DCL Buffer Strip Notice

Nov 19, 2021

The DNR Lake Management team has asked the POA to circulate a recent letter to all Homeowner Associations relating to violations of Buffer Strip restrictions and the failure to obtain proper permits for actions on the Buffer Strip. The letter reminds HOA’s that Associations are responsible for Buffer Strip activities by their members and that penalties can be assessed against the HOA permit for violations by individual homeowners.

A copy of the letter can be found by clicking this link – HOA_Notice.pdf.

DNR contact information is contained in the letter.

All lakefront homeowners, whether part of an HOA or not should be aware of the Buffer Strip and Buydown restrictions that are in place at Deep Creek Lake.

The Buffer Strip is Land between the water’s surface and the private property boundaries of adjacent landowners to an elevation of approximately 2466’ in most locations. When the State of Maryland affected the Buy Down of state property in 2003, purchasing landowners granted the State an easement restricting and limiting the use of the “buydown” property. Lake Management needs to approve and/or permit ANY work that is being done on the buffer strip or buydown (conservation easement).

DNR has recently seen numerous instances of failure to obtain appropriate permits for actions taken on the Buffer Strip or the Buy Down property including issues with illegal cuttings and removal of vegetation. Trimming, cutting, or removal of vegetation is not permitted unless it is approved by the Lake Management office. Other issues include property owners using concrete or mortar on the buffer strip; property owners exceeding the size limitations of walkways and patios; and property owners not containing loose materials like mulch, wood chips, and gravel. All loose material must be contained (within a border) to prevent the spreading of the material.

DNR has issued Special Permit Guidelines which outline regulations for obtaining permits for improvements being made on the buffer strip and buydown. These guidelines may be viewed by clicking HERE.

Bob Sutton

POA President