The Dayton Town Board tabled two resolutions regarding boat landings and no parking zones after hearing from irate Chain O’ Lakes residents.
At the board’s meeting Tuesday, Dec. 18, Dayton residents asked Town Chairman Chris Klein to delay any decisions regarding future boat landing improvements and no parking zones.
Many of them came to the meeting as a result of the removal of nearly 30 trees from along West Spencer Lake Road. The trees were removed in order to provide parking for visitors who use the boat landing there.
Casey Plunkett, a resident of West Spencer Lake Road, described Tuesday how his road had been surveyed shortly before the trees were cut down. then he noted that a similar survey of the road right-of-way had occurred on Long Cove Road.
“Those trees can be chopped down with no public hearing. That can happen to all of you,” Plunkett said.
He described the recent removal of trees as occurring with no approval by the Department of Natural Resources, no public hearing and no notification of the residents whose trees were cut down.
Klein said the town removed the trees along West Spencer Lake Road because they were in the 60-foot road right-of-way.
“The trees were on town property and they were removed by town employees,” Klein said. “A hearing is not required every time the town does maintenance.”
One of the tabled resolutions indicated that parking along the east side of West Spencer Lake Road would be limited to vehicles towing trailers. A similar restriction was proposed for Long Cove Road between Cleghorn and Camp roads and on a section of Radley Road.
Bob Underberg, president of the Chain O’ Lakes Association, asked the town board to delay any action on the resolutions until after the town chairman meets with the association’s board of directors.
Underberg said the association has 680 members and represents about 95 percent of all property owners living on the Chain O’ Lakes.
The Chain Association’s board will meet with Klein at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Farmington Town Hall, to discuss his plans for improving boat landings on the Chain.
Klein has proposed several major improvements to boat ramps on the Chain. According to a project list posted on the town of Dayton’s website, he plans to seek grants for 10 projects. Included on the list are the following:
• Knight Lake Channel at Knight Lane — ramp improvements, add parking lot drainage, toilet facilities and no parking signs.
• Marl Lake at Whispering Pines Road — widen existing access to 30 feet and drainage improvements and no parking signs.
• Dake Lake at Cleghorn Road — construct parking for vehicle with trailers along 650 feet of Long Cove Road right-of-way between Cleghorn Road and Camp Road, install no parking and restricted parking signs.
• Spencer Lake at West Spencer Lake Road — construct parking for vehicles with trailers along 350 feet of road right-of-way, improve parking for carry-in access, ramp improvements, handicap parking, launch pier, possible toilets, possible slow-no-wake buoys, no parking and restricted parking signs.
• Crystal Lake at Radley Road — construct parking for vehicle with trailers along 33 feet of right-of-way, ramp improvements, no parking sigma.
• Gooseneck Lake at Akron Road — ramp improvements, parking lot drainage improvements, parking signs.
• Bass Lake at Akron Road — ramp improvements, parking lot drainage improvements, parking sign.
• Stratton Lake at West Stratton Lake Road — ramp improvements or replacement, parking lot drainage improvements, parking signs, possible toilets and waste containers, possible launch pier.
• Round Lake at Lauritzen Lane — access to lake improved, access signage, ramp construction.
• Crystal River at Parfreyville Park — ramp improvements, parking signs, possible toilets and waste containers.
At the town board meeting, Klein said the DNR requires the town to provide at least parking for at least five vehicles with trailers at any lake with more than 50 acres of open water.
Bob Ellis, who is a county supervisor and president of the Chain O’ Lakes District, took issue with Klein’s interpretation of DNR regulations.
“In these resolutions, there’s an effort to divide the Chain into different bunches of lakes. the Chain is all one lake 750-acre lake,” Ellis said.
Kay Ellis told the board that the DNR requires a minimum of 20 spaces and a maximum of 28 parking spaces for vehicles with trailers on the entire Chain.
“We have 25 parking spaces on Taylor Lake alone,” she said, adding that there are more than twice as many parking spaces on the Chain than the DNR requires.
“No matter how many parking spaces you put out there, the demand will continue to grow, but the supply of water is limited,” Kay Ellis said.
She was one of several chain residents who noted that the lakes are already dangerous due to overcrowding on the weekends. Several residents questioned making improvements to the boat ramps if it would encourage more visitors to the Chain.
Bob Dixon, who lives on the 14-acre Marl Lake, said a pubic pier at Whispering Pines, a carry-on ramp on the opposite of the lake and a walking trail already draw large crowds to the area.
“On a busy weekend, that lake is attempting to accommodate 80 people at a time,” Dixon said. “Now, with the boat landing, you’re going to be bringing in more people.”
Several others asked the board to hold public meetings before making any decisions about future boat landing improvements.
Klein said the projects were only at an initial stage.
“I expect to involve other people, the neighbors around these landing and the residents of the Chain area,” Klein said.
Guns allowed in town hall
The Dayton Town Board approved a resolution to allow people with state-issued concealed carry permits to enter the town hall with a firearm.
Klein introduced a resolution to prohibit everyone but law enforcement officers and elected town officials from carrying a weapon into town buildings. The motion failed due to the lack of a second.
Supervisor Bruce Golding then amended the proposed resolution to allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to bring a gun into buildings owned by the town of Dayton.
Golding and Glen Newsome voted in favor of the amended resolution. Klein abstained.