Waterfront land – things to look for

UPDATE This post was originally published as a cautionary note in March 2016. One year later, with the highest lake water levels in 100 years resulting in widespread flooding of low-lying areas, the message is more relevant than ever.

Imagine a hypothetical conversation between two people looking for waterfront property in Prince Edward County. “Oh look, what a nice waterfront lot.” “It’s ideal. We could build on the level area down near the shore.”

100 Year Flood Line.jpg

In the case of waterfront, it’s important to look before you leap.

The aerial view (above) shows an actual parcel on Lake Ontario with a level area adjoining the waterfront.

However, what the aerial view also shows is the 100-year flood line (in purple). Under provincial regulations, structures can only be built 30 meters (98 feet) or further back from the 100-year flood line.

What appeared at first sight to be an ideal building lot turns out to be unbuildable, at least near the water.