Public access on Lake Lanier 

Published 11:02 pm Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tryon Commissioner wants to budget money for public dock 


LAKE LANIER—At least one Tryon Commissioner is asking the town to budget funding to place a dock at Lake Lanier for public access for Tryon residents.  

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During a Tryon Town Council meeting last week, Tryon Commissioner Bill Crowell said a Tryon citizen recently had her son in town, who is a kayaker. Crowell said the resident drove her son to Lake Lanier to put his kayak in at the landing and a lake resident informed her that Lake Lanier is a private lake and he had no right to be on the lake.  

“(The town) owns some land around that lake,” Crowell said.  

Crowell has always said that he believes since the town owns the lake that Tryon residents who pay taxes should be able to access the lake.  

Crowell told council he would like to see the town budget money to build a dock on town property near the dam so residents of Tryon can put in and take out kayaks and so Tryon residents can have a fishing area.  

“I would just like to see that for the future of the lake,” Crowell said.  

During last week’s meeting, commissioner Bill Ingham said he agreed with Crowell that town residents should have access to the lake 

“I do agree with Bill on the access of the lake,” Ingham said. “I think we should have that.”  

The Town of Tryon owns the lakebed of Lake Lanier, located just across the state line in South Carolina. The town uses the water for its water customers both inside and outside town limits, including Lake Lanier customers. The lake is technically a subdivision and currently only allows people to use it who are residents. The Lake Lanier Civic Association controls the lake’s access through a boat ramp in Third Basin, which is locked.  

Tryon also owns the dam, located in First Basin, including land surrounding the dam. The town processes the water and sells it to customers from its water plant on Carolina Drive in Tryon.  

Tryon also has zoning jurisdiction over any building over the water. Greenville County, South Carolina, where the lake is located, enforces any building codes over any land.  

There is no longer any enforcement on Lake Lanier from the state of South Carolina. The enforcement from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources stopped many years ago.  

Tryon Town Council held a budget work session last Wednesday for the upcoming fiscal year 2019-2020 budget, with the idea of a public dock brought up. Town Manager Zach Ollis said while no real budget numbers were discussed, some commissioners said they wanted to research the idea and he is looking into it.