WHITE BEAR LAKE — Concerns over enforcement of dock length in Commercial Bay are being addressed by the lake conservation district. 

Board Chair Bryan DeSmet said a meeting with the city raised issues as to how length will be determined to confirm if the 300 feet allowed is exceeded. The district's ordinance states that length of the authorized dock use area extends 300 feet, not dock length, he told the board at its Nov. 16 meeting. Starting point for a measurement was another concern. Should it be the ordinary high water (OHW) mark? That issue is not stated in the ordinance. 

DeSmet said the board must decide on what the protocol will be to measure dock length, as well as what action will be taken if a marina owner is out of compliance. 

Mahtomedi board member Mark Ganz felt it should be up to the owners to have their docks surveyed. Although the city offered to loan out survey staff to determine OHW, Ganz felt that would be a conflict of interest. "I wouldn't accept that," he said. "The city is a marina owner. They are in competition with each other." 

Since these issues are outstanding, the board extended the Oct. 15 deadline for dock applications without penalties to Feb. 1.

Several ordinance amendments were also discussed. These are first readings and will be acted on at the district's Jan. 18 meeting, since the board does not meet in December. 

The first amendment addresses enforcement of Commercial Bay permits. Language states that any licensee that exceeds its permitted number of slips will have that number removed from their license for the following two seasons. The licensee will be notified at least 10 days prior in writing to meet with the board to explain the violation.  

The second amendment involves clearly marking docks left in the water after Dec. 1 with reflective tape or paint visible to a distance of 100 feet to ensure safety to off-season users like snowmobilers. 

In other business, the Lake Utilization Committee tabled many dock permit renewals since applicants were no-shows at the meeting and the committee had questions that couldn't be answered. 


— Debra Neutkens

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