It’s that time of year when the temperatures rise and Beaver Lake is the place to be! Beaver Lake is a man-made reservoir in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas and is formed by a dam across the White River. Beaver Lake has around 487 miles of shoreline. With towering limestone bluffs, natural caves, and a wide variety of trees and flowering shrubs. It is a prime location to buy a home- either for you to live in or rent to visitors.

New law changes

Recently, there have been some changes to property owners on the lake. The Beaver Lake moratorium was lifted in November 2018. What does that mean to future property owners who want lake access? Well, it depends. If you want to buy land and build a house with a private boat dock, you will need to make sure that land is in a designated access area. These are found on the updated map created by the US Corps of Engineers and are known as Limited Development Areas or LDAs. The land will need to be an LDA, and you will need to have ownership of at least 75 feet of continuous shoreline. The property must be at least 200 feet from the dock site. This new regulation officially took effect on December 31, 2019.

If you are wanting to buy a property that is in a subdivision that may not necessarily be lakefront property, the same rules apply to a community boat slip. As long as you own 75 feet of shoreline and the property line is within 200 feet of the community boat dock, you have access to a boat slip, if not, you are up a creek without a paddle, so to speak… You might be thinking, “Hey, my subdivision has common property that meets these requirements. I can use this to build my boat dock.”

That is not the case. Unfortunately, any new construction of boat docks has to meet the 75 feet of shoreline and property line is 200 feet from community boat dock requirements as well. So, if you bought property in a subdivision years ago, and you didn’t add your boat slip to the community boat dock, then you will just have to be content to build a house and use a marina for your boating needs. I just hope you at least have a great view of the lake.

Impact

With these new developments, I would imagine that the property values with private boat docks or access to these LDAs would be more valuable in the future as more and more people begin to realize just how hard it will be to gain access to the lake. The way we structure our lake subdivisions will have to be different as well. Usually, the main benefit of buying lots in a lake area subdivision was the access to the community dock. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future to Beaver Lake real estate. I, for one, will definitely be keeping my eyes on these developments.

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