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Home Preservation Act Information

What is the Lake Sidney Lanier Home Preservation 2000 legislation?

The Lake Sidney Lanier Home Preservation legislation, originally introduced into congress by Rep. Nathan Deal and the late Sen. Paul Coverdell, passed into law on December 11, 2000, and appears in the Water Resource Development Act of 2000.  Section 516 of the act contains the text for the Lanier Home Preservation legislation.

Who does this law affect?

If you own property adjacent to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property on Lake Sidney Lanier, regardless of whether you have a Shoreline Use Permit/License or not, and this property was developed on or before December 31, 1999, then the HP2000 may affect you.  Letters have been sent to all landowners with a Shoreline Use Permit/License and known encroachment.  Read the text of the notification letter that was mailed. 

What to include in any written correspondence:

The following items should be included in the letter of intent:

  1. The name of the property owner.

  2. A contact phone number (s). and an e-mail address if applicable.  Supplying your e-mail address will allow us to send you a confirmation notice when we receive your letter.

  3. A mailing address.

  4. Your Shoreline Use Permit/License number (s) if applicable and the address of the lake property.  Please use the street address of the property or the subdivision and lot number.  We cannot identify your property by your county tax parcel number.

  5. A brief description of the encroachment (type of encroachment, approximate size).

  6. Proof the encroachment was built prior to January 1, 2000 (building permit, tax record, survey, etc.).

  7. A survey of your property if available.

  8. Request for a government survey to be performed.

Where to send your letter of intent:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Lake Sidney Lanier
Attn: Shoreline Management
P.O. Box 567
Buford, GA 30515-0567

Statute

(a) DEFINITIONS- In this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) EASEMENT PROHIBITION- The term `easement prohibition' means the rights acquired by the United States in the flowage easements to prohibit structures for human habitation.

(2) ELIGIBLE PROPERTY OWNER- The term `eligible property owner' means a person that owns a structure for human habitation that was constructed before January 1, 2000, and is located on fee land or in violation of the flowage easement.

(3) FEE LAND- The term `fee land' means the land acquired in fee title by the United States for the Lake.

(4) FLOWAGE EASEMENT- The term `flowage easement' means an interest in land that the United States acquired that provides the right to flood, to the elevation of 1,085 feet above mean sea level (among other rights), land surrounding the Lake.

(5) LAKE- The term `Lake' means the Lake Sidney Lanier , Georgia, project of the Corps of Engineers authorized by the first section of the Rivers and Harbors Act of July 24, 1946 (60 Stat. 635).

(b) ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM- Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish, and provide public notice of, a program--

(1) to convey to eligible property owners the right to maintain existing structures for human habitation on fee land; or

(2) to release eligible property owners from the easement prohibition as it applies to existing structures for human habitation on the flowage easements (if the floor elevation of the human habitation area is above the elevation of 1,085 feet above mean sea level).

(c) REGULATIONS- To carry out subsection (b), the Secretary shall issue regulations that--

(1) require the Corps of Engineers to suspend any activities to require eligible property owners to remove structures for human habitation that encroach on fee land or flowage easements;

(2) provide that a person that owns a structure for human habitation on land adjacent to the Lake shall have a period of 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act--

(A) to request that the Corps of Engineers resurvey the property of the person to determine if the person is an eligible property owner under this section; and

(B) to pay the costs of the resurvey to the Secretary for deposit in the Corps of Engineers account in accordance with section 2695 of title 10, United States Code;

(3) provide that when a determination is made, through a private survey or through a boundary line maintenance survey conducted by the Federal Government, that a structure for human habitation is located on the fee land or a flowage easement--

(A) the Corps of Engineers shall immediately notify the property owner by certified mail; and

(B) the property owner shall have a period of 90 days from receipt of the notice in which to establish that the structure was constructed before January 1, 2000, and that the property owner is an eligible property owner under this section;

(4) provide that any private survey shall be subject to review and approval by the Corps of Engineers to ensure that the private survey conforms to the boundary line established by the Federal Government;

(5) require the Corps of Engineers to offer to an eligible property owner a conveyance or release that--

(A) on fee land, conveys by quitclaim deed the minimum land required to maintain the human habitation structure, reserving the right to flood to the elevation of 1,085 feet above mean sea level, if applicable;

(B) in a flowage easement, releases by quitclaim deed the easement prohibition;

(C) provides that--

(i) the existing structure shall not be extended further onto fee land or into the flowage easement; and

(ii) additional structures for human habitation shall not be placed on fee land or in a flowage easement; and

(D) provides that--

(i)(I) the United States shall not be liable or responsible for damage to property or injury to persons caused by operation of the Lake; and

(II) no claim to compensation shall accrue from the exercise of the flowage easement rights; and

(ii) the waiver described in clause (i) of any and all claims against the United States shall be a covenant running with the land and shall be binding on heirs, successors, assigns, and purchasers of the property subject to the waiver; and

(6) provide that the eligible property owner shall--

(A) agree to an offer under paragraph (5) not later than 90 days after the offer is made by the Corps of Engineers; or

(B) comply with the real property rights of the United States and remove the structure for human habitation and any other unauthorized real or personal property.

(d) OPTION TO PURCHASE INSURANCE- Nothing in this section precludes a property owner from purchasing flood insurance to which the property owner may be eligible.

(e) PRIOR ENCROACHMENT RESOLUTIONS- Nothing in this section affects any resolution, before the date of enactment of this Act, of an encroachment at the Lake, whether the resolution was effected through sale, exchange, voluntary removal, or alteration or removal through litigation.

(f) PRIOR REAL PROPERTY RIGHTS- Nothing in this section--

(1) takes away, diminishes, or eliminates any other real property rights acquired by the United States at the Lake; or

(2) affects the ability of the United States to require the removal of any and all encroachments that are constructed or placed on United States real property or flowage easements at the Lake after December 31, 1999.