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Public supports ban on TVA shoreline land development

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Walter and Felicia Gourdin have watched the housing market boom over the past four decades near their home on the shores of Norris Lake, bringing along clogged boat traffic and fewer fish to be caught.

“You can call it progress if you like, but it’s hardly progress to me,” Felicia Gourdin said. “This is the way it’s going everywhere, but how much can you stand? We used to be able to
dip a cup into Norris Lake if
we were thirsty. You wouldn’t dream of doing that today.”

The Gourdins’ letter was among 5,000 comments submitted to the Tennessee Valley Authority about a proposed shoreline land development policy during a public comment period last fall.

The TVA Board of Directors voted 8-1 on Nov. 30 to make permanent a temporary moratorium on land sales for private development, ensuring public access and preservation to some 293,000 acres managed by TVA along the 652-mile Tennessee River and its tributaries.

“We really did put a lot of man hours into this, and we listened and debated among ourselves what was the right policy,” said TVA director Susan Richardson Williams of Knoxville, who chaired the board’s Community Relations Committee that was tasked with drafting the policy.

In the comments, which were released to media outlets last month, many officials called for greater flexibility in the policy, stressing the need to keep avenues open for economic development.

But members of the public were nearly unanimous in supporting a ban on private development.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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