Council Legislation

Proposed Resolution No. R2016-142s

Title: A Resolution of the Pierce County Council Related to Damaging Waves on Crescent Lake; Requesting the Boating Advisory Commission to Conduct a Review of the Scope and Effectiveness of the Regulatory Requirements for Such Activities Set Forth in Section 8.88.480 of the Pierce County Code and Other Related Code Provisions; and Requesting the Boating Advisory Commission to Forward Any Recommendations Regarding the Same to the Council by a Date Certain.

Status: Passed

Sponsors: Councilmembers Derek Young, Connie Ladenburg

Final votes

February 21, 2017
Aye Aye Aye Excused Aye Aye Aye

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Public Comments

Name Date Comment
Curtis Schenk 2/18/17 11:37 PM To whom it may concern. I have signed the petition that resulted in Proposal No. R2016-142s. However, after contemplating the possible outcomes of this proposal, I have serious concerns as follows: • If large wakes are a safety concern on Crescent Lake, then large wakes are a concern on all waterways. • Just limiting the size of boat on Crescent Lake would not result in the intended outcome. A “party barge” (pontoon boat) greater than 21 feet long would be banned even though it leaves virtually no wake. • If we cannot “all just get along”, the county council could decide to make the speed limit 5 m.p.h., like Class D lakes. • There are those on the lake that would be happy with a “no wake” lake. I would not be happy with that result. • Who is going to decide how big of a wake is too big? Is there going to be a sheriff at the door of anybody that does not leave the minimum possible wake? Everybody knows how difficult it is to enforce existing rules, let alone this new one. When it is 90 degrees at 7:15 pm on a Saturday, if someone is still skiing, tubing, wake boarding, or just running up and down the lake in a boat or jet ski, it is against the rules. However I have seen it done and it does not seriously bother me. I have noticed the increased damage caused by waves, which is why I originally signed the petition. I do believe that the increased size of wake from “wake boats” is part of the problem. It can be a challenge to stand or walk on something that is floating (boat, paddle board, float, etc.) with huge waves. However, I do not know of a workable solution. I also believe that the fact that the water level of the lake has increased in recent years is a factor. While I have not measured it, I would estimate that the water level of the lake has increased by over two feet (or my property is sinking). Deeper water combined with larger waves causes more damage. The county has worked on a bypass for the beaver dams to lower the lake level, but by doing so, have established a new low level for the lake that is higher than the low level from last summer. There may be a solution could help this problem. I understand that there is a problem, but I am beginning to doubt that a new law is the answer. The new law (as proposed) would limit the size of boat to 21 feet and limit the size of wake generated to “not damaging?”. If this law is passed, the people that want to wake board and wake surf (especially the ones that live on the lake) will wake board and wake surf. There will be arguing, threats, police, resentment, and bitter feelings. Personally, I believe that there is enough division in the world (and the U.S.) today. RECOMMENDATION: I would like to come up with a way to lower lake level to previous norms. AND I would like to see if all residents of Crescent Lake could come to an agreement to limit the times (and/or days) that the “GIANT” wakes could be generated. The use of “fat sacks” or water ballasts significantly increase the size of wakes. Limiting the use or times they are allowed would limit the giant wakes. If the giant wakes were limited and the lake level lowered, damage from the wakes could be minimized.