Residential developers who have let or are about to let community dock permits expire will catch a break from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District.
The corps is changing rules in Lake Lanier’s 2004 Shoreline Management Plan to allow developers with permits that have lapsed or will lapse by 2013 until Dec. 1, 2014, to submit a final residential plat that has been approved by the “local issuing authority” or government.
“For new developments seeking a community dock, an approved ... preliminary plat or a letter from the (local government) attached to the plat stating that it meets (local) requirements must be provided,” corps spokeswoman Lisa Parker said.
“Then, a conditional community dock permit will be issued,” she said. “Community dock construction and installation must not take place until the final plat has been approved and the corps has ... issued a nonconditional community dock permit.”
The corps also has decided on how to issue the remaining dock permits on Lake Lanier.
The cap is 10,615, and the corps has established a lottery process to issue the remaining permits. Application reviews have been suspended because of low water levels and won’t be resumed until the lake returns to — and stays consistently at — 1,064 feet above sea level or higher.
The lake stood at 1,057 feet Tuesday afternoon and the elevation is continuing to drop. Winter full pool, which became effective Saturday, is 1,070 feet.
After applications in the lottery have been exhausted, the corps will revert to a first-come, first-serve basis of reviewing and issuing the remaining permits, corps officials said.
Minor changes in the shoreline plan will continue to be approved by the district commander and reported to the division commander on an annual basis, Parker said in a news release Tuesday.
“In advance of recommending a major revision to this plan, the public process will be repeated and changes will be publicly announced for review and comment prior to implementation,” the release states.
Chief Ranger Ernest Noe, who has overseen a process of issuing remaining dock permits on Lanier, couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.
On its website, the corps projects that Lanier will drop to 1,055.9 feet by Jan. 5, but in a recent report, officials were hopeful that relief is on the way.
“We are approaching the time of year where we will typically begin seeing frontal systems move through the Southeast, bringing much-needed rain to the basin,” the report states.
“While the two-week outlook shows no significant rain, the extended climatic outlook still indicates equal chances of above or below average rainfall for the upcoming winter months.”