TVA to vote on houseboat regulations

(Photo credit: WLOS)

FONTANA LAKE, N.C. -- New rules for houseboats on Fontana Lake could be coming soon.

The TVA is set to vote on new regulations next month out of concern for safety, sanitation, water quality and fair use of public lands and reservoirs.

The new proposed policy would grandfather existing floating homes, but it would also remove both floating homes and non-navigable houseboats in 20 years. Many owners say that's unfair and want a different plan.

"The one we would support, would be grandfathering the homes and prohibiting new construction, would be a better choice," Erik Sneed said.

He and his wife own two houseboats on Fontana Lake and have started an online petition calledFontana Families for Floating Houses.

"We'd have to destroy it and remove it because it's too big to put on a trailer and bring it anywhere. We'll be devastated," Laura Sneed said.

They also say the 20-year sunset option would hurt the lake economy. "My business will start downhill when they sign this," Tony Sherrill said, who runs the Alarka Boat Dock that provides services to houseboats.

The TVA says the public can voice their concerns the morning of the vote on May 5. That meeting will be held in Tennessee.

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