Shoreline Structures Policy

Construction requirements for decks, patios, sidewalks and gazebos

There are some areas around the Lake where the project boundary was not lowered and remains much higher than 662' contour elevation. Check the map online or contact Ameren shoreline staff to ensure you are not located in one of these areas.

In 2007, Ameren Missouri received a new license for the Osage Hydro Electric Project that included the Lake of the Ozarks. The license, and the Shoreline Management Plan that subsequently was approved, does not allow for the installation of new lakeside accessory structures below the 662' contour elevation. This is a vast change from previous practice, which allowed accessory structures below that elevation. Any new construction in the form of decks, patios, sidewalks and gazebos must be placed above Ameren Missouri’s project boundary or they will be required to be removed.

To comply with the approved Shoreline Management Plan, Ameren Missouri shoreline management staff members are inspecting the entire shoreline of the Lake each year and monitoring construction very closely. Structures found within the project boundary fall into 3 categories: conforming structures built prior to 2008, non-conforming prior to 2008, and violations constructed after 2008. 

  • Structures built prior to 2008: Beginning in 2007 and ending in 2011, shoreline management staff surveyed and documented more than 4,000 structures located below the project boundary. The majority of these were built according to requirements at the time of construction. The owners of these facilities have been contacted, and an after-the fact permit has been issued. These structures can be maintained in the current location and dimension.

  • Non-conforming structures built prior to 2008: About 230 structures built prior to 2008 were not constructed according to the requirements of the time. These must be registered with FERC as non-conforming in accordance with our shoreline management plan. 

Patios may not be constructed with any material below the 662' contour elevation or within 3 feet behind any seawall; this includes brick pavers and flagstone unless providing perpendicular access to the shoreline or a dock.

  • Structures constructed after 2008: According to our license, new patios, decks, sidewalks and gazebos between the water and the 662’ contour elevation are not allowed. During the inventory of the shoreline we have uncovered new construction projects, such as decks and sidewalks, built below the 662' contour elevation after 2008. Shoreline management staff members work to immediately notify owners of these structures to stop construction if it still is under way or to remove all constructed improvements below the 662' contour elevation. 
If the 662’ contour elevation is located on the seawall, the project boundary is 3 feet behind the face of the seawall. All new structures must be at least 3 feet behind the landward face of the wall. Access paths to the dock can still be constructed.

           Walkways   Walkways 

  • Continuous Shoreline monitoring: Since the completion of our initial survey work in 2011, shoreline management staff members have completed three additional inventories. We intend to visually inspect all 1,150 miles of shoreline each year to ensure no new structures are placed in violation of our new shoreline policies. If you have questions about your construction project, or if you see someone else building a deck, patio sidewalk or gazebo on the shoreline, please contact our office at 573-365-9203.

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