Changes ahead for floodway property leases -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Changes ahead for floodway property leases

Dougherty County Attorney Spencer Lee Dougherty County Attorney Spencer Lee

Dougherty County residents who lease floodway property will be receiving a letter in the mail, if they haven't already, with a copy of the lease terms.

It's an effort by the county to prevent residents from building on floodway land that FEMA prohibits.

In one case, two residents on Lover's Lane Road in Dougherty County built a deck, a driveway, and a storage shed on leased flood property.

The terms of the lease, which were signed 15 years ago or longer by many, do not allow for any building that might impact the way water flows when it goes over the banks.

Now, those residents will have to tear down the structures according to those lease terms, unless they are able to get a federal variance, which is unlikely.

"They may have forgotten about those restrictions, so I think the county is being proactive in sending out those letters and alerting them to the fact those restrictions do exist," said Dougherty County Attorney Spencer Lee.

The federal government turned over more than 50 properties during the flood buy-outs in the 1990s. The county has about 20 properties under a lease with homeowners.

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