Greers Ferry Lake: The "red line" explained

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Crye*Leike Brock Real Estate

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.

The "white line"

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.

The "red line"

For more detailed information on the shoreline management policy, check the website of the Corps of Engineers Greers Ferry project.


Boyd Anderson
Crye*Leike Brock Real Estate
Principal Broker
(501) 206-8845 cell
(501) 362-5868 office


Comments (4)

Tinker Hulsey
Century 21 Wright-Pace Real Estate - Jonesboro, AR
Century 21 Wright-Pace Real Estate


Great post and some very good info. I love the Heber Springs area and the lake. I lived in Searcy before moving to Jonesboro.


Mar 22, 2009 12:09 PM
Larry DeGroat
Realty Professionals, Inc. - Searcy, AR
ABR, CRS, e-PRO, GRI in Searcy

Thanks for the explanation Boyd!  I listed a house at 8 Kings Circle and the neighbor was saying the white line this and the red line that.  He explained it somewhat but you put it in good terms.  Now sell this house.  You can see it at

Thanks, Larry

May 13, 2009 07:07 AM
Rachel Gilliam
Crye-Leike Realtors - Bartlett, TN

Good info for everyone to know

May 25, 2010 06:56 AM
Patti Baggett
Crye Leike Realtors - Memphis, TN

This is what helps Greers Ferry lake stay so treed & beautiful!

May 28, 2010 06:56 AM