By Polly Keary, Editor
Recently, the city of Monroe determined that a cable park planned for Lake Tye would not significantly impact the environment, and thus an expensive environmental impact statement would not be required of the developers, moving the park forward in the permitting process.
Friday, Diane Elliot filed an appeal asking that the park be denied, arguing that the park is in violation of laws forbidding motorized sports on the lake.
“I want to be clear that I am not opposed to the sport but only the location and the fact I believe the majority on City Council are again violating the codes of Monroe,” she said in a statement.
She cited a passage in Monroe’s Shoreline Master Plan that reads, “No gas-powered motors of any size and no electric motors in excess of one and three-quarters horsepower, including model boats shall be allowed on Lake Tye, unless otherwise approved by special event permit.”
“The long term lease being proposed would not seem to qualify for a special event permit,” she said.
Although the cable park would not involve the use of boats, it still meets the definition of watercraft, she argued, saying that the electric engine running the tow cable will be 50 horsepower, and that riders will reach speeds of 35 to 40 mph.
“It should be clear that a 150 pound (and up) wakeboarder on a four-foot fiberglass board weighing about 15 pounds being towed by a cable powered by a 50 horsepower motor at a minimum of 20 mph on Lake Tye is a violation of the code which addresses the regulation of ‘watercraft’, and includes in the definitions; boat, float, raft or other watercraft,” she said.
She referred to YouTube videos of activity at other cable parks, saying that it is too rambunctious of an activity for Lake Tye.
“I am only trying to point out that adding this extreme sport to the other relatively passive uses on Lake Tye, especially adjacent to the swimming area, is a dangerous proposition,” she stated.
Among her concerns was the possibility that an out-of-control rider would injure a swimmer and that the spray from riders could drench boaters bypassing the park.
Elliot is acting alone on the appeal. She is also involved in another appeal against a Monroe development; she is a member and spokesperson for Friends of North Kelsey, which is working to force Walmart to more closely comply with city design guidelines for that area.
The appeal will go to a hearing examiner. Monroe is currently searching for a hearing examiner or group of hearing examiners to replace John Galt, whose contract was not renewed this year. Hearings typically are settled within a matter of weeks.