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Mike Fenton | Railey Realty

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Deep Creek Lake Real Estate Terms & Glossary

Boat Slip – a docking place for a powerboat, personal watercraft, or non-powered vessel in a common boat dock.

Buffer Strip – the strip of land owned by the State of Maryland which is located between a lakefront or community association's property line and shoreline of Deep Creek Lake. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulates the buffer strip to protect the natural integrity and beauty of the lake's shoreline. Tree cutting is strictly prohibited and no permanent structures may be constructed. Improvements and alterations are allowed with a special permit which typically includes approved sheds, small decks, light posts, walk-ways, sea walls, and fire pits.

Buffer Strip Use Permit – a permit that is required to place a boat dock in Deep Creek Lake or other improvements on the buffer strip. These permits are annual and a yearly fee is charged. All docks must be removed from the lake no later than December 1 and may be placed back in the water April 1.

Building Setbacks – in Lake Residential zoning the building setbacks are 40’ on the front (roadside), 15’ on each sideline, and 40’ on the rear (Buffer Strip).

Buy-Down – a parcel of land on the buffer strip purchased from the State of Maryland. This strip of land closer to the shoreline was offered to each lakefront property owner and owner associations. As a condition of this purchase, the Buy Down parcel is subject to a strict conservation easement that prohibits tree cutting or permanent structures.

Common Dock - a shared multiple slip community boat dock. Use of the individual boat slips in this type of dock is governed by either the recorded documents of an owner’s association or Buffer Strip Use Permit.

Conservation Easement – a recorded easement that controls aspects and uses of a parcel of land. At Deep Creek Lake all Buy-Down parcels are subject to a Conservation Easement. This conservation easement prohibits the building of any permanent structure or tree cutting.

Deep Creek Lake Watershed Zoning – the land area around Deep Creek Lake subject to the current zoning ordinances that went into effect June 1, 1975. Several amendments to the ordinances have occurred since enactment.

Deep Creek Lake Hydroelectric Plant – the power plant currently owned by Brookfield Power adjacent to the Deep Creek Lake Dam. The operation of the power plant causes the lake levels to rise and fall throughout the year within the rule band limits imposed by the Maryland Department of Environment.

DNR – the abbreviation for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. DNR manages the buffer strip of land around Deep Creek Lake and issuing of Buffer Strip Use Permits. They also patrol the waters of Deep Creek Lake.

Lakefront - a property that borders the buffer strip of land owned by the state of Maryland, which the owner may cross to get to access Deep Creek Lake. The distance between a lakefront house and the water can vary. The owner of this type of property does not have to cross a road to reach the water.

Split Lakefront - means that a property borders the buffer strip but there is a road located between the house and lake.

Lake Access - a property that has deeded access to a common area that borders the state of Maryland's buffer strip of land. The owner of this type of property may be able to walk to the access area from their house or may have to drive.

Lake Area - a property that is neither Lakefront nor Lake Access but is located in the general Deep Creek Lake area, also known as Area 4 in the MRIS multiple list system.

Maryland Non-Resident Withholding - If you are a nonresident who owns and is selling or transferring real property and associated tangible personal property in Maryland, you must make a tax withholding payment to the local clerk of court. The payment must be made before the deed or other instrument of transfer is recorded with the court clerk or filed with SDAT.

Ski-In/Ski-Out - a property located in a community that has direct walking access to one of the ski slopes at Wisp Ski Resort.

Penelec Line – a reference to the bright red, upright property markers on the buffer strip that say ‘Penelec.' Penelec was the abbreviated name for the old the Pennsylvania Electric Company who owned the buffer strip lands during many of the years the lake was being developed. The State of Maryland purchased the buffer strip lands in 1999, but many of these property corner markers are still used today.

Percolation Test – a test to determine the absorption rate of soil for a septic drain field. The results of a percolation test are required to properly design a septic system. In Garrett County, an approved septic permit will have the number of approved bedrooms a house may contain that is on a septic field.

Rule Band –Establishes the minimum and maximum lake levels each month. These lake levels are controlled by a formula to ensure optimal use of all lake resources.

TVRU – the abbreviation for Transient Vacation Rental Unit. All vacation rental houses inside the Deep Creek Lake Watershed Zoning district must have a TVRU license and are subject to this ordinance that was enacted March 1, 2006. All licensed vacation rental homes are subject to occupancy limits, window egress compliance, required parking spaces, a bear-proof trash container, and an emergency exit plan.

Type A Dock Permit - a permitted private boat dock that can usually accommodate 2 powerboats, 1 personal watercraft, and 1 non-power boat. Nearly all Type A docks on Deep Creek are private and only for the use of the lakefront property owner or their guests.

Variance - is a request to vary or adapt the strict application of any requirements of the Deep Creek Watershed Zoning Ordinance in the case of exceptionally irregular, narrow, shallow or steep lots, or other exceptional physical conditions whereby such strict applications would result in practical difficulty and unnecessary hardship depriving the owner of the reasonable use of land or building involved.