Often the terms docks, piers and boat slips are used interchangeably when discussing waterfront structures on Lake Norman. This article provides a base definition of the terms and some of the guidelines that go along with them.
Any construction or existing of a pier, dock or boat slip below the 760 elevation level (considered full pond and sometimes listed as 100 ft) on Lake Norman comes under the regulation of Duke Energy Lake Services (DELS). The maximum square footage over the water (beyond the 760 line) for piers, docks or boat slips is 1000 sq.ft. If there is a roof over a boat slip then the total square footage of the uncovered area added to the square footage undercover cannot exceed 1000 sq.ft.
Boat Slips: If a dock is constructed with a space for a boat, it is called a boat slip. It’s like the lake version of a parking space. The slip will vary depending on size but most will accommodate the width of a pontoon boat.
Note: There have been significant changes over the past decade which has created more restrictive guidelines. If you see homes with permitted docks over 1,000 sq. ft., they are considered “grandfathered” (Non-compliant but permitted). The footprint of these docks can be maintained but no additions or modifications can be made unless you are to conform to current guidelines.
If a dock/boat slip exists but needs repairs a maintenance application is required for any updates or improvements including but not limited to: replacing dock boards, framing, or structural changes. When replacing pilings, floats, or boat lifts a permit is not required.