Adjacent Landowner Information

Guidelines for Property Adjacent to Public Land

It is the policy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage the natural, cultural and developed resources of Somerville Lake to provide the public with safe and healthful recreational opportunities, while protecting and enhancing those resources. The boundary at Somerville Lake is typically fenced.

While private exclusive use of public land is not permitted, property owners adjacent to public lands do have all the same rights and privileges as any other citizen. Therefore, the information contained in these guidelines is designed to acquaint the adjoining landowner, and other interested persons with the types of property involved in the management of Somerville Lake.

Government Owned (Public) Land

Land which is owned in fee by the government consists of both the land where Somerville Lake is located and the surrounding property. The limits of this public land are defined by the U.S. boundary line, the corners of which are marked by concrete monuments. The boundary markers or monuments are each topped with a bronze cap.

As an Adjacent Landowner, You May:

  1. Apply for a permit to mow or clear underbrush to reduce fire hazard or pest infestation. Upon inspection and approval, restrictions as to method of removal and types of vegetation to be removed will be included in the permit.
  2. Construct a fence to or along the Government boundary line.
  3. Have unlimited pedestrian access to public land except those areas specifically restricted.
  4. Foot trails from private property to the lake's shoreline can also be maintained with approval from the Natural Resource Manager.

As an Adjacent Landowner, You May Not:

  1. Use public lands for any type of private exclusive use, or for commercial purposes.
  2. Place unattended personal property of any kind on public land.
  3. Construct buildings, roads, bridges, improved pathways, or any other facilities on public land.
  4. Restrict public access to public land either verbally, by posting signs, or by any other method.
  5. Operate vehicles of any kind on public land, except on paved roadways and at authorized access points.
  6. Dispose of any type of garbage, debris, or other refuse on public land.
  7. Camp on public land, except in designated areas.
  8. Have fires on public land except in authorized receptacles.
  9. Gather fallen timber for firewood except for use on public lands.
  10. Allow horses, cattle, or other livestock on public land except by lease from the Government or as otherwise permitted.
  11. Destroy, alter, or remove any facility, vegetation, natural or archaeological feature.

Flowage Easement Land

Flowage easement land is privately owned land on which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has acquired certain perpetual rights. Namely the right to flood it in connection with the operation of the reservoir; the right to prohibit construction or maintenance of any structure for human habitation; the right to approve all other structures constructed on flowage easement land, except fencing. The flowage easements at Somerville Lake are generally located between the Government boundary line and the contour established at 263.00 above mean sea level. A complete description of the flowage easement can be found in the deed to the property to which it is attached.

As an Owner of Flowage Easement Land, You May:

  1. Mow, clear, plant vegetation, or otherwise use as desired if not in conflict with the terms of rights acquired by the government.
  2. Sell or lease the land to others, subject to all restrictions contained in the flowage easement instrument.
  3. Construct a fence to or along the Government boundary line.

As an Owner of Flowage Easement Land, You May Not:

  1. Construct or maintain any structure for human habitation, permanent or temporary, on the flowage easement land.
  2. Place or construct any other structure 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 kind of structure 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 that does not reduce flood storage capacity or is not designed or intended to be used for human habitation may be constructed on the flowage easement land. With respect to construction of water wells, sewer lines, or septic systems, each case will be examined 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 construction must be approved by the appropriate health departments and all septic systems must be located a minimum of 75 feet in horizontal distance from the contour line of 263.00 feet above mean sea level.

Permit Applications

All requests involving public or flowage easement lands must include the following:

  1. A letter of application.
  2. Detailed design plans of the proposed work including elevations at the proposed site.
  3. A map showing the location of the proposed action and the relationship with the U.S. boundary line.
  4. Written approval of the appropriate agencies.

We are engaged in preserving, maintaining and improving the resources at Somerville Lake, both natural and developed. Your participation and assistance in these efforts is very much appreciated.

Please address all permit applications or other correspondence to: Lake Manager, Somerville Project Office, 1560 Thornberry Dr., Somerville, Texas  77879. If you have any questions, you can reach us at (979) 596-1622. Any correspondence should include a complete return address and phone number.

 

 

 

This site last updated on January 4, 2012