TVA looks to remove floating houses from state reservoirs

TVA looks to remove floating houses from state reservoirs

April 27th, 2016 by Associated Press in Business Around the Region

A Tennessee Valley Authority study revealed the rapid growth of unpermitted floating houses, or "non-navigable structures," has raised concerns about potential environmental and safety impacts.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — Several local and state officials and houseboat owners are opposed to the Tennessee Valley Authority's move to remove floating houses from its reservoirs in Tennessee and other states after a study showed a large number of the homes have been built and docked over the past 10 years.

Washington County commissioners voted on Monday to support a state Senate resolution urging the TVA to reject a provision that would require all houseboats to be removed within the next 20 years, the Johnson City Press reported.

According to the TVA study, the recent growth of unpermitted floating houses has raised concerns about potential environmental and safety impacts.

TVA amended its regulations in 1977 to prohibit non-navigable houseboats except for those existing before 1978.

"The Senate wants all boat houses to be grandfathered in," Karen Jenkins, who owns a floating house docked on Boone Lake, told county commissioners Monday.

Since 2000, it appears the agency's policy has been to temporarily allow floating houses in its reservoirs, the Tennessee River and its tributaries that meet the minimum safety and environmental standards.

"Because our lake house is pre-1978, I thought they would grandfather us in," Jenkins said. "That's why I'm confused about what they're doing now."

TVA's board of directors will hold a "listening session" for the public at a May 5 meeting in Buchanan.

There are an estimated 1,800 structures, used mainly for habitation, along TVA reservoirs and rivers.


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