Section 26a of the TVA Act
Subpart C: TVA-Owned Residential Access Shoreland
1304.200 Scope and intent
1304.202 General sediment and erosion control provisions
1304.203 Vegetation management
1304.204 Docks, piers, and boathouses
1304.205 Other water-use facilities
1304.206 Requirements for community docks, piers, boathouses, or other water-use facilities
1304.207 Channel excavation on TVA-owned residential access shoreland
1304.208 Shoreline stabilization on TVA-owned residential access shoreland
1304.209 Land-based structures/alterations
1304.210 Grandfathering of preexisting shoreland uses and structures
1304.211 Change in ownership of grandfathered structures or alterations
§ 1304.200 Scope and intent
Subpart C applies to residential water-use facilities, specifically the construction of docks, piers, boathouses (fixed and floating), retaining walls, and other structures and alterations, including channel excavation and vegetation management, on or along TVA-owned residential access shoreland. TVA manages the TVA-owned residential access shoreland to conserve, protect, and enhance shoreland resources, while providing reasonable access to the water of the reservoir by qualifying adjacent residents.
§ 1304.201 Applicability
This subpart addresses residential-related (all private, noncommercial uses) construction activities along and across shoreland property owned by the United States and under the custody and control of TVA. Individual residential landowners wishing to construct facilities, clear vegetation and/or maintain an access corridor on adjacent TVA-owned lands are required to apply for and obtain a permit from TVA before conducting any such activities.
(a) This subpart applies to the following TVA-reservoir shoreland classifications:
(1) TVA-owned shorelands over which the adjacent residential landowner holds rights of ingress and egress to the water (except where a particular activity is specifically excluded by an applicable real estate document), including, at TVA’s discretion, cases where the applicant owns access rights across adjoining private property that borders on and benefits from rights of ingress and egress across TVA-owned shoreland.
(2) TVA-owned shorelands designated in current TVA Reservoir Land Management Plans as open for consideration of residential development; and
(3) On reservoirs not having a current approved TVA Reservoir Land Management Plan at the time of application, TVA-owned shorelands designated in TVA’s property forecast system as “reservoir operations property,” identified in a subdivision plat recorded prior to September 24, 1992, and containing at least one water-use facility developed prior to September 24, 1992.
(b) Construction of structures, access corridors, and vegetation management activities by owners of adjacent upland residential property shall not be allowed on any TVA-owned lands other than those described in one or more of the classifications identified in paragraph (a) of this section.
(c) Flowage easement shoreland. Except as otherwise specifically provided in subpart D of this part, subpart C does not apply to shoreland where TVA’s property interest is ownership of a flowage easement. The terms of the particular flowage easement and subparts A, B, D, and E of this part govern the use of such property.
§ 1304.202 General sediment and erosion control provisions
(a) During construction activities, TVA shall require that appropriate erosion and sediment control measures be utilized to prevent pollution of the waters of the reservoir.
(b) All material which accumulates behind sediment control structures must be removed from TVA land and placed at an upland site above the 100-year floodplain elevation or the Flood Risk Profile Elevation (whichever is applicable).
(c) Disturbed sites must be promptly stabilized with seeding, vegetative planting, erosion control netting, and/or mulch material.
§ 1304.203 Vegetation management
No vegetation management shall be approved on TVA-owned Residential Access Shoreland until a Vegetation Management Plan meeting the vegetation management standards contained in this section is submitted to and approved by TVA.
(a) Except for the mowing of lawns established and existing before November 1, 1999, all vegetation management activities on TVA-owned property subject to this subpart (including all such activities described in paragraphs (b) through (m) of this section as “allowed” and all activities undertaken in connection with a section 26a permit obtained before September 8, 2003 require TVA’s advance written permission. Special site circumstances such as the presence of wetlands may result in a requirement for mitigative measures or alternative vegetation management approaches.
(b) Vegetation may be cleared to create and maintain an access corridor up to but not exceeding 20 feet wide. The corridor will extend from the common boundary between TVA and the adjacent landowner to the water-use facility.
(c) The access corridor will be located to minimize removal of trees or other vegetation on the TVA land.
(d) Grass may be planted and mowed within the access corridor, and stone, brick, concrete, mulch, or wooden paths, walkways and/or steps are allowed. Pruning of side limbs that extend into the access corridor from trees located outside the access corridor is allowed.
(e) A 50-foot-deep shoreline management zone (SMZ) shall be designated by TVA on TVA property; provided, however, that where TVA ownership is insufficient to establish a 50-foot deep SMZ, the SMZ shall consist only of all of the TVA land at the location (private land shall not be included within the SMZ). Within the SMZ, no trees may be cut or vegetation removed, except that which is preapproved by TVA within the access corridor.
(f) Within the 50-foot SMZ and elsewhere on TVA land as defined in §1304.201, clearing of specified understory plants (poison ivy, Japanese honeysuckle, kudzu, and other exotic plants on a list provided by TVA) is allowed
(g) On TVA land situated above the SMZ, selective thinning of trees or other vegetation under 3 inches in diameter at the ground level is allowed.
(h) Removal of trees outside of the access corridor but within the SMZ may be approved to make the site suitable for approved shoreline erosion control projects.
(i) Vegetation removed for erosion control projects must be replaced with native species of vegetation.
(j) The forest floor must be left undisturbed, except as specified in this section. Mowing is allowed only within the access corridor.
(k) Planting of trees, shrubs, wildflowers, native grasses, and ground covers within the SMZ is allowed to create, improve, or enhance the vegetative cover, provided native plants are used.
(l) Fertilizers and herbicides shall not be applied within the SMZ or elsewhere on TVA land, except as specifically approved in the Vegetative Management Plan.
(m) Restricted use herbicides and pesticides shall not be applied on TVA-owned shoreland except by a State certified applicator. All herbicides and pesticides shall be applied in accordance with label requirements.
§ 1304.204 Docks, piers, and boathouses
Applicants are responsible for submitting plans for proposed docks, piers, and boathouses that conform to the size standards specified in this section. Where and if site constraints at the proposed construction location preclude a structure of the maximum size, TVA shall determine the size of facility that may be approved. Applicants are required to submit accurate drawings with dimensions of all proposed facilities.
(a) Docks, piers, boathouses, and all other residential water-use facilities shall not exceed a total footprint area of greater than 1000 square feet.
(b) Docks, boatslips, piers, and fixed or floating boathouses are allowable. These and other water-use facilities associated with a lot must be sited within a 1000-square-foot rectangular or square area at the lakeward end of the access walkway that extends from the shore to the structure. Access walkways to the water-use structure are not included in calculating the 1000-foot area.
(c) Docks and walkway(s) shall not extend more than 150 feet from the shoreline, or more than one-third the distance to the opposite shoreline, whichever is less.
(d) All fixed piers and docks on Pickwick, Wilson, Wheeler, Guntersville, and Nickajack Reservoirs shall have deck elevations at least 18 inches above full summer pool level; facilities on all other reservoirs, shall be a minimum of 24 inches above full summer pool.
(e) All docks, piers, and other water-use facilities must be attached to the shore with a single walkway which must connect from land to the structure by the most direct route and must adjoin the access corridor.
f) Docks, piers, and boathouses may be fixed or floating or a combination of the two types.
(g) Roofs are allowed on boatslips, except on Kentucky Reservoir where roofs are not allowed on fixed structures due to extreme water level fluctuations. Roofs over docks or piers to provide shade are allowed on all reservoirs.
(h) Docks proposed in subdivisions recorded after November 1, 1999, must be placed at least 50 feet from the neighbors’ docks. When this density requirement cannot be met, TVA may require group or community facilities.
(i) Where the applicant owns or controls less than 50 feet of property adjoining TVA shoreline, the overall width of the facilities permitted along the shore shall be limited to ensure sufficient space to accommodate other property owners.
(j) Covered boatslips may be open or enclosed with siding.
(k) Access walkways constructed over water and internal walkways inside of boathouses shall not exceed 6 feet in width.
(l) Enclosed space shall be used solely for storage of water-use equipment. The outside dimensions of any completely enclosed storage space shall not exceed 32 square feet and must be located on an approved dock, pier, or boathouse.
(m) Docks, piers, and boathouses shall not contain living space or sleeping areas. Floor space shall not be considered enclosed if three of the four walls are constructed of wire or screen mesh from floor to ceiling, and the wire or screen mesh leaves the interior of the structure open to the weather.
(n) Except for nonnavigable houseboats approved in accordance with subpart B, toilets and sinks are not permitted on water-use facilities.
(o) Covered docks, boatslips, and boathouses shall not exceed one story in height.
(p) Second stories on covered docks, piers, boatslips, or boathouses may be constructed as open decks with railing, but shall not be covered by a roof or enclosed with siding or screening, or covered by a roof.
(q) In congested areas or in other circumstances deemed appropriate by TVA, TVA may require an applicant’s dock, pier, or boathouse to be located on an area of TVA shoreline not directly fronting the applicant’s property.
§ 1304.205 Other water-use facilities
(a) A marine railway or concrete boat launching ramp with associated driveway may be located within the access corridor. Construction must occur during reservoir drawdown. Excavated material must be placed at an upland site. Use of concrete is allowable; asphalt is not permitted.
(b) Tables or benches for cleaning fish are permitted on docks or piers.
(c) All anchoring cables or spud poles must be anchored to the walkway or to the ground in a way that will not accelerate shoreline erosion. Anchoring of cables, chains, or poles to trees on TVA property is not permitted.
(d) Electrical appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, freezers, and microwave ovens are not permitted on docks, piers, or boathouses.
(e) Mooring buoys/posts may be permitted provided the following requirements are met.
(1) Posts and buoys shall be placed in such a manner that in TVA’s judgment they would not create a navigation hazard.
(2) Mooring posts must be a minimum 48 inches in height above the full summer pool elevation of the reservoir or higher as required by TVA.
(3) Buoys must conform to the Uniform State Waterway Marking system.
(f) Structures shall not be wider than the width of the lot.
(g) In congested areas, TVA may establish special permit conditions requiring dry-docking of floating structures when a reservoir reaches a specific drawdown elevation to prevent these structures from interfering with navigation traffic, recreational boating access, or adjacent structures during winter drawdown.
(h) Closed loop heat exchanges for residential heat pump application may be approved provided they are installed five feet below minimum winter water elevation and they utilize propylene glycol or water. All land-based pipes must be buried within the access corridor.
§ 1304.206 Requirements for community docks, piers, boathouses, or other water-use facilities
(a) Community facilities where individual facilities are not allowed:
(1) TVA may limit water-use facilities to community facilities where physical or environmental constraints preclude approval of individual docks, piers, or boathouses.
(2) When individual water-use facilities are not allowed, no more than one slip for each qualified applicant will be approved for any community facility. TVA shall determine the location of the facility and the named permittees, taking into consideration the preferences of the qualified applicants and such other factors as TVA determines to be appropriate.
(3) In narrow coves or other situations where shoreline frontage is limited, shoreline development may be limited to one landing dock for temporary moorage of boats not to exceed the 1000-square-foot footprint requirement, and/or a boat launching ramp, if the site, in TVA’s judgment, will accommodate such development.
(b) Private and community facilities at jointly-owned community outlots:
(1) Applications for private or community facilities to be constructed at a jointly-owned community outlot must be submitted either with 100 percent concurrence of all co-owners of such lot, or with concurrence of the authorized representatives of a state-chartered homeowners association with the authority to manage the common lot on behalf of all persons having an interest in such lot. If the community facility will serve five or more other lots, the application must be submitted by the authorized representatives of such an association. TVA considers an association to have the necessary authority to manage the common lot if all co-owners are eligible for membership in the association and a majority are members. TVA may request the association to provide satisfactory evidence of its authority.
(2) Size and number of slips at community water-use facilities lots shall be determined by TVA with consideration of the following:
(i) Size of community outlot;
(ii) Parking accommodations on the community outlot;
(iii) Length of shoreline frontage associated with the community outlot;
(iv) Number of property owners having the right to use the community outlot;
(v) Water depths fronting the community lot;
(vi) Commercial and private vessel navigation uses and restrictions in the vicinity of the community lot;
(vii) Recreational carrying capacity for water-based activities in the vicinity of the community lot, and
(viii) Other site specific conditions and considerations as determined by TVA.
(3) Vegetation management shall be in accordance with the requirements of §1304.203 except that, at TVA’s discretion, the community access corridor may exceed 20 feet in width, and thinning of vegetation outside of the corridor within or beyond the SMZ may be allowed to enhance views of the reservoir.
(c) TVA may approve community facilities that are greater in size than 1000 square feet. In such circumstances, TVA also may establish harbor limits.
§ 1304.207 Channel excavation on TVA-owned residential access shoreland
(a) Excavation of individual boat channels shall be approved only when TVA determines there is no other practicable alternative to achieving sufficient navigable water depth and the action would not substantially impact sensitive resources.
(b) No more than 150 cubic yards of material shall be removed for any individual boat channel.
(c) The length, width, and depth of approved boat channels shall not exceed the dimensions necessary to achieve 3-foot water depths for navigation of the vessel at the minimum winter water elevation.
(d) Each side of the channel shall have a slope ratio of at least 3:1.
(e) Only one boat channel or harbor may be considered for each abutting property owner.
(f) The grade of the channel must allow drainage of water during reservoir drawdown periods.
(g) Channel excavations must be accomplished during the reservoir drawdown when the reservoir bottom is exposed and dry.
(h) Spoil material from channel excavations must be placed in accordance with any applicable local, state, and federal regulations at an upland site above the TVA Flood Risk Profile elevation. For those reservoirs that have no flood control storage, dredge spoil must be disposed of and stabilized above the limits of the 100-year floodplain and off of TVA property.
§ 1304.208 Shoreline stabilization on TVA-owned residential access shoreland
TVA may issue permits allowing adjacent residential landowners to stabilize eroding shorelines on TVA-owned residential access shoreland. TVA will determine if shoreline erosion is sufficient to approve the proposed stabilization treatment.
(a) Biostabilization of eroded shorelines.
(1) Moderate contouring of the bank may be allowed to provide conditions suitable for planting of vegetation.
(2) Tightly bound bundles of coconut fiber, logs, or other natural materials may be placed at the base of the eroded site to deflect waves.
(3) Willow stakes and bundles and live cuttings of suitable native plant materials may be planted along the surface of the eroded area.
(4) Native vegetation may be planted within the shoreline management zone to help minimize further erosion.
(5) Riprap may be allowed along the base of the eroded area to prevent further undercutting of the bank.
(b) Use of gabions and riprap to stabilize eroded shorelines.
(1) The riprap material must be quarry-run stone, natural stone, or other material approved by TVA.
(2) Rubber tires, concrete rubble, or other debris salvaged from construction sites shall not be used to stabilize shorelines.
(3) Gabions (rock wrapped with wire mesh) that are commercially manufactured for erosion control may be used.
(4) Riprap material must be placed so as to follow the existing contour of the bank.
(5) Site preparation must be limited to the work necessary to obtain adequate slope and stability of the riprap material.
(c) Use of retaining walls for shoreline stabilization.
(1) Retaining walls shall be allowed only where the erosion process is severe and TVA determines that a retaining wall is the most effective erosion control option or where the proposed wall would connect to an existing TVA-approved wall on the lot or to an adjacent owner’s TVA-approved wall.
(2) The retaining wall must be constructed of stone, concrete blocks, poured concrete, gabions, or other materials acceptable to TVA. Railroad ties, rubber tires, broken concrete (unless determined by TVA to be of adequate size and integrity), brick, creosote timbers, and asphalt are not allowed.
(3) Reclamation of land that has been lost to erosion is not allowed.
(4) The base of the retaining wall shall not be located more than an average of two horizontal feet lakeward of the existing full summer pool water. Riprap shall be placed at least two feet in depth along the footer of the retaining wall to deflect wave action and reduce undercutting that could eventually damage the retaining wall.
§ 1304.209 Land-based structures/alterations
(a) Except for steps, pathways, boat launching ramps, marine railways located in the access corridor, bank stabilization along the shoreline, and other uses described in this subpart, no permanent structures, fills or grading shall be allowed on TVA land.
(b) Portable items such as picnic tables and hammocks may be placed on TVA land; permanent land-based structures and facilities such as picnic pavilions, gazebos, satellite antennas, septic tanks, and septic drainfields shall not be allowed on TVA land.
(c) Utility lines (electric, water-intake lines, etc.) may be placed within the access corridor as follows:
(1) Power lines, poles, electrical panel, and wiring must be installed:
(i) In a way that would not be hazardous to the public or interfere with TVA operations;
(ii) Solely to serve water-use facilities, and
(iii) In compliance with all State and local electrical codes (satisfactory evidence of compliance to be provided to TVA upon request).
(2) Electrical service must be installed with an electrical disconnect that is:
(i) Located above the 500-year floodplain or the flood risk profile, whichever is higher, and
(ii) Is accessible during flood events.
TVA’s issuance of a permit does not mean that TVA has determined the facilities are safe for any purpose or that TVA has any duty to make such a determination.
(d) Fences crossing TVA residential access shoreland may be considered only where outstanding agricultural rights or fencing rights exist and the land is used for agricultural purposes. Fences must have a built-in means for easy pedestrian passage by the public and they must be clearly marked.
§ 1304.210 Grandfathering of preexisting shoreland uses and structures
In order to provide for a smooth transition to new standards, grandfathering provisions shall apply as follows to preexisting development and shoreland uses established prior to November 1, 1999, which are located along or adjoin TVA-owned access residential shoreland.
(a) Existing shoreline structures (docks, retaining walls, etc.) previously permitted by TVA are grandfathered.
(b) Grandfathered structures may continue to be maintained in accordance with previous permit requirements, and TVA does not require modification to conform to new standards.
(c) If a permitted structure is destroyed by fire or storms, the permit shall be reissued if the replacement facility is rebuilt to specifications originally permitted by TVA.
(d) Vegetation management at grandfathered developments shall be as follows:
(1) Mowing of lawns established on TVA-owned residential access shoreland prior to November 1, 1999, may be continued without regard to whether the lawn uses are authorized by a TVA permit.
(2) At sites where mowing of lawns established prior to November 1, 1999, is not specifically included as an authorized use in an existing permit, TVA will include mowing as a permitted use in the next permit action at that site.
(3) The SMZ is not required where established lawns existed prior to November 1, 1999.
(4) Any additional removal of trees or other vegetation (except for mowing of lawns established prior to November 1, 1999) requires TVA’s approval in accordance with §1304.203. Removal of trees greater than 3 inches diameter at ground level is not allowed.
§ 1304.211 Change in ownership of grandfathered structures or alterations
(a) When ownership of a permitted structure or other shoreline alteration changes, the new owner shall comply with §1304.10 regarding notice to TVA.
(b) The new owner may, upon application to TVA for a permit, continue to use existing permitted docks and other shoreline alterations pending TVA action on the application.
(c) Subsequent owners are not required to modify to new standards existing shoreline alterations constructed and maintained in accordance with the standards in effect at the time the previous permit was first issued, and they may continue mowing established lawns that existed prior to November 1, 1999.
(d) New owners wishing to continue existing grandfathered activities and structures must:
(1) Maintain existing permitted docks, piers, boathouses, and other shoreline structures in good repair.
(2) Obtain TVA approval for any repairs that would alter the size of the facility, for any new construction, or for removal of trees or other vegetation (except for mowing of lawns established prior to November 1, 1999).
§ 1304.212 Waivers
(a) Waivers of standards contained in this subpart may be requested when the following minimum criteria are established:
(1) The property is within a preexisting development (an area where shoreline development existed prior to November 1, 1999); and
(2) The proposed shoreline alterations are compatible with surrounding permitted structures and uses within the subdivision or, if there is no subdivision, within the immediate vicinity (one-fourth mile radius).
(b) In approving waivers of the standards of this subpart C, TVA will consider the following:
(1) The prevailing permitted practices within the subdivision or immediate vicinity; and
(2) The uses permitted under the guidelines followed by TVA before November 1, 1999.