House Concurrent Resolution No. 46




            WHEREAS, Ameren Missouri owns and manages the Lake of the Ozarks, Bagnell Dam, and Osage hydroelectric plant under its license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); and

            WHEREAS, under its license agreement, Ameren Missouri was required to develop a shoreline management plan, which was submitted to FERC in 2008; and

            WHEREAS, FERC regulations require that only land needed for the dam's operation, recreation, shoreline control, and environmental protection be included in the boundary; and

            WHEREAS, Lake area residents and visitors enjoy a wide range of recreational activities and opportunities on lakefront property, including a 17,441 acre playground just south of Osage Beach; and

            WHEREAS, Lake of the Ozarks State Park is Missouri's largest park with over 85 miles of shoreline and two public beaches, plus boat launching areas; and

            WHEREAS, with the significant role that recreational activities play in the economic well-being of the Lake region, the current lakefront access enjoyed by residents, businesses, and visitors is vital to the financial viability and growth of the Lake of the Ozarks; and

            WHEREAS, on July 26, 2011, FERC issued its order modifying and approving the shoreline management plan. In its order, FERC required Ameren Missouri to file for FERC approval a detailed report to each nonconforming structure and encroachment and Ameren Missouri's proposed course of action; and

            WHEREAS, FERC did not demand or otherwise require any of the nonconforming structures be removed. On August 25, 2011, Ameren Missouri requested that FERC allow them to revise the project boundary to exclude those properties that were not needed to serve the purpose of the project; and

            WHEREAS, Ameren Missouri requested that for those properties located within the current project boundary, where Ameren Missouri owns property in fee, upon which a residential dwelling has been built either in whole or in part, Ameren Missouri would redraw the project boundary to exclude the property, subject to certain conditions, such as environmental assessments, one-time fees, and legal surveys; and

            WHEREAS, FERC clarified its position and specifically stated that "Nothing in the SMP, the July 26 Order or in this order has any impact on property rights. Whatever rights entities have in lands within the boundaries of the Osage Project - whether conferred by deed, lease, easement, or other conveyance - have not been and will not be altered by action in these proceedings. This Commission has no jurisdiction to rule on property rights, which are matters of state law."; and

            WHEREAS, FERC did not approve the request to make homeowner's pay for legal surveys or the request for the payment of a one-time fee from the homeowners; and


            WHEREAS, as part of the creation of the project boundary, Union Electric Land and Development Company reserved an easement to all of the lands that became the Lake of the Ozarks. For approximately 60 years thereafter, Union Electric allowed unrestricted access with little or no permits required; and

            WHEREAS, developers and property owners acted in relation to that easement without question, with the common understanding that if land adjoining the lake was purchased, access to the water came with such property; and

            WHEREAS, on January 31, 2012, Ameren Missouri filed its amended shoreline management plan with FERC which included a new project boundary for approval. Ameren Missouri says the new plan will ensure that most, but not all, of the 1,600 homes along the Lake of the Ozarks shoreline are not threatened with removal; and

            WHEREAS, Ameren Missouri's new shoreline management plan revises the shoreline boundary so that most of the homes are no longer encroaching onto land that is part of the Bagnell Dam hydroelectric project; and

            WHEREAS, banks and real estate companies in the Lake area warned that removal of homes and other structures would damage an already fragile real estate market; and

            WHEREAS, the Missouri General Assembly is sensitive to the important nature of these issues for the property owners, citizens, and businesses; and

            WHEREAS, hoping to end months of anxiety and confusion, to provide certainty, and to facilitate a swift resolution between FERC, Ameren Missouri, and the affected property owners, the Missouri General Assembly urges FERC and Ameren Missouri to cooperate and coordinate the proposed shoreline management plan with local government and the affected property owners; and 

            WHEREAS, coordination works because most federal agencies are specifically directed by Congress to work with local governments through this process before implementing policies or plans that will impact the local community; and

            WHEREAS, given the impact of these important property questions on real estate transactions within the Lake of the Ozarks region, these property issues must be resolved with the utmost diligence; and

            WHEREAS, since there is sufficient time prior to FERC's deadline for submission of a revised shoreline management plan in June 2012, Ameren Missouri should work with local government and the affected property owners to ensure that under the amended shoreline management plan no property owners in the affected areas will lose their homes or businesses:


            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-sixth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby strongly urges Ameren Missouri, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the affected property owners to cooperate in coordinating a swift resolution to the shoreline management plan project at the Lake of the Ozarks that respects the rights of property owners under Missouri law; and

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare properly inscribed copies of this resolution for Ameren Missouri and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.