New Ameren Plan Restores Hope to Lake Homeowners

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LAKE OZARK - Ameren submitted a new shoreline management plan Tuesday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, ensuring that most of the homes on the Lake of the Ozarks are safe from removal.

Originally 1600 homes were encroaching Ameren's hydroelectric project line but Ameren Shoreline Manager Jeff Green said, "In the new plan, less than 20 homes are affected." FERC has regulatory authority over hydroelectric projects.

The 1,600 homes were part of the 4,200 structures that FERC ordered to be removed last year if they encroach onto the project's land. Structures include docks, ramps, patios, etc. These structures go through the normal permit process.

Under this new, revised plan, Ameren lowered the affected elevation level point from 678 feet to 662 feet so its project shoreline boundaries include fewer homes. Green said, "there is no place lower than 662 feet" of elevation at the lake. Since the 1920s, Ameren has owned 32,000 acres at the lake.

Ameren hosted two public hearings to get feedback from landowners and more than 400 comments were received. Green said, "There are mixed feelings in the community, there's not doubt about it, but we think we submitted a plan that will be approved and will be supportable by resource agencies and hopefully FERC."

In November, FERC directed Ameren to submit a plan by June redrawing the territory around the lake. Ameren submitted the plan four months early and now has to wait for FERC to approve its new plan. FERC has an undetermined amount of time to review the revisions.