(Adopted February 11, 2017)
The Geneva Lake Conservancy (GLC) advocates to protect the environmental quality of Walworth County lakes and wishes to support activities which will help preserve a lake’s beauty and use for future generations. In recent years there has been increasing encouragement by the DNR to reduce mooring buoys on lakes and move boats to slips for boating safety. In essence, the goal is to limit buoys from spreading further into navigable waters and becoming hazardous. With this encouragement, lakefront homeowner associations are beginning to request the extension of their existing piers to over the 100 ft. limit to add slips for residents.
Pier Advocacy Position
The GLC believes piers should not be allowed over the existing 100 ft. length limit without the amendment of current common lake ordinances by the lake municipalities and should only be approved under the following conditions:
- When waters are too shallow to allow for a boat slip at 100 ft. and then the pier should not exceed 200 ft.
- Homeowner associations should only be allowed piers beyond 100 ft. with the appropriate DNR permit but less than 150 ft. under the following conditions:
- Where mooring buoys exist, those buoys must be eliminated to justify the lengthening of the pier. The removal of these buoys should be agreed to and documented by the parties involved including the association, the municipality and the DNR. It is understood that there shall be no net gain in the total number of “boat accommodation facilities” by the association.
- The piers must stay within legal setbacks from riparian boundaries as currently required by municipalities.
- The piers cannot limit navigation of boats docked at neighboring piers.
- Previous legal agreements among neighbors and members of the associations should be upheld or the pier should not be lengthened.
- The physical portion related to an extension of or an addition to a “grandfathered” pier shall be in compliance with all municipal required legal setbacks and requirements.
- The GLC does not see the need for private homeowners to have piers over 100 ft. unless there is a depth issue (#1 above).
Mooring Buoys, Swim Rafts, Etc. Advocacy Position
Mooring buoys, swim rafts, water trampolines, etc. shall require a permit from the applicable municipality. The mooring buoy, swim raft, water trampoline, etc. must prominently display the applicable permit number. Placement of the mooring buoys, swim rafts, water trampolines, etc. shall be in compliance with DNR/municipal regulations. Any mooring buoy, swim raft, water trampoline, etc. not in continuous use for two boating seasons shall be removed. Replacement of the mooring buoy, swim rafts, water trampoline, etc. may only occur through approval of a new permit.
No-Wake Marker Advocacy Position
No-wake markers shall require a permit from the applicable local municipality. The permit number must be prominently displayed on the marker. Placement of markers shall be in compliance with DNR/municipal regulations.