by Hudson Star-Observer
April 26, 2012 at 3:08 am in Hudson Star-Observer
The Hudson City Council faces a dilemma over boat docks in the St. Croix River that state and city officials say are there illegally. Continue Reading
Tags: Government, hudson, Outdoors 29 Comments »
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The people who have their docks in should be grandfathered in. If you want to set up a process for future docks then by all means. If I had purchased a house with dock rights I would be outraged if the city just decided to take it away.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 19 41
The only way you have dock ‘rights’ is through your deed. Is anyone claiming that it is on their deed? I don’t think so. Seems pretty cut and dried.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 38 9
These kind of disputes are very difficult. Old history, old promises made by past council members real or imagined. Grandfather clauses with or without records. Purchase agreements with real estate brokers that assume things rightly or wrongly. The key is to be fair, regardless of the history. It is not right to play favorites, just because it has always been that way unless everyone can put out a dock. I would think the goal is to enforce what is on the books and keep people in compliance rather than make exceptions for a minority. In some cases people have had docks and don’t even have boats but rent their docks out to other boaters. I am not saying that is happening in Hudson but it is common in other river towns. If allowing private docks, the city should enforce that only boats registered to the land owners park there to avoid people making money off land the city owns. In my opinion I really can’t see a reason to allow the docks to stay without making them public to all on first street, especially since the never had been in compliance. City owned docks are the answer but there is a cost.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 30 8
Hey, if they can put a dock on public property, why can’t I. I would love to be able to park my boat on the St. Croix.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 43 9
It would have made me nervous of the legality to cross a city bike path to get to my dock but give them an restictive easment and charge them accordingly…or a conditional use permit for 5 or 10 years subject to renewal. I am sure those people pay a bit more in property taxes because of the river than a guy living up the hill on say, second or third street. They are unique properties and maybe should be given a break of sorts.
Like or Dislike: 15 14
I am guessing that they would have paid a lot more, and be taxed a lot more, if they actually had deeded access to the St. Croix River. They are paying for proximity and view, not deeded access. Let’s not confuse the two.
If you live adjacent to state park land, you wouldn’t have special, exclusive rights to part of the park to put up a deer stand. This is no different.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 31 6
Most everyone who has a house has a strip of land between the sidewalk and the street that is owned by the city. Commonly called a boulevard. These people that live along the river have two boulevards, one on the streeet side and one on the river side. The boulevard in front of ones house is kept up by the property owner even though it is not their deeded property. The city expects you to keep up your boulevard by mowing it and maintaining it. One would not go across the street in front of a neighbors house and plant trees that they like on their neighbors boulevard. There are certain unique relationships between the city and the landowner, legal or not associated with the strip of land between the sidewalk and the street. In these cases, the other strip of land is between a sidewalk and a public river. Whether those relationships extend to putting a dock out is another story but they do have a unique situation with weight over the general public, in my opinion.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 11 21
While I appreciate your attempt to draw an analogy here Bob, yours doesn’t really fit this situation. The city boulevard certainly belongs to the city, even if the home owner mows it. I believe that the trees on the boulevard belong to the city because I have seen them trimming the trees on occasion. And the road on the far side of the boulevard certainly belongs to the city.
As it stands right now, the city has been taking care of the land between the walking path down on First and the river. Seems that the home owners property rights end short of even the walking path.
If I understand this right, it seems like a case where home owners have staked a claim to their land, the city land they cross over, and the beach in order to park private property in the river, which they do not own.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 20 5
I agree with bullseye. I think bob Anderson’s opinion shows an openness to wiggle room that can only get the city in future disputes. Especially since some board members or their families are affected by any decision. What if they do gandfather in the present docks and all other riverside property owners petition for a new dock? I don’t know how the city can justify refusing them. I also don’t think numerous additional docks is desirable, so where does that leave us? If I owned property there I would be putting up a new dock ASAP. Why wouldn’t I?
Like or Dislike: 19 6
what is the problem here?
looks like a bunch of knee-jerk reaction to a NON-issue.
I say grandfathr them in and let it be. Done.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 10 21
The problem here is that it is not a non issue anymore. The state and city are now invoved, so a resolution must be agreed to that is fair to all the land owners on that side of first street. Simply grandfathering in docks for some but not allowing others to do the same is not fair. Unless their deeds state they have docking rights these people have enjoyed benefits for years that are not theirs. House values could be unfairly affected in the future. Why should only some be allowed to profit off an illegally placed dock. Access to the river is very desireable and valuable. I dont blame the people with docks for wanting to keep them. Fact is they sre out of compliance. The only people this is a non issue to are the people now enjoying special benefits.
Hot debate. What do you think? 21 10
If I cant have something, nobdy should…right…?
thats what i see here.
You dont have a dock there because YOU dont live there. these people pay much higer taxes because the “live on the water” good god, let em have a friggn dock. It does not negativly affect you at all. Just a buch of whiners.
These people don’t live on the water. The city owns the lakeshore. The whiners are the ones crying to keep private docks on public land. We own that land, not the homeowners. They are just trying to get a benefit they didn’t pay for.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 25 7
Joe, your argument is childish. I might agree that this is not really a big deal but the state and city became involved, so now the city must review their policy for now and the future. The city can’t advocate that only certain people get special benefits. That is bad policy and will set up the city for future disputes and legal issues. Hudson has grown and the wink and nod council decisions will not work anymore. Also, according to tax records, these owners are not being taxed abnormally high.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 24 8
One of the nicer homes on first street that is now listed on Edina realty (1015 first street for just under $700k) states “stunning river views and frontage.” the pictures do not show a dock but there is now a large dock in place. I would be interested to know what the agent is telling perspective buyers. I doubt if this house would sell for that much if the buyer knew the dock was illegal and they only had the view. Also, is this house owned by anyone connected to the city council? Not accusing anyone of anything but these questions should be answered.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 19 4
Painreliever you are ridiculous. Let’s grasp at a few more straws. You are smart enough to look up a listing from Edina Reality but not smart enough to look up the owners of that house on the tax rolls. Obnoxious. Time to get a life and stop assuming corruption in your local officials. Either that or run you self and deal with the multitude of issues that come their way. But I know you are not accusing right?
Like or Dislike: 7 15
Red, the important assumptions to look at relating to this issue is that it all started when it was assumed by property owners that waterfront cleanup workers were on their private property when it was actually city property. Owners assumed they can have docks on city property, while the state and city laws are very clear (enforced or not), and now it turns out Edina realty may be being misleading in their advertising. I am just pointing out questions that should be asked and the city should consider to protect themselves from future disputes and set consistent policy. It is not really about conspiracy. It is about clearing up some confusion. Do you actually have a beef with that? or do you think a potential buyer that may be being promised something they may not have any right to have and may lose is acceptable? I don’t need to run for office to expect obvious questions to be asked. The council will determine if there is any look of corruption by how they handle this issue. As far as who owns the house for sale and may profit off the confusion about river acces, I have not looked into that, but the city should, and should be very transparent about any and all connections.
Like or Dislike: 15 6
Painreliever you seem to know a lot of information. Very interesting. Very interesting in deed. Might be good to be at the next meeting to discuss all of this and make sure they are considering all these theories
Like or Dislike: 8 12
Facinating insight into the topic at hand Red. It is really great that you can bring such relevant opinions to the discussion instead of just trying to argue with someone while failing to even attempt to add any intelligent point to the article above.
Like or Dislike: 13 3
wow….now we are on to conspircies, corruption, connections…
I wish I had the kind of time to worry about such a highly important issue of two docks…
Like or Dislike: 5 12
I agree with you Joe….Painreliever I don;t believe I was arguing just find it interesting how you know so much all the time . Very interesting is all I said. If that is argumentative then I guess once again you are the knowledgeable one so you must be right.
Like or Dislike: 7 12
Who cares- it affects like 10 people…
was kinda my thoughts all along….
…do gooders think they need to solve the worlds (city) problems….
Like or Dislike: 5 2
Split the shore into dock lots and have open bids each Spring. Let the market be open to all who can pony up the the cash for the highest bids. Put the money toward public assess improvements to the river.
Like or Dislike: 11 6
Simple solution. Make one of those big docks public, for everyone to use. Ban the rest and no overnight boat parking. The homeowner can either donate it or remove it. His choice. Too easy.
Like or Dislike: 5 6
This is simple.The pathway property was surveyed in 1998 and no action has happened in 14 years!! The homeowners now own that property. Case in point; put up a fence on your neighbors property (maybe a foot or two- not in the middle of their yard). If they don’t say anything for a number of years the property is deemed yours.
Like or Dislike: 4 10
Not as simple as you may think Bill. Squatters rights don’t apply against government entities, railroads, utilities and such. So the property owners have no claim to this property. And even if that was the case it would be twenty years and other stipulations.
Like or Dislike: 7 2
Sorry Bill, but the property owners will never own that property. The city owns it. Always will.
Like or Dislike: 5 4
One issue which has not been discussed and probably never will be is the fact that there is the potential for some fairly serious environmental issues on this stretch of the river. The river used to be the sewer/dump for the city of Hudson and the industries near it. When the city took ownership I doubt there was much thought given to the environmental liability. Who has time to think about that? If Willis Miller were alive he could list a number of businesses which disposed of “waste” between the railroad and the river. Most of it is “gone” now. Not cleaned up but just gone. Some is still there and it doesn’t take an expert like some of the commenters here, to understand that. Heck, al lyou need to do is walk along the shoreline where possible and it sticks to your boots. Any homeowner looking to obtain ownership of that area should give serious consideration to an environmental assessment. Maybe the city should too. Anyone investigate the tar balls at the swimming beach? Can you say MGP? Look it up.
Like or Dislike: 0 0
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