Clear Lake City Council approves banning commercial use of city-owned dock at seawall

first_imgCLEAR LAKE — Clear Lake’s City Council Monday night on a four to one vote approved an ordinance banning any commercial activity from the new floating dock at the seawall near Main Avenue. An ordinance was proposed in an attempt to keep the dock from becoming a so-called private marina for pick-ups and drop-offs of rental boats. Councilman Mike Callanan says docks at the seawall were never intended for commercial use.  “It has always been for the use and convenience of Clear Lake citizens and our visitors. From 4th Avenue North to 4th Avenue South-City Beach outlet, the city has created some very rare space for the public to enjoy the lake. Movement Solutions’ commercial use of the seawall and dock area and subsequent congestion have limited the public’s ability to utilize it.” Councilman Gary Hugi successfully offered an amendment to the ordinance to not allow any commercial use of the dock after September 8th. He says Movement Solutions has been overusing the dock without the city’s permission.  “This business didn’t even ask for approval to use this dock. Not once to anybody on the council or in this administration that I’m aware of. What proof do we have of insurance that will hold the city harmless if there should be an accident or damage to the dock caused by their renters and watercraft. Simply put, my suggested solution to your problem is to find a parcel of land on the lake, purchase the land and put in your own dock, and not rely exclusively on city dock and resources for your business.” Councilman Bennett Smith was the lone no vote on the ordinance. He says while he doesn’t want the dock to take on the appearance of a private marina that incidental commercial use of the dock should be allowed. “It is important for tourists and visitors to Clear Lake, and in these difficult economic times, we should facilitate the docking, shopping, and enjoyment of our downtown area for their customers, within limits.” Mayor Nelson Crabb suggested the council take one of the recommendations from the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board that a discussion further open up within the community about use of the public dock. “Let’s do this in the manner that we have done in many other private-public partnerships. There we’ve established agreements that would include input from those who are directly affected. In this case it might include, could include Park & Rec board members, Chamber members, city government officials, marine rental owners and others. This would be a lot more palatable than having an ordinance enacted halfway through the summer to correct a perceived violation of proper use of our new city dock.” The council passed the first reading of the ordinance and then waived the final two readings to allow the full ordinance to be enacted immediately.

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