Can you just add an island in the middle of a random lake?

Legally?
KC13
Asked Apr 04, 2011
Probably not. All inland property is owned by someone and by default, the government. In areas with a legal system based on English Common Law, the owners of property adjoining a lake have "riparian rights" that allow them to build out to the "navigatable water line" but not beyond that. If the remaining water body is an interstate navigatable waterway, the federal government owns it, otherwise it is owned by the state.

If you could prove that what you intend to do would have a great public benefit and could get approval from all of the environmental regulators, you might be able to talk the government into selling or donating the space in the lake but that would be a monumental task politically equaling the job of building it after it was approved.
Rob
Answered Apr 04, 2011

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