The Hartwell Sun, January 19, 2013
Vivian Morgan, Staff Writer
Dock Transfer Rules Create Confusion
Wording in the 2007 Hartwell Shoreline Management Plan caused a huge stir at the Hart County Property Owners Association meeting Monday night. It also initiated a flurry of phone calls to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The information was pointed out by Hartwell resident Bob Techo. In addition to holding a doctorate in chemical engineering, Techo tutors Hart County property owners for their tax appeals.
As the shoreline management plan is written, new property owners who purchase property with a dock, in a cove, run the risk of not having that dock permitted by the Corps of Engineers.
“What they are saying is that if the property is sold to another person, then the permit that the Corps gives out becomes invalid,” said Techo. “Then the buyer has to go to the Corps for a new permit. But if the buyer has purchased the dock and they live in a cove where the shoreline is such that it might interfere with other properties, then they may not get a permit for the dock they already have. These lines come out perpendicular to the 660-foot elevation mark. If they interfere with each other, the Corps says no permit. They cannot interfere with each other.”
Corps of Engineers shoreline manager Joe Melton told The Hartwell Sun that dock permits are not transferable from one owner to another but, in most instances, that should not be a problem.
“As long as the docks are maintained, we can reassign it to a new owner,” said Melton. “If it has been permitted before, we will honor that.”
Hart County Property Owners Association president Gary Hamilton also met with Melton on Tuesday and was assured that new owners will be allowed a dock permit, regardless of the perpendicular lines, if there is already a dock in place.“
The new owner must make application but the dock will be grandfathered in,” relayed Hamilton from his conversation with Melton.
For residents who want to hear firsthand from the Corps, Melton has agreed to be the featured speaker at the next POA meeting. That meeting is at 7 p.m.on Feb. 20 in the Hart County Library.