River Corridor Setback

The environmental regulations in Beaufort county are essential in preserving the natural beauty of our region as it grows. All the communities in Beaufort County have River Corridor Setbacks to protect the rivers from undesired toxic runoff. The setback is a strip of land between the edge of the water and the developed area which requires existing native plants be preserved to filter the runoff. It also serves as habitat for wildlife, enabling them to move along the river’s edges. The river buffer preserves the views from the water by putting the buildings back from the water’s edge. A surveyor can delineate the critical line at the edge of the water.

Some vista pruning is allowed to open to open views to the water. An arborist is a valuable team member to incorporate in the landscape design. They can prune trees to open the views and remove deadwood to keep trees healthy. They will prepare a report that assesses the health of all the trees. Significant trees close to the construction should be monitored and protected during construction with tree protection fencing.

Storm Water Management

In addition to river buffers, Beaufort County requires the management of storm waters to preserve the integrity of our river systems. The requirements are based on the characteristics of your individual site, such as the soil quality and lot coverage. When applying for a building permit, you will need a plan for storm water management in place.

There are several ways to manage storm water runoff, any or a combination of these methods are acceptable:

• Rain Garden – a depression that is landscaped with plants that enjoy a wet habitat.
• Cistern – a tank for storing water that can then be utilized for irrigation or even non-potable water for the house. It is connected to the gutters and downspouts.
• Rain Barrels – a smaller water storage tank that is connected to the gutters and downspouts.
• Dry Well – a rock filled hole under the downspouts. Excess water can slowly fill around the rocks before seeping into the ground water.