Lake Alan Henry in the Middle of Controversy - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/2/04

Lake Alan Henry in the Middle of Controversy

Back in 1989 the City of Lubbock drew up a restriction that would not allow any one to build within 300 feet of the lake. Nearly 20 years later, someone has built a cabana, the city is getting sued, and now it's a fight of profit and protection.

A $70 million lake that you paid for has recently become the center of controversy. At least six lawsuits have been filed; Lake Alan Henry developers against the city, the city against developers and lawsuits with private land owners. What's their beef? The city's 1989 rule that you can not build within 300 feet of the water. Most developers and land owners want the city to change the rule since lake front homes are being built. But the city is not budging.

"Our responsibility is to protect the water rights of Lake Alan Henry for our citizens," said Councilman Gary Boren. "I feel that if we have an agreement that easement need to be protected," said Councilman Floyd Price. "But make no mistake, we're committed to protecting that lake and the quality of the water," said Councilman Tom Martin.

A Lubbock businessman built his cabana on the easement. He's now being sued by the city. Developers are suing the city because they are challenging the rule, saying it needs more clarification.

And in the middle of whole mess, the city council has halted on plans to build a $1.3 million recreational facility until the lawsuits are dropped. "Until we get compliance, I think it would be a bad decision on the part of public policy that we would invest millions in the area," said Boren.

Boren says the facility the city wants to build would attract more people and increase land value to the area.

NerwsChannel 11 talked with land developer Clyde Kitten over the phone and he says he wants to work with the city. He has even offered to pay Lubbock annual fees if his buyers could build boat docks on the easement. Kitten says as long as the deed agreement is not clarified, the City of Lubbock will see more legal challenges that could land the city in court.

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