A last and final move by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should ease any remaining concerns of several hundred property owners at Lake of the Ozarks.

A last and final move by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should ease any remaining concerns of several hundred property owners at Lake of the Ozarks.

On Feb. 28, FERC issued an order allowing Ameren Missouri to pursue permits for approximately 215 structures that were termed as "non-conforming." Those were the structures remaining in limbo after Ameren was given approval to redraw the project lines encompassing Lake of the Ozarks.

FERC's order "constitutes final agency action" approving an Ameren report that effectively ends the threat of removal of structures at Lake of the Ozarks.

Under Ameren’s Encroachment Report, the 215 decks, patios, gazebos, boat houses, and similar structures that did not meet the new standards following the utility company’s boundary realignment will be grandfathered into the new approved boundary and will not be subject to removal.

FERC's order paves the way for Ameren to move forward with the permitting process for those structures.

Ameren had filed the request for permitting the non-conforming use structures in June 2012, according to Jeff Green. As supervisor of Ameren's Shoreline Management Real Estate Department, Green has been involved with the shoreline management plan and boundary issue throughout the process.

"We are very pleased with FERC's recent order accepting our request to permit over 200 nonconforming structures at Lake of the Ozarks," he said. "Although there is much work left to do in actually issuing permits for these structures, this represents the final chapter in years long process involving property owners, agencies and the FERC."

Ameren's main goal from the beginning has been to work out a reasonable solution that successfully resolves issues related to the location of unauthorized lake front decks, patios and similar structures within the project boundary. Now that FERC has approved the plan, Ameren can now move forward with issuing permits and getting back to business as usual at the lake, Green said.

Green said it is very important that lake front owners take note that under the new FERC approved Shoreline Management Plan, new decks, patios and gazebos are not allowed on project lands below the 662-foot elevation. Property owners need to be aware of the location of the 662-foot elevation prior to planning a lakefront construction project.

The final FERC order was announced by Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler's office.

“I am pleased to share the good news with owners of these Lake of the Ozarks properties that FERC has now backed off on its removal demand,” added Hartzler. “It took a lot of time and effort on the part of a great number of people to achieve this success. The FERC requirement caused a lot of concern among lake-area citizens. It is comforting to know that the final chapter has now been written.”

Hartzler said she and her staff have been working closely with Ameren to produce an acceptable solution to the problem that was created when FERC initially indicated approximately 4,400 privately-built structures in Ameren’s project boundary at Lake of the Ozarks would have to be removed.

“After much discussion, most of the targeted structures were exempted from the removal requirement, but more than 200 structures remained at risk,” Hartzler said in a statement released to the media.

The boundary change was heralded as a major victory for thousands of lakefront landowners and the area in general. FERC issued the momentous decision in 2012, upholding the rights of property owners and giving Ameren the right to redraw boundary lines to resolve ownership issues.

The boundary lines generally follow the 662 foot elevation except in some upstream areas where it follows higher elevations and carve-outs were added to remove existing commercial and residential structures from the boundary.