Lake Norman Pier Permits: What You Need to Know Before Buying, Selling, or Building

The Charlotte area is home to several areas that feature prized real estate, but you don’t have to go all the way to Uptown. Right here in Mooresville, there are gorgeous properties on Lake Norman, North Carolina’s largest man-made lake and a popular recreation known to people all over the world. A key part in enjoying all that Lake Norman has to offer as a lake homeowner or property owner is having a pier, dock, or other shoreline structure from which you can launch boats or simply take in the views. In this blog, our firm will explain some of the important things to know when engaging in a Lake Norman real estate transaction with respect to pier permits. 

Make Sure Your Pier or Dock is in Your Name

If you own a piece of waterfront property, you might assume that you also own the shoreline structure connected to your property. This isn’t always the case, though. When preparing to sell your Lake Norman home, ensure that you have the permit showing that the shoreline structure is in your name. You will need to contact Duke Energy Lake Services (DELS) to check on the status of your permit and, if necessary, have it transferred to you. 

Before a potential buyer is able to get the structure transferred into his or her name, it first needs to be in the seller’s name. If Duke Energy needs to transfer the permit into someone’s name, a representative from Lake Services will first need to inspect the structure and ensure it is in compliance with all pertinent regulations. 

Grandfathered Status

For environmental and conservation interests, Duke Energy has put in place many regulations over the years that restrict the options of property owners to build or renovate shoreline structures. Docks and piers that were built decades ago are exempt from some of these restrictions and are allowed to be repaired, but not completely torn down and rebuilt. One might assume that a shoreline structure is grandfathered into compliance solely due to the amount of time it has been there, but that is not always the case. Don’t assume anything when buying or selling your Lake Norman property. 


A sure way to increase the value of your lakefront property before selling is to have a dock, pier, or boat slip over the water adjoining your property. However, there are numerous requirements for maintaining such a structure and having it in your name in the first place. Thomas & Webber Law at the Lake is well-equipped to make sure that your interests as a buyer or seller are represented and respected, including the issue of private shoreline structures on Lake Norman. Give us a call at 704-633-1600 to see how we can provide value during your next real estate closing.

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Thomas & Webber Law at the Lake

Our entire legal team is committed to providing you with first-class service and a knowledgeable, professional guiding hand to help you during your real estate closing.

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