PART 1: Definitions

As used in these Regulations, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated below, unless the text clearly indicates otherwise:

Act - means the Beach Preservation Act of 1972, (Title 7, Delaware Code, Chapter 68).

Beach - means that portion of the shore of any body of water which extends from the mean high water mark inland one thousand feet, or to a roadway for automobiles, whichever is closer.

Beach Access Facility - means any structure, improvement or facility constructed, installed or maintained for the primary purpose of obtaining or facilitating access to and from the berm and foreshore of the beach over, on or across the primary coastal dune.

Beach Enhancement - means the process of improving or increasing the recreational and/or storm protection value of a beach.

Beach Erosion - means the wearing away of a beach by water or the elements.

Beach Nourishment - means the process of replenishing a beach with material (usually sand) obtained from another location.

Beach Preservation - means the process of maintaining the recreational and/or storm protection value of a beach.

Beach Protection - means the process of preventing the decrease of recreational and/or storm protection values of a beach.

Berm - means the nearly horizontal part of the beach between the foreshore and primary dune formed by the deposit of material by wave action.

Breakwater - means a marine structure constructed to protect a shore area, harbor, anchorage, or basin from the undesirable effects of wave action.

Building - means any roofed and walled structure built for permanent or semi-permanent use.

Building Line - means the line generally paralleling the coast, set forth on maps prepared by the Division with reference to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) and the Delaware State Plane Coordinate System, and based upon information provided by topographic survey. The Building Line is located as follows:

  1. Along beaches extending from the Delaware/Maryland line to the tip of Cape Henlopen - 100 feet landward of the adjusted seawardmost 10-foot elevation contour above NGVD;

  2. Along beaches extending from the tip of Cape Henlopen to the southermost limit of Primehook Beach - 100 feet landward of the adjusted seawardmost 7-foot elevation contour above NGVD;

  3. Along beaches extending from the southermost limit of Primehook Beach to the Old Marina Canal north of Pickering Beach - 75 feet landward of the adjusted seawardmost 7-foot elevation contour above NGVD;

or at the landward limits of the Beach, as defined in these Regulations, whichever is most seaward.

Bulkhead - means an upright structure or partition built parallel or nearly parallel to the shoreline, primarily to retain or prevent land from sliding and secondarily, to protect upland from beach erosion and damage from wave action. A bulkhead is generally of lighter construction than a seawall.

Complete Destruction - means the damage or destruction of any structure by any means whatsoever to the extent that, in the judgment of the Division, 75% or more of the original structure, or if a building, more than 50% of the original foundation pilings, are unsuitable for incorporation into reconstruction of the structure.

Construction - means any work or activity which is likely to have a substantial physical effect on existing coastal conditions or natural shore processes. Construction as used in these Regulations shall also include reconstruction, restoration, repair, alteration and placement if said terms are not otherwise included for clarification.

Department - means the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Dike - means a wall or mound built around a low lying area to prevent flooding.

Division - means the Division duly authorized by the Secretary as responsible for administering these Regulations.

Dune - means a mound, hill or ridge of windblown sand, either bare or covered with vegetation, naturally or artificially accumulated.

Dune Zone - means that area lying between the Building Line and elevation contours, which are used as a basis for determining the location of the Building Line. (See Building Line definition.)

Emergency - means the existence of beach conditions unreasonably dangerous to persons or property.

Excavation - means the process of digging out material.

Expansion - means the enlargement of a structure.

Filling - means the process of depositing or placing material to raise the level of a certain area.

Foreshore - means the part of the shore lying between the crest of the seaward berm (or upper limit of wave action at high tide) and the ordinary low water mark, that is ordinarily traversed by the uprush and backrush of the waves as the tides rise and fall.

Geology - means the relationship of the earth and the materials of which it is composed, to the changes which it has undergone, is undergoing, or is likely to undergo.

Geomorphology - means the form and general configuration of the earth's surface and the changes that take place in the evolution of land forms.

Groin - means a shore protection structure built (usually perpendicular to the shoreline) to trap littoral drift or retard erosion of the shore.

Hydraulics - means the effects of water or other fluids in motion.

Jetty - means a structure extending into a body of water, and designed to prevent shoaling of a channel by littoral materials, and to direct and confine the stream or tidal flow.

Littoral Current - means a longshore current generated by waves breaking at an acute angle to the shoreline, and which moves generally parallel and adjacent to the shoreline within the surf zone.

Lowest Living Floor - the lowest portion of the lowest horizontal support member of the lowest enclosed space used for living purposes, which includes working, sleeping, eating, cooking, recreation, or combination thereof. A floor used only for storage shall not be considered a living floor.

Maintenance - means any work aimed at keeping a structure in an efficient operating and usable condition. Maintenance does not mean expansion or modification of a structure. Maintenance does not mean changing the general form or extent of the structure.

Meteorology - means the atmosphere and its phenomena especially as relating to weather.

Modification - means a partial change in the form of a structure.

National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) - means a fixed reference adopted by the U. S. Government as a standard geodetic datum for vertical elevations.

Parcel of real property - means a single lot, the boundaries of which are set forth in a single deed or similar document.

Person - means any legal entity including individual, firm, association, organization, partnership, business trust, corporation, company, contractor, user, operator, owner, or any State of local governmental agency (except as noted in Section 2.03) or public district or any officer or employee thereof.

Primary Dune - means that dune which roughly parallels the shoreline in a more or less continuous fashion and is generally the first and largest dune encountered moving landward from the shoreline.

Public Beach - means any beach owned in fee simple title by the Federal or State government or any county, city, town or municipality; or any beach for which the State has obtained an easement or agreement for public use.

Regulation - unless stated otherwise, means the Regulations Governing Beach Protection and the Use of Beaches, promulgated pursuant to the Beach Preservation Act of 1972 (7 Del. C. Chapter 68) and all amendments thereto.

Repair - means the act of restoring a structure to good condition after it has been damaged. Repair does not mean expansion or modification of a structure.

Revetment - means a facing of stone, concrete, or similar material built to protect a shore, or shore structure against erosion by wave action or currents.

Roadway - means any improved (hot-mix bituminous concrete or Portland cement concrete) public roadway (maintained by any governmental agency for use by the general public) in existence on the effective date of these Regulations.

Sand Fence - means a barrier made of posts, wires and boards or synthetic materials including plastic, nylon and polyester intended primarily to trap and collect wind-blown sand, but which may also be used to channel human and vehicular traffic.

Seawall - means an upright structure separating land and water areas, primarily designed to prevent erosion and other damage to upland areas due to wave action. A seawall is generally of heavier or more massive construction than a bulkhead.

Secretary - means the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Shoreline - means the line of intersection of a body of water with the land.

Structure - means any building, pipeline, dock, pier, wharf, boat ramp, groin, jetty, seawall, bulkhead, revetment, or any other piece of work artificially built.

Subdivide - means the lawful division of any parcel of land into smaller parcels.

Substantial Amount - means any amount, the moving, alteration, or removal of which could significantly increase danger of erosion, storm, damage or flooding.

Substantial Change - means any alteration in the existing characteristics of the beach, as determined by the Secretary, that could significantly increase the danger of erosion, storm damage or flooding and including the moving, digging, or removal of beach material or the erection of any permanent of semi-permanent structure.

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