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Can I Have a Private Boat Dock on Table Rock Lake?


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Because private boat docks have been “grandfathered in, " on Table Rock Lake, the easiest way to obtain a private boat dock is to purchase a home on the lake that already has one.

But, let's suppose you want to purchase a lakefront lot, build a new home, and have a private dock?

The first step is to find a lot available for sale that is “zoned" for boat docks. The Corps of Engineers has designated 10% of the shoreline in specific areas as having boat dock zoning.

Finding and purchasing such a lot, however, does not necessarily mean that you can start construction on a private dock. It is imperative that a prospective buyer visit with the Corps of Engineers first, as there are other criteria besides zoning that must be met such as distance from other docks, width of the lake at the property site, etc.

If you find a lot that is zoned and approved by the Corps of Engineers for a private dock, the next step is finding an owner of an existing private dock who is willing to sell their permit. The best avenue to find this is through your Realtor, the local newspaper, or boating around the lake and scouting for For Sale signs.

There are good reasons for boat dock zoning and a limited number of private docks. Limited zoning controls the number of boats on the lake to some degree, which makes for a safer waterway. Capping the number of private dock permits puts the limited zone to use for the most people-the Corps of Engineers will issue new permits for 12 to 20-slip boat docks, given that all of their requirements are met.

Don't let this information discourage you. There are lots of available boat slips in community docks. Several people own boat slips right in the neighborhood where their home is located, often within walking distance.

A slip in a community dock has many advantages over a private dock that you may not be aware of: maintenace is shared, someone is usually in charge of watching the lake level and adjusting the dock, and getting to meet other people who enjoy the lake!

This is intended as a general explanation of boat dock zoning on Table Rock Lake. You can obtain more information by reading the detailed Shoreline Management Guide published by the Corps of Engineers.

Tammie Turner, Tri-Lakes Realtors, 417-337-4422 cell, Resident for 28 Years-I Know the Area! Web site:


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