Three Lotus Lake residents took issue with the Chanhassen City Council and the city for not issuing an emergency “no wake” ordinance over the Fourth of July holiday.
JoAnn Syverson, Donna Burt and Larry Koch spoke to the council at its Monday, July 8 meeting.
“Why wasn't a no wake ordinance placed on the lake (Lotus Lake) during this busy holiday weekend?” asked Syverson, describing what she considered extremely high water. “Doesn’t the city have the power to enact the no wake on our lake? Especially with the projected high volume of boaters on a holiday weekend.”
Mayor Elise Ryan said that measurements taken July 3 showed that the lake level was below the 896.6 foot no wake elevation. The level was also below a proposed no wake zone of 896.3 feet, currently under consideration by the council.
“There was no expected high rainfall in the next few days so we were not even at the high water level to enact the high wake zone and that is why the city did not take any action,” Ryan said.
She also outlined the process the city must follow to change the existing ordinance, filing it with the DNR, holding a public hearing for all city residents, not just Lotus Lake residents.
“So we are going to begin the process,” Ryan said. “But to suggest we did not act, we didn’t act because it did not reach the high water mark.”
Donna Burt showed video and photographs taken last week alleging damage to their lakefront property from the waves created by the high water on Lotus Lake last week.
“The water is too high to operate at speeds that create a wave without harming others,” Burt said.
The third speaker to address the council was Larry Koch. He brought a yardstick he’d marked to illustrate the various Lotus Lake levels.
Koch asked the council to adopt an emergency resolution to lower the level at which boats have to travel at low or no wake speeds, from the current ordinance of 896.6.
Koch said the wakes created by the high water and wake boats are damaging his shoreline and extending to his property, plants and trees.
“I have five inches of water on my property before the no wake kicks in, and with any boat going past, I get five more inches,” Koch said. “With a wake boat I’m getting 12 inches above what it should be. I’m asking you to pass an emergency no wake resolution as allowed by Minnesota rules. To lower that level to 895.88 feet for regular boats and a 10-year average for wake boats. It’s the minimum we have to do to protect the shoreline.”
Koch said that the city could pass an emergency resolution good for 30 days, outside of the DNR rules. And he also compared the wakes created by wake boats to the city ordinances covering nuisance issues, citing interference with other lake users, endangerment and depreciation of property.