Aug. 1, 2011

Group opposed to Weiss easement regulations to meet Saturday

By SCOTT WRIGHT

CENTRE A group of landowners who live and/or recreate on waterfront property around Weiss Lake plan to meet Saturday in Rolater Park in Cave Spring, Ga. to discuss what action they might be able to form together and take against Alabama Power Company.

Alabama Power built Weiss Lake in the early 1960s, primarily for hydroelectric power generation and flood control. In addition to the lake itself, the company also owns the rights to a substantial (around 17,000 acres) flood easement around the 30,200-acre reservoir.

Since 2006, Alabama Power has operated a dedicated shoreline management office in Cherokee County. In previous interviews, Regional Coordinator Tommy Miller has told The Post his office is charged with correcting decades of easement violations committed by property owners who have built illegal structures, including full-sized homes, inside the company's flood easement around Weiss Lake.

The group meeting Saturday, organized by the newly-formed Weiss Lake Property Owners Association, is hoping to challenge those efforts.

The group is running and ad in this publication that states "Alabama Power Company has announced they are going to proceed against property owners who are out of 'compliance' one at a time. They are a huge corporation with deep pockets. Many property owners believe they are using their size to coerce and intimidate them ... with 'guidelines' which are vague, subjective, inconsistent and oftentimes at odds with approvals previously granted."

The group hopes to recruit other waterfront property owners to join together and fight Alabama Power.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Central Time on Saturday.