Waterfront Living Regulations

Waterfront living

Living on a lake is both a privilege and a responsibility.  Living on a lake as beautiful and special as Candlewood means taking that responsibility even more seriously.

This section is designed to help you to understand what you need to know about rules and regulations for living on Candlewood Lake.  As always, please be sure to contact the CLA at any time if you have any questions...860-354-6928.

Areas of Candlewood Lake
Rocky River Project Boundary
  1. The Rocky River Project Boundary (formerly know as the 440' Line) is often talked about but also often misunderstood by many who live on Candlewood Lake.  Here's some helpful information.

    What is the Rocky River Project Boundary?  95% of Candlewood Lake watefront property owners own down to the Rocky River Project Boundary, but not below (your deed will tell you).  So, as you walk towards the water, once you reach the Rocky River Project Boundary the owners of the Lake (FirstLight Power Resources) own the land from the Rocky River Project Boundary to the water (and below).  You need to have a land survey done to officially locate the Rocky River Project Boundary.  It does not follow the 440' elevation line in all areas.
  2. What are the restrictions I need to be aware of below the Rocky River Project Boundary?  Any modifications you wish to make to the land below the Rocky River Project Boundary must be approved by the land owner, FirstLight Power Resources.  That includes, but is not limited to, permission to cut down trees, clear vegetation, construct or modify a sea wall, build a retaining wall, construct a shed or other structure or modify the current size or configuration of yoru dock.  Failure to do so may result in required mitigation on your part and/or legal action by the Lake's owner. *Additionally, when a property transfers the new owners must to reapply for a land use permit from FirstLight.  Prior to purchasing, prospective owners can request a pre-purchase walkover with FirstLight.
  3. Who do I contact about making property modifictions within the Rocky River Project Boundary?  You need to fill out an application on FirstLight's website.  If you have questions you may also email them.  They will pre-screen your request and if they approve you, you will then proceed for approval from your city or town.
200' Regulated Inland Wetlands Zone

If your property lies within 200 feet of Candlewood Lake certain activities may be prohibited or are regulated and require permits from your local land use or permit office.  Please contact your town if you have any questions prior to making property modifications.

NOTE:  In addition to the 200 foot inland wetlands regulations, please check with your local zoning office for special lake restrictions you need to be aware of.

Inland Wetlands Commission - (203) 775-7316

Environmental Impact Commission - (203) 797-4525

New Fairfield
Inland Wetlands/Conservation Commission - (203) 312-5640

New Milford
Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission - (860) 355-6083

Inland Wetlands - (860) 355-1821

Docks on Candlewood Lake

Knowing what you can and can't do when making changes to your current dock setup is very important.

  1. I want to replace my dock with one that has the same dimensions as my current dock...what do I need to do?  If you are not changing anything and just replacing a float and catwalk with a setup of equal dimensions, you should email FirstLight's Land Manager at lake.permits@firstlightpower.com.  If anything further is required, FirstLight will let you know.
  2. I want to replace my dock with one that has DIFFERENT dimensions as my current dock...what do I need to do?  You MUST get permission from FirstLight's Land Manager at lake.permits@firstlightpower.com before making changes.  Failure to do so may result in required mitigation on your part and/or legal action by FirstLight Power Resources.
  3. Is it okay if, while the water is drawn down, I install a permanent dock with pylons into the lake bed?  Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES is it okay to make any modifications  which disturb the lake bed without first obtaining a permit from FirstLight Power Resources.  FirstLight owns the land below the  440' Line and unauthorized construction of a permanent structure on the lake bed may result in required mitigation on your part and/or legal action by FirstLight Power Resources.
  4. How big can my dock be?  You are allowed to have a dock of "simple construction" - for specifications, you must contact FirstLight's Land Manager at lake.permits@firstlightpower.com.
  5. How many docks can I have?  Your property deed will tell you if your property has a deeded dock right.  In most cases, a single property will have a deeded dock right for one dock.  Check your deed and don't forget to contact FirstLight for a permit if you are making changes to an existing dock setup, or wish to add a dock to a property with an unexercised deeded dock right.
  6. What about my lake community?  Lake communities have a license which describes their agreement with FirstLight for their community dock setup.  In it are specifics regarding the number of boat slips, the configuration, location etc.  Any changes to an existing community dock setup must be permitted by FirstLight in advance.
  7. Can I have a floating swim platform?  You need a permit.  See below about moorings.
Swim Areas

Swim areas are allowed on Candlewood Lake only when approved, by permit, by the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP). 

The Candlewood Lake Authority also receives a copy of all proposed swim areas from the CT DEEP, which are also reviewed by us for signed approval, prior to the CT DEEP officially granting the permit.

There are strict regulations with regard to swim areas and they are prohibited without an approved CT DEEP permit.

Fore more information about swim areas, please download the application for a "navigation marker permit" from the CT DEEP website. 

Boat Moorings, Swim Platforms, etc.

Moorings for boats, waverunners or other objects such as floating swim platforms, that do not have the proper permits are subject to removal from FirstLight Power Resources.  

All hazard and speed buoys MUST be permitted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.   

The Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) for Candlewood Lake states:


  1. Except as previously licensed or permitted by FirstLight, moorings are prohibited within the Project boundary.
  2. All existing unlicensed moorings shall be removed by FirstLight within two years of SMP approval by FERC.
  3. FirstLight shall have discretion to approve new moorings on a case-by-case basis to accomodate individuals and communities with Deeded Rights to install a dock where site conditions are not donducive to dock installation.
  4. Moorings shall not be used as marker buoys to demarcate swimming areas or prevent boats from traveling near the shoreline.
  5. Prior to the issuance of a permit by FirstLight, all new moorings must be approved by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection in acordance with applicable regulations.

In part b of Section XI SWIM AREAS it states:  Floating swim platforms must be approved by FERC persuant to Article 413.  Such platforms must be anchored to the Lake bottom and shall only be allowed within Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection approved swim areas.  Applications for floating swim platforms shall be considered pursuant to the Land Use Agreement and in particular Section IV of such Agreement.