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They are taking away my lake!!!

Hey everyone,
This is my first time posting on here ( a lengthy one too, I apologize) but I'm looking for help on my local lake issue. It's not a ski lake, just a public lake I live on. Quick background on the lake. It use to be a city lake but once the city built a new one a file miles away they stopped caring about this lake and let us do what we want. It's been unregulated for the past 30+ years. A developer bought some 200+ acres on the south side of the lake and is putting in apartments and shops and now the government sees a chance to make money from the lake again. Worried about the lake traffic I went to the town hall meeting when they were discussing it to ask how the would control traffic only to be given the worst answer I expected. They plan on doing engine and speed restrictions. I asked the city council point blank "so your telling I have lake in my backyard that I can no longer ski on?" Their reply was yes.

I'm hoping to get some ideas from everyone to help me fight it or convince them otherwise. I have a few arguments and I feel a few valid reason.

1. They are making it a less desirable lake to live by/around. My wife had been talking to a family that put a offer on a house across the lake. After the meeting my wife informed them about the upcoming lake restrictions. The family is now in deep consideration if they want to continue through with the purchase. I feel this would be a good example of what selling property around the lake would become.

2. There are more options than just to kick skiers of the lake. There main reason for wanting to put the restrictions in placed is because they claim the lake is shallow and there are stumps. They got this information from one of my neighbors. This neighbor doesn't own a boat and I'm not sure if she's ever been on the water, she just doesn't like the boats driving by. The city told me they were doing it for liability issues. If this truly is the case, wouldn't a big sign at the boat launch warning boaters about shallow water and underground obstructions and to use the lake at your own risk be ample enough?

3. Mark out the hazards. I know this is a far less practical solution because they don't know where they are and the markers can be knocked over, disappear, etc. but they honestly need to be more worried about a fishing boat trolling the banks running into a stump then me out in the middle. Throw some bouys up in the shallow bays and make them wakeless. Make it wakeless within so many feet of the banks, which is mostly where the hazards are and is a law on most lakes anyways.

4. I feel like this would be a winning solution if the government would go for it. Require a permit to use a motorized boat on the lake. I would much rather pay a yearly fee to use the lake in my backyard then have to go to the overcrowded lakes 30 - 45 minutes away (selfish, I know). This gives the city some money, let's them fine people for more money, helps regulate the amount of people wanting to come to our lake, and they can make the boaters sign a waiver when picking up the permit releasing them off liability.

I feel these are some good valid point. Critique and other ideas would be helpful. They are talking about making every thing happen in roughly 6 months meaning next year. I'll be off lake next season. Rest assured, I will be out every warm day I can until they tell me to stop.

Thanks for any help.


( There is a 5th option. Say the heck with all this, sell my property and buy some land further out of the city to build my own ski lake... If only.)


  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 2,877 Mega Baller
    What reasons did they give for closing the lake? It’s easier to counter or address specific objections that to try to counter every possible objection.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • 75Tique75Tique Posts: 140 Solid Baller
    our small neighborhood lake banned surf boats before it was really an issue, so no problem on our lake. The similar neighborhood lake across the highway waited until this year. Because of opposition to taking away an existing right, they grandfathered existing wake boats but said no more. Maybe you have some room for that kind of compromise discussion.
    “So, how was your weekend?”
    “Well, let me see…sun burn, stiff neck, screwed up back, assorted aches and pains….yup, my weekend was great, thanks for asking.”
  • dbaconazdbaconaz Posts: 95 Baller
    maybe work with those that live on the lake and others by getting a petition started to not make those changes. I would get this out in the community of boaters ASAP. even local boat/ski shops and fishing stores.
  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 661 Crazy Baller
    You should organize your neighbors and start attending city council meetings. Our city was besieged by Short Term Rentals for a couple of years. A group of us started attending the meetings and made our voices heard, we recruited other subdivisions to join us and they did. Two years later the city enacted a ban on short term rentals, problem solved. It didn’t hurt that there are 3 city council members within 1/4 mile of my home.
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,228 Mega Baller
    Where do you live? USAWaterski has a waterways committee. One would think this would be the exact situation where they could be helpful. Depending on your region, the EVP of your region should be able to put you in contact with the regional waterways committee representative.
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
  • OldGuysRuleOldGuysRule Posts: 113 Solid Baller
    Address the issue of "property values" for both the new construction and existing homes. Hit 'em in the pocket boot. Possible litigation for existing property owners property values going down due to new lake rules.
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 520 Crazy Baller
    Agree with @OldGuysRule - potential class action. That term alone is usually at least cause for pause
  • alex38alex38 Posts: 511 Baller
    edited October 26
  • MNshortlinerMNshortliner Posts: 222 Solid Baller
    Reading stories like this make me sick to my stomach. I know in some states the people on the lake get to make the rules for that lake but that just doesn’t make sense to me. I bought a used slalom course from a guy in Wisconsin that said he used to use it all the time until the lake association put on a no wake zone effective from 6pm to 9am. Prime waterskiing times for morning and evening. Further, he said only the locals abided by this “Rule” because people trailering to the lake didn’t give a [email protected] about the only lake in the area have extra rules...
  • JohnseedJohnseed Posts: 26 Baller
    Rather than just approaching the council as a whole why not meet a couple individual council members and win them over first? I would go for the property value angle as well.
  • animalanimal Posts: 96 Baller
    Make sure that the City has authority to make rules on use of the lake. In many states, the State is the only entity legally authorized to control use of navigable waters, the water that lies above the land. Developers get around this issue by owning all land around a body of water and putting in rules for the land owners that they must follow. In many states, if you can get legal access to a body of water without trespassing, you can use it as long as you comply with State law. Keep in mind every state is different, so check where you are located.
  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 762 Crazy Baller
    As suggested above try to talk to a city or county commissioner to find out the facts and intentions. If you do not like what you hear I would talk to my neighbors who would be also affected and look into legal action. You may have a case because your property is worth a certain amount of money now but after the change to lake access your property may be worth nothing. Because of what has already occurred if you sell you may have to disclose the newly proposed lake regulations.
    Good luck.
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 5,832 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    Vote the clowns out.
    Shut up and ski
  • dislanddisland Posts: 1,443 Mega Baller
    Work the other angle also, what changed? a developer built more houses, work with the developer to help him understand how this will hurt him. usually developers are already plugged in politically. get them on your side and you will have more pull
    Dave Island- Princeton Lakes
  • DWDW Posts: 2,247 Mega Baller
    I would expect a difficult fight, what is going against you would be: 1. the tax revenue generated by a development and 2. you are trying to limit people from using a natural resource which probably won't sit well with local officials. Good luck.
  • DeanoskiDeanoski Posts: 969 Crazy Baller
    it sucks when you lose access to a good skiing spot. been there, we now lease a small pond from the city.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,470 Mega Baller
    Why wouldn't the developer want, as part of the package, a big-ass dock with a bunch of rentable slips for residents to put their boat for the summer? There are a couple of associations like that on my brother's lake. They have a community beach, a big dock, and lots of slips.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • RGilmoreRGilmore Posts: 65 Baller
    I suggest you research this through your state's DNR. Many states allow for Lake Management Plans, designed and voted in by the residents surrounding the lake - i.e., any landowner within 500 feet of the shoreline (or whatever). Within the state guidelines you may very well find that there are limits and exceptions that can be mandated and controlled by such a LMP.

    For example, in a state where I used to live, on lakes up to 75 surface-acres the nearby residents can ban all motorboats over 10 horsepower, but on lakes larger than 75 surfaces acres they are required to create a "timeshare" plan wherein certain days of the week allow the use of unlimited motor size (e.g., ski boats). Even larger lakes are actually prohibited from limiting motor size completely. If your research reveals such favorable rules in your state, you might very well be able to use a state program to do an end run around the city.
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