Poquott planning board proposes changes to dock law

Poquott planning board proposes changes to dock law

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Above, the dock at 110 Van Brunt Manor Road in Poquott. Photo by Giselle Barkley

After 15 years, the Village of Poquott is taking another look at its dock law.

On March 14, the village’s planning board proposed making three changes to the dock law. The changes will set new guidelines for establishing docks in Poquott.

According to Planning Board Chairman, Roger Flood, the board wants to ensure there is at least 18 feet from the shore end of the dock and any obstruction along the shoreline.

The second change concerns the distance from a dock to a village beach or park. Currently, a dock needs to be 100 feet away from a village beach or park. Flood says the dock applications they’ve recently received are not close to these public areas, but the board wants to double the distance between the dock and these locations.

“No one had thought to build another dock [one-and-a-half-years ago],” Flood said. “It seemed like an opportunity just to review what happened under our dock law and see if it needed some tweaking going forward.”

In light of this, last year the village issued a moratorium on building docks. Trustee Jeff Koppelson said the moratorium was extended, which gave the board more time to propose changes to the 2000 law. While there were no dock applications at the time, the ban came nearly one year after a dock on 110 Van Brunt Manor Road was established.

Flood said plans for a second dock were underway in the past, but it wasn’t constructed because the lot wasn’t big enough to accommodate the structure. A property that is 100 feet wide would be big enough to construct a dock. According to the dock law, a dock and anything tied to the dock, can’t be within 30 feet of a property line.

Thus far people must build docks on a residentially zoned lot that has riparian rights. The rights are a means to allocate water among property owners who live or own land along the water. Flood, who helped create the initial law. While the board discussed means of preventing an overabundance of docks along the shoreline, the current law simply details a dock’s suitable distance to various property lines.

Flood and his team are also looking at how and if future docks will affect nearby mooring boats. While the board doesn’t want to displace nearby mooring boats, there was discussion of whether the docks will be long enough to deter offshore mooring in the area.

“Our intent is to have a similar sort of discussion at our next meeting to try and answer these kinds of questions,” Flood said about the law and mooring boat questions.

Mayor Dee Parrish couldn’t comment on the changes to the law. Parrish said she didn’t attend the board’s meeting and couldn’t comment until the changes are submitted to the board of trustees for their meeting in April.

The village will hold its next planning board meeting on Apr. 11, at 7:30 p.m., at Village Hall in Poquott.