Wolverine Lake residents will not be subjected to a marina docking ordinance that was under consideration at the Village Council’s Wednesday, April 27 meeting.
The Water Management Board last year resurrected a proposal to implement a marina docking ordinance for local control and to be sure the rules on the books reflect the state’s marina law requiring the owners of docks used by more than one boat owner to obtain a permit.
“The state has no resources to enforce such a law, so we would have to enforce it locally,” said Village Council President John Magee.
Included in the Water Management Board’s ordinance proposal was a requirement that village residents purchase a sticker that would be affixed to each boat. However, during the April 27 meeting, the council nixed the ordinance proposal in a 5-2 vote.
“The ordinance would impose significant administrative costs on the village as well as the residents who routinely dock 700 boats on the lake,” Magee said.
The $5 sticker fee, he added, would present greater oversight by village administration.
“It may be a good idea, but it’s hard to know which boat belongs where,” he said.
Besides, Magee said, the brunt of the problem lies with outlots and not with associations who do a fair job in regulating boat docking.
“The main issues and concerns are mainly about riparian rights or outlot docking privileges on Wolverine Lake, and in that case we would refer to our keyholing ordinance to address it,” Magee said.
Under the keyholing ordinance adopted in 1999, the “use of waterfront property for the purpose of providing access to such body of water for non-riparian property shall not be permitted in any zoning district.”
“The sentiment on council is that the keyholing ordinance does a pretty good job with non-riparian boats being docked on the lake,” Magee said.
Village Councilwomen Pam Kaznecki and Linda Champagne voted against the majority and favored drafting an ordinance for tighter control.
“We need something stronger with more teeth in it to cite people who don’t belong on the lake,” Champagne said. “It would be easier for police to enforce it and to identify which boats don’t belong.”
She added that the Water Management Board’s proposal was designed more for the protection of neighborhood residents with docking rights while keeping others off the lake.