Public asked to weigh-in on possible changes to Table Rock Lake Shoreline and Master Plans

TABLE ROCK LAKE -- Changes could be in store for one of the area's most-used lakes. The plans that govern Table Rock Lake are under review.

745 miles of shoreline make up the large lake that spans from Southern Missouri to Northern Arkansas.

"There's a lot of land around the lake,"Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District Chief of Public Affairs Jay Townsend said.

Townsend explains that the Table Rock Lake Oversight Committee is tasked with helping take care of the lake. The group is made up of people from Missouri and Arkansas and includes local members of the boating and tourism industries.

"We want to make sure that there's a certain amount of [the lake] set aside for commercial use, there's a certain amount of it set aside for public use, and a certain amount set aside for environmental concerns," Townsend said.

The committee is looking at possible changes to the Shoreline Management and Master Plans, which govern things like how close people can build to the shoreline.

"[For example], if some people had a quarter of a mile distance between their house and the shoreline, the federal government is not going to say it's okay to pave a path all the way down that, then have a boat dock. You're cutting way into the public portion of the lake," Townsend said.

While no changes, or even potential changes, have been decided, people who attended the first of four public meetings on December 12 say their hope is that the Corps of Engineers takes the community's thoughts and concerns to heart.

"This lake is here for people to enjoy," Jonathan Niezing said.

Niezing owns a condo on Table Rock and hopes the community and the Corps can come together to make sure this resource can still be loved by all.

"It becomes a conflict when you have to protect what exists, but make sure it's enjoyed by everybody," Niezing said. "The balance is listening to the community and that the [community and the Corps] work together."

The next public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The third is scheduled for Thursday, March 5 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The final meeting will be on Wednesday, May 6 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The public will be allowed to comment during the second and third meetings.

The meetings will take place at the Dewey Short Visitors Center.

The public can also view the Shoreline Management and Master Plans and submit questions and concerns online.

For more information, visit this website: https://www.swl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Planning/Table-Rock-Lake-Oversight-Committee/