The culmination of a 30 year study using Satellite Imaging and Contouring has made changes to Berrien Counties Lake Michigan Set Back requirements by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The review and re-designation of High Risk Erosion regulations (HREA) limit the placement of structures and improvements on areas susceptible to erosion. Many areas along Lake Michigan shoreline are designated High Risk Erosion Areas. Development in HREA areas may be restricted and require review and permitting by the DEQ. In early 2007, the DEQ hosted public meetings to provide information on the revised high risk erosion areas of Berrien County. After gathering public comment, the DEQ finalized the revised HREA designations. All effected property owners received notification of the revised regulations. If you are an effected property owner, you need to carefully review the information you received from the DEQ in order to understand the effect of HRE changes (if any) on your property.
The updates to HRE regulations in Berrien County may effect property owners in one of three ways:
. If you were regulated before 2007, you may no longer be regulated; or
. If you were unregulated before 2007, you may now be regulated; or
. If you were regulated before 2007, you may still be regulated, but the required HRE setback governing your property may have changed.
Lakefront Berrien County property owners should understand that while they may have previously been in compliance with regulations, their structures and improvements may now violate new HRE designations. In such cases, DEQ grandfathering provisions will regulate continued use of their property.
In most cases my Lake Michigan Clients have been thrilled about these changes, if you are curious about your own designation go to the DEQ's website for coverage maps