Weiss Lake Recreational Lots, Campers Lots and RV Lots
By: Roger Griffeth
Lake Weiss Recreational Properties
What is a recreational property? I suppose anyone you ask would have a different way to describe "Recreational Property", however, for the purpose of buying and selling real estate around Lake Weiss the following is an attempt to provide an explanation as to how LakeWeissAlabama.com Real Estate Services qualifies "Recreational Property" otherwise know as "Rec Lots" or "Deeded RV Lots".
First of all, one must understand that the land mass immediately touching Lake Weiss is under the management of Alabama Power. Alabama Power owns the 17,850-acre easement surrounding the 30,028-acre reservoir which was constructed in the late 1950's. As a general rule, the flood easement extends to 572 feet above sea level at some locations around the lake and 578 feet above sea level in other areas. There are pages of Alabama Power Restrictions that detail what can and cannot be built, or even temporarily located, inside the flood easement around Lake Weiss. The restrictions also include jurisdiction over the construction and maintenance of non-habitable structures, as well as other ground-disturbing activity,
on or near the shoreline of the lake, such as and similar to: piers, landings, boat docks, boathouses, boat ramps, gazebos, bank stabilization, dredging, landscape plantings, and re-grading;
RESERVATIONS AND EXCEPTIONS"Said lands are conveyed subject to the right of Alabama Power Company, a corporation, to flood, cover or surround with water from time to time that portion of said lands herein above described, which would either be covered with or which either alone or together with other lands would be entirely surrounded by waters of the Coosa River or its tributaries should such river or its tributaries be raised and backed up to that certain datum plane of 575 feet (different in some locations) above mean sea level as established by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey as adjusted in January 1955, together with the rights of ingress or egress over and across such lands. The easement so acquired by Alabama Power Company includes the right to prevent the erection of any habitable structures, structures to house livestock or the disturbance of the lands lying on or below the 575 (different in some locations) foot contour line."
Most of the recreational parcels directly touch the water, however some are not waterfront but are still considered recreational because they are located within Alabama Power's easement. Unlike other regulated lakes, one does not rent/or lease recreational lots from Alabama Power as they are deeded (with restrictions) to the landowner. Mobile homes cannot be located in the easement as they are not easily moved if the property is flooded, however Campers and RVs are allowed as they can be easily moved out the danger zone if the lake is flooded.
In addition to Alabama Power's easement, one must also be mindful of the sanitation rules currently in force in the easement/flood zone. The Cherokee County Health Department requires owners of property in the flood easement to obtain a permit for the installation and use of a sewage holding tank. In order to apply for a permit one must have a service contact with an approved septic pumper and the permit must be renewed annually. A 250 gallon holding tank is the smallest tank allowed and the cost to pump the tank is $45-50 per trip.
A quick trip around the lake will reveal that there are a large number of properties that are covered by pitched, metal roofs that exceed the height limit by several feet; dozens of enclosed cabins, complete with doors, windows and central cooling units and a handful of campers that have had their wheels removed, or permanent structures built around their towing apparatus -- all violations of Alabama Power policy in that the dwellings are considered "habitable structures".
Habitable structures (with the exception of dwellings elevated above the flood easement on a permanent foundation) are prohibited in the easement as the potential for flooding creates an unsafe condition. As these properties come to market "for sale" you may find them on realtor websites. Our office will be happy to work with buyers, sellers and Alabama Power to make sure properties in violation of the easement rules are brought into compliance before title has been transferred.
A "Recreation Property" is a parcel of land located in Alabama Power's flood easement the use of which is restricted by deed in accordance with rules and regulations set forth and subject to change by Alabama Power. When purchasing real estate located in Alabama Power's easement, it is important that you understand Alabama Power's Rules and Regulations. One of our lake specialists will help you decide if a "Recreational Property" is right for you.