Corps of Engineers sues to remove house from flood control easement

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 7, 2010, 7:28am

MARSHALL-The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has filed a lawsuit asking the court for $25,000 to remove a structure that is encroaching on a flood control easement outside of Jefferson.

The Corps of Engineers filed suit against Gary A. Eberhart, Tom Eberhart and Crystal Cove Corp. on Sept. 2 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

The suit alleges the defendants are trespassing and encroaching on land encumbered by a flowage easement, designed to prevent loss of life during a flood. The flowage easement is designated as "Tract E-594-E" and is part of the Lake of the Pines Flood Control Project.

In April 2009, the Corps discovered that a new house was being constructed near the shoreline of the Lake of the Pines on Lot 22 of the Crystal Cove Subdivision in Marion County.

Lot 22 and the adjacent lot are owned by the defendants. Lot 22 is contains restrictions by the flowage easement that prevents construction without a permit from the Corps and completely prohibits construction of habitable structures.

The Corps is demanding the house to be removed in order to preserve the flood control and flood protection purpose of the land, in an effort to prevent the possible loss of human life should the Lake of the Pines require that the flood tract be inundated.

The Corps is asking the court for an award amount sufficient to recover the costs of removing the house or $25,000, for a permanent injunction preventing the defendants from further encroachment, an award of court costs, interest and attorney's fees.

The case is being pursued by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert N. Hooper

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv00347

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