SAVANNAH, Ga. – Officials from the J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake Project at Clarks Hill recently released the latest Shoreline Management Plan for the reservoir. The plan went into effect May 1.
The revised plan primarily changes some criteria for placement of new private docks in the reservoir and electrical system installations, but currently permitted docks are largely unaffected.
“We felt like the previous plan served the project well but needed clarification of some requirements. Also, this updated plan, incorporated information provided by residents, state agencies and others to set a more sustainable path for managing future development,” said Scott Hyatt, Operations Project Manager. “The most significant changes are for future subdivision developments. Most other residents adjacent to the federal lands around the reservoir will only see minor changes.”
Substantial changes in the plan include requiring a 20-foot minimum shared boundary with federal land in order to be eligible for new dock placement. For new subdivisions platted after May 1, 2018, only community docks will be authorized via agreements with the developers or homeowner associations. Private dock installations and replacements will continue to be allowed in existing subdivisions and individual land parcels that are not part of a subdivision.
Another significant change involves the installation of electrical systems on public land and private docks. All new installations must be solar powered.
“Not only is solar a clean, safe energy source, it also minimizes impacts to public lands by eliminating the need to trench-in traditional power lines,” Chris Spiller, a natural resources manager at Thurmond Lake, said. “Solar power also eliminates hazards and inconveniences when the reservoir recedes and dock owners choose to push docks out to follow the water.”
Electrical systems licensed before May 1, 2018 may be renewed as long as the system remains in compliance with all current codes and regulations. Thurmond Lake officials may grant an exception in areas where solar is not feasible.
The plan does not change rules on minor underbrushing activities on federal land.
Details about the shoreline management plan are available online or at the Thurmond Lake office.
If adjacent residents have questions about their particular situation, they should contact the shoreline management office at the Thurmond Project office. The telephone numbers for the Thurmond Project are 864-333-1100 or 800-533-3478.