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Zone definitions

Zone 1 – Non-TVA Shoreland

This is shoreland located above summer pool elevation that TVA does not own in fee or land that was never purchased by TVA. TVA does not allocate private or other non-TVA land. This category is provided to assist in any comprehensive evaluation of potential environmental impacts of TVA's allocation decisions. Non-TVA shoreline includes:

  • Flowage easement land: privately or publicly owned land where TVA has purchased the right to flood and/or limit structures. Flowage easement rights are generally purchased to a contour elevation. Since construction on flowage easement land is subject to TVA's 26a permitting requirements, the SMP guidelines discussed in the definition of Zone 7 would apply to the construction of water use facilities fronting flowage easement land. SMP guidelines addressing land-based structures and vegetation management do not apply.
  • Privately owned reservoir land: this is land that was never purchased by TVA and may include, but is not limited to, residential, industrial, commercial, or agricultural land. This land, lying below the 500-year flood elevation, is subject to TVA's 26a approvals for structures.

Zone 2 – TVA Project Operations

This category includes all TVA reservoir land currently used for TVA operations and public works projects. It includes: 

  • Land adjacent to established navigation operations: locks, lock operations and maintenance facilities, and the navigation work boat dock and bases 
  • Land used for TVA power projects operations: generation facilities, switchyards, and transmission facilities and rights-of-way 
  • Dam reservation land: areas used for developed and dispersed recreation, maintenance facilities, watershed team offices, research areas, and visitor centers 
  • Navigation safety harbors/landings: areas used for tying off commercial barge tows and recreational boats during adverse weather conditions or equipment malfunctions 
  • Navigation dayboards and beacons: areas with structures placed on the shoreline to facilitate navigation
  • Public works projects: includes fire halls, public water intakes, public treatment plants, etc. (These projects are placed in this category as a matter of convenience and may not relate specifically to TVA projects.) 
  • Land planned for any of the above uses in the future.

Zone 3 – Sensitive Resource Management

This land is managed for protection and enhancement of sensitive resources. Sensitive resources, as defined by TVA, include resources protected by state or federal law or executive order and other land features/natural resources TVA considers important to the area viewscape or natural environment.

Recreational natural resource activities, such as hunting, wildlife observation, and camping on undeveloped sites may occur in this zone, but the overriding focus is protecting and enhancing the sensitive resource the site supports. Areas included are: 

  • TVA-designated sites with potentially significant archaeological resources.
  • TVA public land with sites/structures listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Wetlands: aquatic bed, emergent, forested, and scrub-shrub wetlands as defined by TVA.
  • TVA public land under easement, lease, or license to other agencies / individuals for resource protection purposes.
  • TVA public land fronting land owned by other agencies / individuals for resource protection purposes.
  • Habitat Protection Areas: these TVA Natural Areas are managed to protect populations of species identified as threatened or endangered by the USFWS, state-listed species, and any unusual or exemplary biological communities/geological features.
  • Ecological Study Areas: these TVA Natural Areas are designated as suitable for ecological research and environmental education by a recognized authority or agency. They typically contain plant or animal populations of scientific interest or are of interest to an educational institution that would utilize the area.
  • Small Wild Areas: these TVA Natural Areas are managed by TVA alone or in cooperation with other public agencies or private conservation organizations to protect exceptional natural, scenic, or aesthetic qualities that can also support dispersed, low-impact types of outdoor recreation.
  • River corridor with sensitive resources: a river corridor is a linear green space along both stream banks of selected tributaries entering a reservoir managed for light boat access at specific sites, riverside trails, and interpretive activities. These areas will be included in Zone 3 when identified sensitive resources are present.
  • Significant scenic areas: these are areas designated for visual protection because of their unique vistas or particularly scenic qualities.
  • Champion tree site: areas designated by TVA as sites that contain the largest known individual tree of its species in that state. The state forestry agency Champion Tree Program designates the tree, while TVA designates the area of the sites for those located on TVA public land.
  • Other sensitive ecological areas: examples of these areas include heron rookeries, uncommon plant and animal communities, and unique cave or karst formations.
  • Land planned for any of the above uses in the future.

Zone 4 –Natural Resource Conservation

This is land managed for the enhancement of natural resources for human use and appreciation. Management of resources is the primary focus of this zone. Appropriate activities in this zone include hunting, timber management to promote forest health, wildlife observation, and camping on undeveloped sites. Areas included are:

  • TVA public land under easement, lease, or license to other agencies for wildlife or forest management purposes.
  • TVA public land fronting land owned by other agencies for wildlife or forest management purposes.
  • TVA public land managed for wildlife or forest management projects.
  • Informal recreation areas maintained for passive, dispersed recreation activities, such as hunting, hiking, bird-watching, photography, primitive camping, bank fishing, and picnicking.
  • Shoreline Conservation Areas: narrow riparian strips of vegetation between the water's edge and TVA's back-lying property that are managed for wildlife, water quality, or visual qualities.
  • Wildlife Observation Areas: TVA Natural Areas with unique concentrations of easily observed wildlife that are managed as public wildlife observation areas.
  • River corridor without sensitive resources present: a river corridor is a linear green space along both stream banks of selected tributaries entering a reservoir managed for light boat access at specific sites, riverside trails, and interpretive activities. River corridors will be included in Zone 4 unless sensitive resources are present (see Zone 3).
  • Islands of 10 acres or less.
  • Land planned for any of the above uses in the future.

Zone 5 – Industrial

This is land managed for economic development, including businesses in distribution-processing-assembly and light manufacturing. Preference will be given to businesses requiring water access. Parcel descriptions should describe the primary type of use and discuss potential for infrastructure, access, and development; access for water supply or structures associated with navigation such as barge terminal, mooring cell, etc.; land based development potential. Areas included are: 

  • TVA public land under easement, lease, or license to other agencies / individuals for purposes described above.
  • TVA public land fronting land owned by other agencies / individuals for industrial for purposes described above.  
  • Sites planned for future use supporting sustainable development.

Types of development that can occur on this land are: 

  • Business parks: TVA waterfront land which would support businesses and light manufacturing activities.  Business parks should not include retail, service-based businesses like laundry, fast food, grocery stores, gas stations, day cares, or any walk-in type businesses.
  • Industrial access: access to the waterfront by back-lying property owners across TVA property for water intakes, wastewater discharge, or conveyance of commodities (i.e., pipelines, rail, or road).  Barge terminals are associated with industrial access corridors.
  • Barge terminal sites: public or private facilities used for the transfer, loading, and unloading of commodities between barges and trucks, trains, storage areas, or industrial plants.
  • Fleeting areas: sites used by the towing industry to switch barges between tows or barge terminals which have both offshore and onshore facilities. 
  • Minor commercial landing: a temporary or intermittent activity that takes place without permanent improvements to the property. These sites can be used for transferring pulpwood, sand, gravel, and other natural resource commodities between barges and trucks.

Zone 6 - Developed Recreation

The designations below are based on levels of development and the facilities available to the public, graduating from informal use to more developed use. Parcel descriptions should describe the primary type of use and discuss potential for infrastructure, access, and development.

Water access: small parcels of land, generally less than 10 acres, and typically shoreline areas conveyed to public agencies for access..

Public: more recreational opportunities, some facilities, more than just launching a boat and typically generally greater than 10 acres. This will include areas that have been conveyed for public recreation.

Commercial: property suitable and capable to support commercial water-based operations. This will include areas that have been conveyed for commercial recreation.

All reservoir land managed for concentrated, active recreational activities that require capital improvement and maintenance, including:

  • TVA public land under easement, lease, or license to other agencies / individuals for recreational purposes.
  • TVA public land fronting land owned by other agencies / individuals for recreational purposes.
  • TVA public land developed for recreational purposes, such as campgrounds, day use areas, etc.
  • Land planned for any of the above uses in the future.

Types of development that can occur on this land are:

Water access: e.g., areas that tend to be informal and can include launching ramp, courtesy pier, canoe access, parking areas, picnic area, trail, etc.

Public recreation: recreation on publicly owned land with facilities developed by a public agency and providing amenities open to the general public. Facilities at “public recreation” (municipalities/communities) areas typically include playgrounds/play structures, picnic facilities, tennis courts, horseshoe areas, play courts, recreation center, athletic fields, trails, natural areas, amphitheaters, food concessions (vending, snack bar), access to water for fishing and boating, swimming areas and swimming pools, marina facilities owned by the public entity, parking, and overnight (developed) camping.  

Public recreation, after the Land Policy, will not include residential use, cabins, or other overnight accommodations (other than campgrounds) except if a recreation area is owned by a state or state agency and operated as a component of a state park system, in which case cabins and other overnight accommodations will be permitted (e.g., local, state, and federal parks and recreation areas).

Public recreation uses typically include areas and facilities owned and operated by the federal, state, county, or local government (municipalities/communities) and in some cases by park and school districts. However, private entities may operate recreation facilities on public property as concessionaires under agreement with the public entity controlling the property. Recreation uses may be structured and formal or unstructured and informal. These may be offered free or for a fee. This does not allow for public-private partnership where facilities are owned by private investors. All structures and facilities should be owned by the agreement holder.  

Commercial recreation: defined as recreation amenities that are provided for a fee to the public intending to produce a profit for the owner / operator. These primarily water-based facilities typically include marinas and affiliated support facilities like restaurants and lodges; campgrounds; cabins; military vessel attractions, excursion tour vessels (restaurant on the water). These uses and activities remain permissible under TVA’s Land Policy and can be accommodated through changes in existing conveyance agreements.  These areas do not include residential use, long-term accommodations, or individually owned units. Where applicable, TVA will request appropriate compensation for use of the property.

Greenways: linear parks or developed trails located along natural features, such as lakes or ridges, or along man-made features, including abandoned railways or utility rights-of-way, which link people and resources together.

Zone 7 - Shoreline Access

This is TVA-owned land where Section 26a applications and other land use approvals for shoreline alterations are considered. Requests for shoreline alterations are considered on parcels identified in this zone where such use was previously considered and where the proposed use would not conflict with the interests of the general public. Types of development / management that can occur on this land are:

  • Water use facilities, e.g., docks, piers, launching ramps/driveways, marine railways, boathouses, enclosed storage space, and nonpotable water intakes
  • Access corridors, e.g., pathways, wooden steps, walkways, or mulched paths, which can include portable picnic tables and utility lines
  • Shoreline stabilization, e.g., bioengineering, riprap and gabions, and retaining walls
  • Shoreline vegetation management on TVA-owned access shoreland
  • Conservation easements for protection of the shoreline
  • Other activities, e.g., fill, excavation, grading, etc. 

 

 

 

           
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