Part 6: Wetland delineation report

By | April 11, 2022

This is Part 6 in my series about building a new home. The full my series is here, or see the previous post: You bought a wetland?

At long last, after owning this 5-acre lot for just over five months, we can finally take the next step toward building our home. That’s right, we finally received the wetland delineation report.

The wetland expert determined that ours is a Class III wetland, which requires a 110-foot buffer. He marked the official wetland delineation boundary with pink flags, then measured the distance of buffer and marked that with white flags.

We can build right up to the wetland buffer, but there can be no development at all beyond the wetland delineation line. The wetland expert worked out a bit of a compromise where the buffer line nearer the center of the lot is a little closer to the delineation boundary in exchange for the area south of it being further away. This is shown in the below graphic, which shows our lot with the right-most line showing the boundary up to which we can build.

We went into this knowing that we’d be building on the eastern part of the lot. This is a smaller build area than we expected, but when you’re standing in this “small” part of the lot, it seems pretty big. In fact, the size of this area far exceeds any back yard I’ve ever had. So this is just fine.

The above graphic is complete with a guess at where we would position our cleared area with the house and driveway. Note the use of the word guess, as we can’t be sure of this until we have another expert visit the lot to determine the slope of the land and determine where we can build.

Yep, that’s right: another expert. We’re on their list, and all we can do is hope it happens soon. Here are the next steps that need to be completed before any building can take place:

  • determine placement for house
  • get the permits
  • clear the building space of brush/trees
  • level and prep the house location
  • electricity hookup
  • well
  • septic
  • build the driveway
  • finalize paperwork with builder

We went into this knowing that things move slowly when you’re in a small community, so this isn’t driving us too crazy. Yet.

Last year when we bought the lot we started out with the goal of having the house built by the end of 2022. Soon we realized that we’d only be able to finish the lot prep in 2022, which pushed the house build to 2023. Now I’m thinking that might be optimistic and that the prep will finish in 2023 and the house build will be in 2024.

A lot depends on what happens in the next few months.

I’ll post again when we reach the next step. In the meantime, here are a few new photos from my trip to the lot last weekend. It was very rainy, so not quite ideal photography weather.