§ 12-5-232. Definitions.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 12. CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Chapter 5. WATER RESOURCES

Article 4. COASTAL WATERS, BEACHES, AND SAND DUNES

Part 2. SHORE PROTECTION

Current through 2019 Chapter 321

§ 12-5-232. Definitions

As used in this part, the term:

(1) "Applicant" means any person who files an application for a permit under this part.
(2) "Bare sand surface" means an area of nearly level unconsolidated sand landward of the ordinary high-water mark which does not contain sufficient indigenous vegetation to maintain its stability.
(3) "Barrier islands" means the following islands: Daufuskie, Tybee, Little Tybee, Petit Chou, Williamson, Wassaw, Ossabaw, St. Catherines, Blackbeard, Sapelo, Cabretta, Wolf, Egg, Little St. Simons, Sea, St. Simons, Jekyll, Little Cumberland, Cumberland, Amelia, and any ocean-facing island which is formed in the future and which has multiple ridges of sand, gravel, or mud built on the seashore by waves and currents; ridges generally parallel to the shore; and areas of vegetation.
(4) "Beach" means a zone of unconsolidated material that extends landward from the ordinary low-water mark to the line of permanent vegetation.
(5) "Board" means the Board of Natural Resources.
(6) "Boardwalk" or "crosswalk" means a nonhabitable structure, usually made of wood and without a paved or poured surface of any kind, whose primary purpose is to provide access to or use of the beach, while maintaining the stability of any sand dunes it traverses.
(6.1) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of natural resources.
(7) "Committee" means the Shore Protection Committee.
(8) 'Dynamic dune field' means those elements of the sand-sharing system including the dynamic area of beach and sand dunes, varying in height and width, but does not include stable sand dunes. The ocean boundary of the dynamic dune field extends to the ordinary high-water mark as determined by the department. The landward boundary of the dynamic dune field, as determined by the department, shall be the first occurrence of either the seaward most portion of a structure existing on July 1, 1979, or the landward most line that is 25 feet landward of the landward toe of the most landward sand dune, or 25 feet landward of the crest of a serviceable shoreline stabilization activity. In the absence of any of the aforesaid, the line shall be 25 feet landward of the ordinary high-water mark, except for property owned by the state, in which case the line shall be 100 feet landward of the ordinary high-water mark. If a real estate appraiser certified pursuant to Chapter 39A of Title 43 determines that an existing structure, shoreline engineering activity, or other alteration which forms part of the landward boundary of the dynamic dune field has been more than 80 percent destroyed by storm driven water or erosion, the landward boundary of the dynamic dune field shall be determined as though such structure had not been in existence on July 1, 1979.
(9) "Erosion" means the wearing away of land whereby materials are removed from the sand dunes, beaches, and shore face by natural processes, including, but not limited to, wave action, tidal currents, littoral currents, and wind.
(9.1) "Letter of permission" means written authorization from the department to conduct a proposed activity in an area subject to the jurisdiction of this part, provided such activity is either within the physical perimeter of an existing serviceable project or involves the construction and removal of a project or other temporary activity that concludes within six months, inclusive of the time needed to return all affected areas to a condition approximate to, or better than, that which existed before commencement of the activity.
(10) "Local unit of government" means a county, as defined by Code Section 36-1-1, or an incorporated municipality, as defined by Code Section 36-40-21, or any combination thereof which has been authorized by an Act of the General Assembly, any of which has within its jurisdiction any sand dune or beach.
(10.1) 'Minor activity' means an activity such as the construction or installation of decks, patios, or porches or the alteration of native landscaping, so long as such construction, installation, or alteration, when combined with other structures on the subject parcel or portion thereof, does not impact more than a total of one-third of the subject parcel or portion thereof that is subject to the jurisdiction of this part; or the construction or installation of elevated crosswalks providing access across sand dunes and shoreline stabilization activities.
(11) 'Ordinary high-water mark' means the upper reach of the tide along the shore established by the fluctuations of water and indicated by physical characteristics such as a clear natural line impressed on the shore, shelving, changes in the character of soil, or the presence of litter and debris, as determined by the department.
(12) "Ordinary low-water mark" means the position along the shore of the mean monthly spring low tide reached during the most recent tidal epoch. This term is not synonymous with "mean" low-water mark.
(13) Reserved.
(14) "Person" means any association, individual, partnership, corporation, public or private authority, or local unit of government, and shall include the State of Georgia and all its departments, boards, bureaus, commissions, authorities, any other government agencies or instrumentalities, and any other legal entity.
(15) 'Sand dunes' means mounds of sand within the sand-sharing system deposited along a coastline by wind, tidal, or wave action, or by beach nourishment or dune construction, which mounds are often covered with sparse, pioneer vegetation, such as, but not limited to, sea oats (Uniola paniculate), beach morning glory (Ipomoea pes-caprae), and large salt meadow cordgrass (Spartina patens), and are located landward of the ordinary high-water mark and may extend into the tree line.
(16) "Sand-sharing system" means an interdependent sediment system composed of sand dunes, beaches, and offshore bars and shoals.
(16.1) "Serviceable" means usable as is or with only minor maintenance, but not so degraded as to essentially require reconstruction, as determined by the department.
(17) "Shoreline engineering activity" means an activity which encompasses any artificial method of altering the natural topography or vegetation of the sand dunes, beaches, bars, submerged shoreline lands, and other components of the sand-sharing system. This includes, but is not limited to, such activities as:
(A) Grading, clearing vegetation, excavating earth, or landscaping, where such activities are for purposes other than erection of a structure;
(B) Artificial dune construction;
(C) Beach restoration or renourishment;
(D) Erosion control activities, including, but not limited to, the construction and maintenance of groins and jetties;
(E) Shoreline stabilization activities, including, but not limited to, the construction and maintenance of seawalls and riprap protection; and
(F) The construction and maintenance of pipelines and piers.
(18) 'Stable sand dune' means a sand dune not in the sand-sharing system that is maintained in a steady state of neither erosion nor accretion by indigenous woody vegetative cover such as, but not limited to, pines (Pinus), oaks (Quercus), and wax myrtles (Morella cerifera).
(19) "Structure" means an institutional, residential, commercial, or industrial building.
(20) "Submerged shoreline lands" means the intertidal and submerged lands from the ordinary high-water mark seaward to the limit of the state's jurisdiction in the Atlantic Ocean.
(21) "Tidal epoch" means the variations in the major tide-producing forces that result from changes in the moon's phase, declination of the earth, distance of the moon from the earth, and regression of the moon's modes, and which go through one complete cycle in approximately 19 years.

Cite as OCGA § 12-5-232

History. Amended by 2019 Ga. Laws 152, §1, eff. 12/31/2019.

Amended by 2013 Ga. Laws 279, §1, eff. 7/1/2013.