Do You Need Riparian Rights?

Do You Need Riparian Rights?

Riparian rights change everything–do you need them for your new home?

Buying any home involves looking at many more details than you might think. Not only must you consider the quality of the house, but you also need to know the land’s condition and what regulations are on it. If you have decided to build a custom waterfront home, all you need to do next is to decide on the type of land you would like and ask a very important question: do you need riparian rights?

What Are Riparian Rights?

Riparian rights refer to the property owner’s rights regarding the shoreline of a body of water like a stream, creek, or river. Littoral rights cover shoreline rules for oceanfront or lakefront owners. In Maryland, “riparian rights” is the term for shoreline rules for the Chesapeake Bay as well. 

These rights give a waterfront property owner the lawful ability to access the water and apply for a permit to build a private dock that meets local regulations. 

Tips about Riparian Rights

Before buying a property, know for certain with professional confirmation what your rights are. It is easier to buy land with riparian rights than try to get those permissions later. 

If you want to build a private dock and the property in question does not have one yet, you must apply to these three groups if you live in Anne Arundel County:

  • The Federal Army Corps of Engineers
  • The Maryland State Department of the Environment or the Board of Public Works
  • Anne Arundel County

Although riparian rights guarantee you the right to apply, keep in mind that it is possible to be denied.

Some properties might make the shoreline a community beach; if you do not have the rights to access your waterfront, see if you are granted access to a community beach. 

Non-Riparian Rights

Non-riparian rights give you freedom to do what you want on the land itself. You have the freedom to build on it as you please. Of course, check with the local rules just to be sure before breaking ground.

Do You Need Riparian Rights?

You might need riparian rights if you look forward to setting out on the water from your backyard and enjoying the beach. If the land you want does not have them, see if neighbors have private docks or shoreline access and ask what their process was. Hope is alive! Even so, you can avoid the headache and work with Shore-Line Construction to find what you need


At Shore-Line Construction, we know that your home is a reflection of you. That’s why we strive to make each home we build as beautiful as the family who will live there. We work with each of our clients to design a home that fits their needs. The end result is a durable, energy-efficient custom home that the family will enjoy for generations to come. Shore-Line Construction has been serving our customers for over 25 years, and we look forward to the opportunity to help you!

If you’re interested in learning more about what Shore-Line Construction can do for you, check out our website or give us a call at 410-574-6623. Keep up with all of the latest news by following our blog and social media pages on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Houzz!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 18th, 2023 at 4:01 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.