Lake Lanier residents raise several concerns at town meeting

Published 1:43 pm Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lake Lanier was on the agenda for the Tryon Planning Board on Thursday but not specifically for those reasons. The town is considering changing its current rules for lake encroachments from an ordinance to a town declaration. &bsp;

Tryon attorney Bailey Nager explained that Greenville County is no longer recording amendments to the town&squo;s code of ordinances because the town is considered a property owner, much like a developer in a subdivision.

Some changes to the town&squo;s declaration include new and changed definitions for clarification, required building elevations with a lake encroachment application and an allowance for decks on top of boat garages. The planning board recommended the approval of the declaration with some changes&bsp; of the draft.

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The planning board agreed with LLCA members on a few changes, such as allowing a 7-ft. walkway inside a boat garage, instead of the previously recommended 5 ft. maximum walkway.

LLCA members also expressed concern over a proposal to restrict any withdrawal of water from the lake from anyone except the town. LLCA members said there are several homeowners who pump out water for irrigation or washing boats.

Some members even noted that the town needs to follow its own rules considering it is in the Lake Lanier deed with the town that the town not draw water out of the lake when water is not flowing over the dam.

The planning board decided to take the water withdrawal prohibition out of the declaration and the town could address that issue separately at a later date.

LLCA members also said the dock over the silo is a safety risk and the town needs to fix the dock and put a light on it for safety.

Town officials said they will look into that request and said they will research concerns about holding tanks. Greenville County banned holding tanks for new boat garages some time ago, but old holding tanks are grandfathered and can be replaced and repaired. Other changes to the town&squo;s declaration includes prohibiting someone from crossing the adjacent property line in the water with an object.

For example, a boat garage owner may tie a boat to the side of their dock that in the water is on their neighbor&squo;s property. The new declaration prohibits that action for boats or other objects.

The town left building heights for boat garages at 16 ft. (including deck rails) and also left the dock footprint to be 25 ft. out into the water.

Tryon owns the lake bed and enforces any building that encroaches the water. The town uses the lake as its main source of water. Tryon Town Council will hold a public hearing most likely in June prior to deciding whether or not to approve the changes.