What is lot coverage and how does it affect my property?
Lot coverage is the percentage of a lot or parcel that is developed with a structure, accessory structure, parking area, driveway, walkway, or roadway. Lot coverage includes areas covered with gravel, stone, shell, impermeable decking, pavers, permeable pavement, or any other man-made material. Lot coverage does not include a fence or wall that is less than one-foot wide and is constructed without a footer, a walkway in the Buffer that provides access to a pier, a wood mulch pathway, or a deck with gaps to allow water to pass freely.

If your property is classified as RCA or LDA, there are limits on the amount of total lot coverage permitted on a parcel. Generally, lot coverage is limited to no more than 15% of the total land area of the lot. There are some exceptions. If your parcel is 0.5 acre or smaller, and was in residential use before December 1, 1985, then the maximum lot coverage is 25% of the parcel or lot (the date is June 1, 2002 for lots in the Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area). Subject to certain requirements, a local government may allow you to exceed the lot coverage limit by 500 square feet or more, up to 31.25% of the lot. If your lot is greater than one-half acre and less than one acre, then lot coverage may exceed the 15% limit up to 5,445 square feet.

In some cases, lots within a subdivision may have different lot coverage limits; however, total lot coverage for the subdivision must remain at or below 15%.

Show All Answers

1. What is the Critical Area Program?
2. What are the critical area land classifications?
3. What is lot coverage and how does it affect my property?
4. If i buy a lot in the critical area, may I build a house on it?
5. If my home is in the critical area, will I be able to construct an addition or build a swimming pool, deck, or garage?
6. Can I remove trees from my property if it is in the critical area?
7. What are Habitat Protection Areas?
8. If I think I see a violation near the water, where do I call?
9. My property is in the RCA, can I create a lot to give to a family member?
10. What is a grandfathered lot? If my lot is grandfathered, am I exempt from the critical area regulations?
11. Are farming and timber harvesting exempt from the critical area regulations?
12. What is the Critical Area Commission?
13. Do I need to obtain the approval of the Critical Area Commission to build on my lot in the critical area?
14. What is the difference between local zoning ordinances and the state’s critical area law and regulations?
15. What is growth allocation?
16. What are FIDS?