Normally in real estate, the term "red lining" is a bad thing. It refers to the practice of denying (or increasing the cost of) services to certain areas. The term originally came from the practice of marking a red line on a map to delineate areas where banks would not lend. However, the “red line” on water front property on Greers Ferry Lake is something different altogether.
Many people familiar with the US Army Corps of Engineers project known as Greers Ferry Lake understand the “white line”. It is the “fee taking line” where private property ends and the government property consisting of the lake and its surrounding real estate begin.
Fewer people, though, have an understanding of the “red line”.
The red line refers to the flowage easement up to 491’ above sea level. Normal pool of Greers Ferry Lake is 461.3 feet above sea level. When land was purchased to create Greers Ferry Lake, the Government also purchased easement rights for property that remained privately owned, but fell below 491’ sea level. The flowage easement grants to the Government the right to periodically flood the land up to the 491’ level. Because of this, structures for human habitation and septic fields are not allowed below 491’. There are trees marked with red paint in the general location of the 491’ line, however, the exact location at any given point varies with the contour of the land. Therefore, it is recommended that a landowner obtain the services of a professional surveyor before commencing any new construction near the red line. For other structures such as roads, outbuildings and electric service lines, permission must be first obtained from the Corps of Engineers before placing onto the flowage easement area.
For more detailed information on the shoreline management policy, check the website of the Corps of Engineers Greers Ferry project.
Crye*Leike Brock Real Estate
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