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Frequently Asked Questions - Shoreline Use

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 Q. Do all Corps lakes issue shoreline use permits and licenses?

A. Private shoreline uses are not allowed on water resource projects where construction of the project was initiated after December 13, 1974, or where no private uses existed as of that date. The Louisville District projects where shoreline uses are allowed through permits and licenses, in accordance with their lake’s Shoreline Management Plan are listed above.

 Q. What is a Shoreline Management Plan?
A. A Shoreline Management Plan governs the shoreline use program at projects where such uses are allowed. The plan is a public document that is developed and periodically revised with the assistance of public review.
 Q. What are the Shoreline Management zones?
A. The Shoreline Management Plan allocates the shoreline into four (4) separate zones:
– Prohibited Access - Shoreline use is not allowed
– Public Recreation - Shoreline use is not allowed
– Protected Shoreline - Shoreline use is limited to protect the integrity of the natural resources
– Limited Development - Shoreline use can be approved in accordance with the policies and conditions set forth in the Shoreline Management Plan
 Q. How can I get a copy of the Shoreline Management Plan?
A. For a copy of their Shoreline Management Plan, please contact the project office at the lake.
 Q. What can I do on Corps lands next to my property without getting a permit or license?
A. Owning property adjoining a Corps lake’s land does not convey any exclusive rights to the use of public land, particularly in building or extending any structures onto federal property without written authorization. Such action would constitute an encroachment.
 Q. What exactly is an encroachment?
A. An encroachment is the placement, construction, or continued existence of a permanent or semi-permanent structure or other privately owned property on, under, in, or over publicly owned lands, or lands held in flowage easement, without prior written permission of the Corps' District Engineer or his representative. Examples of encroachments are, but not limited to, buildings of any type, roads, septic tanks, fences, or placement of fill.
 Q. Why should adjacent landowners worry about encroachments?
A. Here are a few reasons for not using public land for private exclusive use:
(1) Incurring the expense to remove an item of encroachment from Government property and restore the disturbed site to original condition.
(2) Most lending institutions will require a survey by a registered land surveyor, which will readily identify an encroachment. The lending institution may not proceed with a loan if such a condition exists. Many adjacent landowners wishing to sell their home and property with a "cloud" on their deeds are usually disappointed with delays and
additional cost, and are disappointed to learn that the Corps cannot assist in the resolution of title defects that may interfere with the sale of their property.
 Q. What is a trespass?
A. Trespasses involve the destruction, injury, defacement, removal or any alteration of public property including natural formations, historical and archaeological features, and vegetative resources that exist on the affected lands.
 Q. Why should adjacent landowners worry about trespassing on government property?
A. Trespasses make the violator subject to a citation. In cases when a landowner will not voluntarily take action to resolve a trespass, a citation may be issued. The citation could involve a monetary fine and/or appearance before a federal magistrate.
 Q. How do I know where the Corps boundary is?
A. In the Louisville District, Corps boundary is marked with posts and monuments and blazes on trees as reference points. Property owners should be extra careful when building any structure near project property lines to avoid encroachments. Fee and easement boundaries are recorded in the County Courthouse, and it is the landowner’s responsibility to verify property lines through an accurate survey. Past experience has shown that lot pins do not always agree with established boundary lines. We also advise prospective buyers to insure that a recent survey has been preformed to verify that there are no encroachments prior to purchasing any property adjoining a Corps lake project. If you have any questions about boundary lines, contact the lake office. The government cannot assist in the resolution of title defects. It is the landowner’s responsibility to insure that there are no title defects with private property. A Corps Ranger can assist you regarding encroachments, permit/license program, or any Corps matter affecting your property.
 Q. How do I apply for a permit or license?
A. Requests should be made at the lake office.
 Q. What is the fee for a shoreline use permit?
A. These fees vary. Contact the lake’s Park Manager for details.
 Q. What are the fees for licenses?
A. The license fee is the appraised market value for the right granted, plus the Government’s administrative cost for issuing the license. A current fee schedule is available at the lake office.

Frequently Asked Questions - Consent to Easement

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 Q. What is easement property?
A. In addition to property the Government acquired in fee for project construction, each project has specific areas over which flowage easement rights were acquired. Fee title to those lands is still held by private landowners, but the Government has the right to flood the land, and to prohibit and/or restrict structures on the land.
 Q. How can I find out if my property has a flowage easement and what restrictions apply?
A. All flowage easements are recorded in the county in which the property lies. If your property is encumbered by a flowage easement, you should review the flowage easement that pertains to your property and be familiar with the limitations and restrictions it imposes.
 Q. How is the flowage easement boundary marked?
A. In the Louisville District, Corps easement boundary is generally marked as reference points with posts and monuments and blazes on trees. If you have questions about the location of the U.S. Government boundary, contact the lake office. A field visit appointment with a Corps Ranger can be scheduled to assist you in locating the boundary, or in answering any other questions you may have concerning flowage easements, encroachments and our permit program. However, it is the property owner’s responsibility to accurately identify boundaries by survey.
 Q. What structures can be placed on easement property?
A. Structures for human habitation are strictly prohibited, and the Government will not consent to any structure that can, or could be, utilized for such use. The Government may issue a Consent to Easement for other types of structures, if they do not jeopardize the Government’s right to flood the property, do not present an environmental or hazardous threat to the project, and do not support or facilitate an existing encroachment.
 Q. How do I apply for a Consent to Easement?
A. Requests for a Consent to Easement should be made at the lake office.
 Q. What is the fee for a Consent to Easement?
A. There is no fee for a Consent to Easement.