By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
Persons interested in plans for the Lake O’ the Pines shoreline have 23 days left to submit their ideas to the Corps of Engineers, persons attending a public hearing in Jefferson learned last week.
The Corps of Engineers, which operates the lake, hopes to prepare a revision to the 1978 LOP Shoreline Management Plan following the comment period and a second hearing set for Longview.
“The Shoreline Management Plan provides rules and policies that govern private activity along shoreline,” Don Weise, Corps natural resources manager for the Fort Worth region, said. The U.S. Government owns a strip of property around the entire reservoir.
“The plan would regulate boat docks, mowing and removing underbrush along the government boundary line,” Weise explained. A new plan will impact recreational users of Lake O’ the Pines as well as adjoining property owners.
“Those items that are of particular interest to our neighbors and the general public,” Weise said. One of the primary points of interest is how that shoreline around the lake is allocated for private uses. “There are some specific areas called limited development areas,” Weise said.
“Those areas are where private activities can be allowed by written permit. Allocation of those areas are limited and are important to everyone.” One of the objectives of the revision process is to evaluate those areas.
“Do they serve the purpose they were intended to serve?” Weise asked. “Are they too big, too little, etc.” The shoreline management plan has a fairly narrow focus on private activities with four types of permitted usage.
“You have limited development areas. You also have public recreation areas and park areas where private activities can not take place,” Weise said. “There are protected shoreline areas – they are not suitable for private docks, but some limited mowing may be allowed for reasons of fire safety.”
“The prohibited access areas are areas around the dam where we do not allow private activities and in some cases public activities,” Weise concluded. The natural resources manager said suggestions like more hiking trails were considered when drafting the new master plan for Lake O’ the Pines that was completed recently.
“The master plan is all encompassing and does address issues like trails and park areas,” Weise said. He did note hiking trails are mentioned and the Corps would like to partner with interested groups to establish more trails around the lake.
“It was a good meeting,” Weise said of the hearing at the Jeffersonian Institute. “There were about 35 in attendance.”
A second hearing soliciting public input is planned for May 22 at the Maude Cobb Center in Longview.
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