Landowners Say Ameren Plan Too Strict
"They just want to be able to do with their property what they were able to do with it when they purchased the poperty," said Rep. Tom Self of Cole Camp, "and I think that's fair."
Ameren UE proposed a Shoreline Management Plan as part of its relicensing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The plan limits dock size and location along 200 of the lake's 1,100 miles of shoreline.
But, some owners complain the plan's too strict.
"If you're in one of these zones, and your neighbor has a dock, and there has to be 150 feet between them and you don't have 150 feet, then that sounds like a restriction to me," said Self.
He also said thousands of residents don't like Ameren's plan, so he introduced a bill against it.
But, the utility company says it must protect the Lake of the Ozarks.
"The license gives us certain responsibilities for the lake," said Ameren spokesman Mike Cleary. "And one of those is shoreline management, which is regulating docks and seawalls and other structures on the lake to ensure that they don't become environmental hazards or a hazard in navigation."
Self responded that Ameren can regulate state-owned land, without restricting private property.
"I would think it would be the prudent move to first protect that land that was bought and paid for by taxpayers," he said, "and then see where we're at as far as their whole shoreline management plan goes."
Cleary pointed out that Ameren formed a 30-person team, including landowners, to look at shoreline protection in 2000.
"We recognized from the begining that it was a compromise," he added. "It's not intended to prevent development, but to try and allow development in a more orderly manner."
Cleary also noted only the federal government can approve or deny the plan. The government has accepted the plan on a provisional basis, so the dock limits already are in effect.
But, the government's taking public comments until March 24. And, Cleary said there will be two public meetings for landowners to express their concerns. Self wants at least one of those meetings in the area most affected by the plan.