DNREC Expedites Approvals For Homeowners With Storm Damage - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

DNREC Expedites Approvals For Homeowners With Storm Damage

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DOVER, Del.  – DNREC Secretary Collin O'Mara has notified Delaware coastal community homeowners that their properties affected by Hurricane Sandy are receiving special consideration for permitting approval in helping them rebound from and repair damages delivered by the storm.

Sec. O'Mara told the homeowners in a letter that DNREC's Shoreline & Waterway Management Section is making field visits to assess storm damage as well as vulnerability to future storms, including the Nor'easter forecasted to blow through Delaware Wednesday.

DNREC will issue emergency approvals for the following activities:


  • Construction of steps to provide access to existing structures. Steps seaward of the DNREC Building Line must not be wider than 4 feet. An application for a Letter of Approval must be submitted for construction of steps or crossovers which provide access to the beach. All steps which provide access to the beach must be constructed so that they can be lifted or removed. (Requires County approval.)
  •  Securing of damaged structures above the first Living floor. If outer walls need to be replaced, there shall be no alteration of the original dimension or location. For enclosures below the first living floor an application for a Letter of Approval or Permit must be submitted.
  •  Pushing of overwash sand from around structures towards the ocean and bay.
  •  Trucking in of clean beach quality sand for dune or beach restoration.
  •  Trucking in of select fill for reconstruction of driveways.
  •  Minor repairs to damaged portions of existing approved bulkheads. No changes to the original length or dimensions are permitted. An application for a Permit must be submitted for reconstruction of destroyed bulkheads.
  •  Repairs to utilities such as electric water and sewer.
  •  Repairs to foundations (cracked pilings) of existing structures. (Requires County approval.)

Even though DNREC will issue emergency approvals, homeowners cannot begin these activities without first contacting DNREC's Shoreline and Waterway Management Section. Meanwhile, the following repairs or reconstruction do not require approval:


  • Repair work at or above the lowest living floor and within the outer dimensions of the structure. No alteration of the original footprint shall be made.
  • Repairs/replacement of siding, roof shingles, roofs, and railing on decks and steps.


If a property owner is considering construction of a hard structure for property protection such as a bulkhead or revetment they will be required to submit an application for a Permit to construct seaward of the DNREC Building Line. There is a $150.00 application fee to supplement the cost of the Legal Notice for the application, and there is a 20-day public notice period. Due to the State of Delaware's Public Notice requirements, a homeowner must allow at least 40 days for processing of the application.

Application forms and additional information on the Regulations Governing Beach Protection and the Use of Beaches and Permitting Procedures can be obtained by calling Jennifer Luoma or David Warga at 302-739-9921 or by visiting the DNREC web site at www.dnrec.delaware.gov.


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