02/24/05 — Walnut Creek residents can have boat slips

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Walnut Creek residents can have boat slips

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on February 24, 2005 1:47 PM

WALNUT CREEK -- For the first time since the village was incorporated, homeowners will be allowed to build structures to protect their boats.

The Village Council voted Wednesday to approve guidelines for the construction of boat slip covers. The covers will be roofs supported by corner posts. They will not have walls.

New boathouses with walls are still not allowed.

The issue was controversial in Walnut Creek, and several people spoke at a hearing last month. The new ordinance is an attempt to satisfy both boatowners and nature lovers.

"Changes happens every day," said resident Sue Fallin before the council's vote. "Maybe it is time for this change."

Homeowners with property fronting on Lake Wackena or Spring Lake can now request permission to build covers over boat slips, which are channels into the lakes. The structures will need to be at least 10 feet from the lake's edge.

The covers cannot be taller than 12 feet, nor can the covered area exceed 500 square feet. The roofs will need to be flat or built with only a slight pitch. All painted areas must be in earth tones or colors that match the design of their homes.

All plans will need to be approved by the village manager, the planning board and the Village Council prior to construction.

Many slip covers and boathouses still stand from the pre-village days, although many are now in bad shape, Mayor Ken Ritt said after the meeting. Homeowners believed that they could not repair them, given the village's prohibition.

The ordinance allows boathouses built before 2005 to be removed and replaced with new ones. They will not be allowed to have walls, but they can be built on the water if that is where the existing boathouses are.

The new ordinance went into effect immediately.