Douglas County Commission to consider establishing Lone Star Lake dock regulations

photo by: Dylan Lysen/Lawrence Journal-World

Several boat docks and decks are seen extending from private properties onto the public Lone Star Lake in southwestern Douglas County on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. The County Commission on Wednesday will consider adopting regulations that would establish rules for future dock and deck structures.

For the first time in Douglas County history, property owners along Lone Star Lake may need to follow specific guidelines when building docks on the water.

The County Commission on Wednesday will consider adopting regulations for docks and decks on the southwestern Douglas County lake.

Property owners have historically extended docks and decks from their property onto the county-owned lake. The county is now seeking to create safety rules for those structures, while also bringing them under the purview of the county’s codes, which the county has been revamping in recent years.

“Safety is part of the reason, but the County has undertaken several land use initiatives during the past few years … to create a consistent approach to the properties at Lone Star Lake,” County Administrator Sarah Plinsky said in an email to the Journal-World.

An example of the revamped codes is the recent rezoning of the many properties near the lake from transitional agriculture to Lone Star Lake Lot Residential, also known as LS.

According to the proposed regulations, the county wants all future boat docks to be floating structures rather than stationary. Currently, the lake includes about 50 floating docks, five stationary docks and 13 decks, according to the county.

While the current stationary docks would be allowed, if they become “unserviceable,” meaning they can no longer be used safely, they would need to be repaired or replaced in compliance with the new regulations. To repair or build a new structure, the property owners would need to obtain a building permit from the county.

Additionally, the proposed regulations would allow for docks to have roofs, not second stories. Diving platforms would also be allowed, but only up to 2 feet above the dock’s surface.

Other regulations cover the types of materials allowed to build the structures and ways electricity can be provided to them. A full list of the 25 proposed regulations is included in the commission’s meeting agenda posted on the county’s website,

In other business, the commissioners will consider a request from Trivedi Farms LLC, a farm winery at 1826 East 1150 Road, to register its property for Tier II Agritourism uses.

The registration would upgrade the farm winery from Tier I, which allows for wine tasting events, to Tier II, which would allow for more activities, such as weddings.

The County Commission will convene at 5:30 p.m. for its regular business meeting. The meeting will be open to the walk-in public at the county courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St., but a link for the public to watch live online is available on the county’s website, Residents may also call in and listen by phone by dialing 1-312-626-6799 and entering meeting ID 922 1209 8182.

Full audio from the meeting will continue to be posted on the county’s website, as usual. The meeting’s full agenda may also be found on the county’s website.

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