George Vogel II, Esq. Comments to FERC 23 February 2005

posted Dec 6, 2014, 10:32 AM by Site administrator
As a learned and respected real estate attorney Mr. Vogel's comments are every bit as relevant today as they were in 2005:

" ... I believe it has been the opinion of attorneys and courts over the past 40 years that owners of property adjoining the lake have vested property rights in the land below the 800 foot contour line adjoining their property and to the use of the waters of Smith Mountain Lake. However, the position of AEP at this time is that adjoining land land below the 800 foot contour line, but merely have a revocable license. In my opinion this conclusion is wrong and contrary to the documentation of ownership of the land below the 800 foot contour line.
    ... The problem with revocable licenses is that they expire upon a conveyance of the property by the owner to whom the license is issued, and at the whim of AEP can be revoked at any time. The waterfront rights on Smith Mountain Lake and the right to construct boat docks is a very important element in the value of the owners property. A lot without access to the lake, even though it may have a view, may bring $40,000.00 to $50,000.00, whereas a similar lot with lake access and the right to construct a boat dock may bring $400,000.00 to $500,000.00.
   ... In my opinion AEP is using the Shoreline Management Plan and the licensing process to acquire rights to the property adjoining Smith Mountain Lake that they did not acquire in their purchases and condemnation proceedings 40 years ago."

Read Mr. Vogel's entire letter attached below:
Site administrator,
Dec 6, 2014, 10:32 AM