Fairview Lake Riparian Buffer Policy – an Alternative


Fairview Lake Riparian Issues (FLPOA Annual Meeting 10-23-2014)

Regarding this specific topic, these are our recollections and conclusions of what transpired…

Mark and Penny Myers


As it relates to only those lakeside properties under City of Fairview jurisdiction, the Fairview Lake riparian requirements were a hot topic of discussion at Thursday night’s HOA meeting. Specifically, the lack of clarity and ambiguous nature of those regulations related to the Fairview Lake riparian buffer dimensional definition.

It was brought to our attention that there are two conflicting regulations that direct both a 35′ and a 50′ riparian buffer without a clear definition as to which of these, may or may not supersede the other.

Of those in attendance there was a clear and unanimous consensus that the city of Fairview be petitioned to adopt that regulation which specified a maximum 35′ riparian buffer.


Assuming that Fairview agrees to adopt the maximum 35′ riparian buffer regulation, its “real life” application remains problematic and difficult to enforce with any uniformity that is fair and equitable to all individually affected properties (lots).


All of the impacted properties have little in common as it relates to lot size and location. Those located on the West end, Southeast side or Southeast end of the Lake are generally smaller than those located on the southwest side.

As a result, those smaller lots will experience a far greater impact from a strict 35′ riparian encroachment, where in some cases, it could literally extend up to, or even inside the house’s perimeter . This of course is obviously unreasonable, and unenforceable.

Even as a short-term solution, the idea of petitioning Fairview to change or authorize the “standard” riparian buffer requirement to 35′ still does not answer the problem of an ongoing equitable application and potential enforcement policy.

An alternative proposal for the city of Fairview:


By definition the “riparian buffer” is intended to serve as both localized lakeside erosion control, and as a natural runoff filter screening out  contaminant influences from the property it protects. It therefore stands to reason the larger the property is, a correspondingly larger riparian buffer is needed to offset the increased runoff potential.

However, rather than a rigid and unenforceable “one size fits all” riparian buffer requirement. Why not create, and petition for a far more uniform, flexible, equitable and effective solution?

Create a new riparian buffer regulation that is based on a well considered and functional approach whose foundation is purposely flexible, and considers the individual and unique attributes of each individual tax lot


For Penny and I, our tax lot dimensions come in at approximately 14,000 ft.², and we have no problem dealing with a maximum 35′ riparian. Considering our approximate 90′ lake frontage with a 35′ deep riparian, that is around 3150 ft.², or a little less than 23% of our overall lot dimension.

Using that same ratio of overall lot size x . 23% would give a consistent and equitable riparian buffer measurement based on each individual properties own unique attributes.

Example: For an 8000 ft.² lot, it would only be required to maintain a riparian buffer allocation of approximately 1840 ft.² (8000 ft.²x .23% = 1840 ft.²), and when measured against their lake frontage, say 70′ (70’x27’= 1890 ft.²), “not perfect, but close enough”. This then would have a much more reasonable riparian depth requirement of only 27′ rather than the current rigid standard of 35.

Finally, to justify and use this more measured/flexible  approach would now take into consideration a defined determination as to the responsibility of each individual property owner based on realistic parameters that are tailor-made to accurately describe a level of their personal required contribution in creating an adequate lakeside buffer shield.


In ain’t rocket science, but hopefully our math and overall approach makes sense. If the newly assigned “riparian buffer committee”, and our own FLPOA membership find it a viable and workable alternative, we suggest that based on measurable, consistent, and defined direction, it “should be” a worthy alternative for us to offer the City of Fairview needing reasonable consideration as both a long-term solution, and future application model.

That is all…

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.