Adjacent Landowner Information

KNOW YOUR BOUNDARIES at Town Bluff Project/B. A. Steinhagen LAKE

GUIDELINES FOR ADJACENT PROPERTY OWNERS AND RESIDENTS

     In keeping with the flood damage reduction, environmental stewardship and recreation mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this publication is designed to acquaint adjoining property owners, residents, and other interested persons with the rules and regulations that apply to the management of public lands and flowage easements at Town Bluff Project/B. A. Steinhagen Lake. Maintaining the integrity of project purposes is given primary consideration in all management decisions to insure the maximum use and enjoyment of the lake lands and waters by present and future generations of Americans.
     While private, exclusive use of public lands is not allowed, all citizens, including property owners adjacent to public lands, enjoy the same rights and privileges. One of the most valued privileges is that of pedestrian access to most of the public lands surrounding the lake.  With the exception of certain controlled access park areas and secure operational areas, most public land at Corps lakes is open to public pedestrian traffic.   

GOVERNMENT OWNED (PUBLIC) LAND

     Land which is owned by the Federal government consists of the land inundated by B. A. Steinhagen Lake at the conservation (normal) pool elevation of
82.5 ft. above mean sea level, as well as a strip of land of varying width which surrounds the lake when the lake is at the conservation pool elevation. The limits of this public land are defined by the U.S. boundary line, the corners of which are marked by concrete monuments. These monuments, or boundary markers, are topped with a brass cap which is usually about four inches above ground level.  At some lakes the brass caps may be mounted on rocks or on metal pipes as well.   The U.S. boundary line may or may not be delineated by a fence or orange blazing on line trees.
    
    If you have questions about the location of the government property boundary, contact the Town Bluff Project Office at (409) 429-3491. A field appointment with a Corps ranger can be scheduled to assist you in locating the boundary or in obtaining answers to any other questions you may have concerning the management of public land.   Written inquiries may be addressed to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Town Bluff Project Office
5171 FM 92 South
Woodville, Texas 75979


  USES OF PUBLIC LAND AVAILABLE TO ADJACENT PROPERTY OWNERS AND RESIDENTS

   1.   Apply for a permit to mow or clear underbrush to reduce a potential fire hazard or pest infestation. Please contact the Town Bluff Project Office for more information.
   2.   Apply for a license to place a waterline across and under Government property to the lake for thepurpose of withdrawing water for private use. Water rights must be obtained from the Lower Neches Valley Authority before approval will be granted. In the interest of protecting tree roots, erodible soils or scenic vistas, applications for waterlines may be modified or denied.
   3.  Construct a wire or metal fence to, or along, the Government boundary line.
   4.   Have pedestrian access to public land except those areas specifically restricted.
        

USES OF PUBLIC LAND WHICH ARE PROHIBITED

1.    Any type of private exclusive use.
2.    Placement of unattended personal property of any kind on public land for more than 24 hours.
3     Construct buildings, roads, improved pathways or any other facilities on public land.
4.    Restricting public access either  verbally, by posting signs, or by any other method.
5.    Operating motorized vehicles except when operated on paved roadways and at authorized access points.
6.    Dispose of any type of garbage, debris, or other refuse on public land.
7.    Build fires on public land, except in authorized locations
8.    Gathering firewood.
9.    Allow horses, cattle, or other livestock on public land, except by lease from the government or as otherwise permitted.
10.  Destroy, alter, or remove any facility, vegetation, or natural, historical, or cultural feature.Removal of trees or shrubs to enhance one’s view of the lake is illegal.
11.  Use of fireworks
12.  Camping except in designated camping areas

 

FLOWAGE EASEMENT LAND

     Perpetual flowage easement estates were acquired by the Federal Government on certain private lands that adjoin public land in the Town Bluff Project area. These flowage easements grant to the government full, complete, and perpetual right, power, privilege, and easement to occasionally overflow, flood, and submerge lands in connection with the operation and maintenance of the lake. Flowage easement lands around Town Bluff Project are located in three specific locations:  north of U.S. Highway 190 just east of Walnut Ridge Park, north of Magnolia Ridge Park at the Neches River, and the extreme northern portion of the Project between the Angelina and Neches Rivers.  With few exceptions, these flowage easements grant the Federal government the right to prevent human habitation on the flowage easement and to prevent any activity that would limit the government’s ability to periodically store flood water on the land.

    In some instances, the reference to a flowage easement restriction is omitted during the preparation of new deeds during changes in property ownership. This omission does not diminish the legality or validity of flowage easement restrictions over the property involved.  

 

ACTIVITIES ALLOWED ON FLOWAGE EASEMENTS WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION

 1.    Mowing, clearing, planting vegetation.
 2.    Selling or leasing the land to others, subject to all restrictions contained in the flowageeasement instrument.
 3.    Constructing a wire or metal fence to or along the Government boundary line.

ACTIVITIES WHICH ARE PROHIBITED ON FLOWAGE EASEMENT LANDS

 1.    Constructing or maintaining any structure for human habitation or buildings for commercial purposes, permanent or temporary.
 2.    Placing fill material within the easement, raising the land above the flowage easement contour, or altering the location of the flowage easement contour.
 3.    Placing or constructing any other structures or appurtenances to existing structures on the flowage easement  land without prior written approval of the District Engineer.
      “Other Structures” are construed to mean any structure of any kind including but not limited to fill material, buildings, ramps, ditches, channels, dams, dikes, wells, earthen tanks, roads, utility lines, and tramways.
      

        ACTIVITIES ON FLOWAGE EASEMENTS WHICH MAY BE AUTHORIZED BY WRITTEN PERMIT

     
 1.    With written approval, most structures, other than a building or structure designed or intended to be used for human habitation or commercial  purposes, structures that cause a loss of flood storage capacity, or structures designed to store petroleum or hazardous products, can be constructed on flowage easement land.
       
 2.   With  respect to construction of water wells, sewer lines, or septic systems, each case will beexamined to ensure that pollution of the lake or interference with the operation of the reservoir will not occur. All proposed sewer line and septic system installations must have prior approval of  city, county or state health departments. State law requires that septic system installations must be located a minimum of 75 feet in horizontal distance up slope from the contour line of 85 feet above mean sea level.


PERMIT APPLICATIONS

      All requests for construction or placement of any structure or facility on Government land or flowage easement lands must include the following:

1.   A letter of application which includes the type of request, the applicant’s name, address, and phone number(s), the sub-division, lot, and section (if applicable), and the nearest monument number (if possible). 
2.   Detailed design plans of the proposed work.
3.   A map showing the location of the proposed action and the relationship with the U.S. boundary line and flowage easement contour if applicable.
4.   Written approval from the appropriate agencies.

Please address all permit applications or other correspondence to:

LAKE MANAGER
   TOWN BLUFF PROJECT OFFICE
 5171 FM 92 S
  WOODVILLE, TEXAS 75979

We are engaged in preserving and restoring natural scenic beauty at Town Bluff Project and we appreciate any effort on your part to assist in this effort  on both public and flowage easement lands. Your assistance in erosion control, pollution abatement, restoring native plant communities, and related activities on adjacent land will help keep lake areas clean and beautiful for all Americans to enjoy.