Skinner Drive neighbors seeking boat slips

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Some residents of Skinner Drive in Twin Lakes are looking to get back a perk they haven’t had for perhaps as long as 30 years — boat slips on the lake in their neighborhood.

And while their quest may be daunting in light of Department of Natural Resources regulations, the village has agreed to go to bat for the residents with the state as a first step.

About a dozen people from the neighborhood turned out at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting to plead their case and ask for help.

Allen Gerken, acting as a spokesman for the group, said the neighbors are seeking about 10 boat slips at the end of Skinner Drive, a street on the village’s southwest side that dead ends at Lake Elizabeth. The last time there was a pier at the location may have been the late 1970s.

“We’re all in favor of getting that pier back,” Gerken said.

Village officials pointed out the DNR has changed pier regulations through those years, to the extent that it may be difficult to get state approval for what the  neighbors are seeking. Village President Howard Skinner, for example, pointed out DNR regulations say a pier location must have had history of having a pier within the last four years.

“I think that’s the battle you’re going to have,” Skinner said. Village administrator David Cox pointed out the the DNR has “been very careful in their review” of pier matters in the village.

With residents saying they were willing to work through whatever process — or even fight — might be necessary, Skinner offered to have the village make the first contact with the DNR on the topic.

“I think we have a better contact with the DNR than they do,” Skinner said.

If the village cannot work something out, the neighbors may need to take the fight directly to the DNR, they were advised.

“I want to make sure they know the DNR shot down the last person …” said Trustee Kevin Fitzgerald. “If this gets shot down it’s probably not us.”


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