic plan that addresses buffer planting associated with the following specific activities:
• Providing an access path up to three feet wide leading to the shoreline
• Manually removing invasive or noxious vegetation
• Filling to maintain an existing lawn
• Managing storm damage including the removal of fallen trees
• Repairing or replacing a septic system in an existing grass lawn
• Cutting a tree that may fall and cause damage or may cause or increase shore erosion
2. A Minor Buffer Management Plan is required when the area of Buffer establishment or the area of Buffer mitigation required is less than 5,000 square feet.
3. A Major Buffer Management Plan is required when the area of Buffer establishment or the area of Buffer mitigation required is 5,000 square feet or greater.
The Green Book for the Buffer is an illustrated guidebook for planting at the shoreline and can be downloaded from the Critical Area Commission’s website shown under Resources on the right side of this page. The Commission has also published the Native Plant Guide to assist homeowners in choosing the types of trees and shrubs to plant on their properties.
Mitigation is also required for clearing of vegetation and new lot coverage in the Critical Area, regardless of whether or not the lot or parcel contains a Buffer. This mitigation is based on a lower ratio of plants per square foot of disturbance than that required for Buffer mitigation. See schedule 72.3.5 on page 72-5 of the Ordinance for these planting credits.
Land Use Classifications in the Critical Area
Critical Area Buffer
Development State Waters and Tidal Wetlands
National Flood Insurance Program