Fort Worth District
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Adjacent Landowner Information
Guidelines for Property Adjacent to Public Land
The responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is to manage the resources and to protect the environmental features of Waco Lake to afford maximum use and enjoyment of the lake lands and waters for all segments of the public. Conservation of natural resources is given primary consideration in all management decisions.
While private exclusive use of public land is always denied, we do understand that property owners adjacent to public lands have the same rights and priveleges as any other citizen. Therefore, the information contained in these guidelines is designed to acquaint the adjoining landowner, and other interested persons, with the type of property involved in the management of Waco Lake.
Government Owned (Public) Land
Land which is owned in fee by the government consists of both the land where Waco Lake is located and the surrounding property. The limits of this land are defined by the U.S. boundary line, the corners of which are marked by concrete monuments. The boundary markers, or monuments, are topped with a brass cap which is usually about four inches above ground level.
As an Adjoining Landowner, you may:
- Apply for a permit to mow or clear underbrush to reduce a potential fire hazard or pest infestation. No tree species or beneficial plants may be mowed and the height of the cut vegetation must not be less than three inches. Site environmental characteristics dictate the amount to be mowed, but the distance from the property boundary line does not usually exceed 25 feet.
- Apply for a license to place a water line over or under government property to the lake for the purpose of withdrawing water for private use. Water rights must be obtained from The City of Waco Water Utilities before approval will be granted.
- Construct a fence to, or along, the U.S. Boundary line.
- Have unlimited pedestrian access to public land except those areas specifically restricted.
As an Adjoining Landowner, You May Not:
- Use public lands for any type of private exclusive use, or for commercial purposes.
- Place unattended personal property of any kind on public land.
- Construct buildings, roads, improved pathways, or any other facilities on public lands.
- Restrict public access to public land either verbally, by posting signs, or by any other method.
- Operate vehicles on public land, except on paved roadways and at authorized access points.
- Dispose of any type of garbage, debris, or other refuse on public land.
- Build fires on public land, except in authorized locations.
- Gather fallen timber for firewood to be removed from public land.
- Allow horses, cattle or other livestock on public land, except by lease from the government or as otherwise permitted.
- Destroy, alter or remove any facility, vegetation, or natural feature.
Flowage Easement Land
Perpetual flowage easement estates, such as those the government holds over property owned by others in the Waco Lake area, grant to the government full, complete, and perpetual right, power, privelege and easement to occasionally overflow, flood, and submerge lands in connection with the operation and maintenance of the lake. Flowage easement lands around Waco Lake are defined as those lands below the elevation contour of 503 feet above mean sea level.
A reference to flowage easement land may be found in the deed to such property, or cited for reference in the appropriate county deed records. In some instances, the reference to a flowage easement restriction is omitted during the preparation of new deeds with changes in property ownership. This omission does not diminish the legality or validity of flowage easement restrictions over the property involved.
As an Owner of Flowage Easement Land, You May:
- Mow, clear, plant vegetation, or otherwise use as desired if not in conflict with the terms of rights acquired by the government.
- Sell or lease the land to others, subject to all restrictions contained in the flowage easement instrument.
- Request in writing permission to build any structure, other than a structure designed or intended to be used for human habitation, on the flowage easement land.
As an Owner of Flowage Easement Land, You May Not:
- Construct or maintain any structure for human habitation, permanent or temporary, on the flowage easement land. Also, the placing or raising of a structure within the easement area by use of piling or other type of foundation or raising of the site through use of fill is prohibited.
- Place or construct 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 buildings, ramps, ditches, channels, dams, dikes, wells, earthen tanks, roads, utility lines and tramways.
With approval, almost any type of structure, other than a building or structure designed or intended to be used for human habitation, can be constructed on the flowage easement land.
All requests involving public or flowage easement lands must include the following:
- A letter of application.
- Detailed design plans of the proposed work.
- A map showing the location of the proposed action and the relationship with the U.S. boundary line.
- Written approval from the appropriate agencies.
We are engaged in preserving and restoring natural scenic beauty at Waco Lake, and we appreciate your participation on both public and flowage easement lands. Your assistance in erosion control, pollution abatement, landscaping, and related activities on adjacent land will help to keep private land in harmony with the lake area.
Please address all permit applications or other correspondence to: Reservoir Manager, Waco Lake Office, 3801 Zoo Park Drive, Waco, TX 76708.