View Full Version : Non-Navigable Houseboats on TVA Lakes

04-13-2016, 09:50 AM
Not sure if everyone has heard of the issue going on with Floating Houses and Non-navigable houseboats on TVA controlled lakes but the TVA is proposing new regulations that would prevent future building and require all existing Floating and Non-navigable houseboats be removed from the lake in 20 years (at owners expense). So in reality, they will render all of these houseboats "worthless" by passing these regs. There are over 900 of these on Norris Lake alone and over 1800 spread across other TVA lakes in TN, NC, AL, and other states. Some of these floating houses are $250,000 to $300,000 or more. Really, the only difference in these as opposed to factory houseboats is that they cannot be moved and are permanently moored in a marina. Many marina's rely on these for there year-round income and the spending by these owners and to remain viable businesses. I suspect that without these customers many of these marinas would be forced to close.

04-13-2016, 04:45 PM
You can read about it, https://www.tva.gov/Environment/Shoreline-Construction/Floating-Houses/Floating-Houses:-Frequently-Asked-Questions

04-14-2016, 06:55 AM
I wonder what the rationale is? (water quality, and environmental impact, of course, but why are non-navigable houseboats worse than powered ones that never move? Floating homes, arguably could produce less pollution than powered ones, especially if they didn't require pumpouts of blackwater?) Is there a minimum power/speed required or must evidence be produced that the 10-hp outboard motor hung on the back deck of that 3-story floating home actually moves the thing?
Sometimes I wonder if bureaucrats make regulations merely to justify their existence. And to produce more tax revenue. I could be wrong, of course. ;)

04-14-2016, 10:05 AM
The TVA doesn't allow liveaboards either. This is not a new issue. Bunch of B**tards flexing their muscles because they can. If the TVA had their way there would be no shore side residential building allowed. This is not new.

The Condos that replace these sites will generate more tax money and require less services.

04-14-2016, 10:51 AM
IMHO, I believe this issue has been pushed by those who own property on the shores of these lakes. They decided they didn't like these floating houses obstructing their view. Granted some have fallen into different stages of disrepair and some are abandoned but there isn't a need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I know of one instance where someone bought property above a marina and complains about the houseboats and floating houses. This is like buying a house next to an airport and then complaining about the noise.

Others complain that these floating houses are using public lands without paying taxes or fees when reality they are. If you rent your home do you pay property taxes? No, but your landlord does and those taxes are passed on to you, the renter. Same goes for these floating houses. The marina owners pay lease fees for the property and water their marina covers which is passed on to those who rent mooring and dock space from them.

Another complaint is "navigation hazards". I fail to see how a floating house, permanently moored in a marina constitutes a navigation hazard. If there wasn't a floating house in that location chances are there would be a factory houseboat. What's the difference, you still have to navigate around it. The navigation hazard would be more likely occur with a factory houseboat as opposed to a floating house where the factory houseboat would be out on the lake day or night.

The environmental (sewage) and safety issues (electric) can and should be addressed and no one is disputing that. A floating house can't really sink whereas a factory houseboat can, releasing oil and fuel (some factory boats store hundred of gallons of gas or diesel) into the water...now there is an environmental hazard for you.

Many of these new regulations aren't being disputed, only the 20 year sunset provision. This single provision has basically nulled any value in that asset. You couldn't sell it if you wanted to and if you had a loan on it, why would you pay it. If it were me (I own a factory houseboat, not a floating house) I'd just remove anything from it that could identify me, unhook it, float it out in the lake, set it on fire and let the TVA clean up the mess.