Some Dixon Beach Residents & City Of Okoboji Are At Odds With DNR Over Dock Regulations

Wed 1-13-2021

(Okoboji)-- Some Dixon Beach property owners on West Lake Okoboji and the city of Okoboji are at odds with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources over the spacing of some docks in that area. The DNR is vowing to enforce a rule dictating how much space is allowed between docks in that area after receiving a complaint a couple of years ago from a Dixon Beach property owner who has since moved away. The agency is threatening to pull dock permits from those not in compliance. The property owners argue their docks should have been grandfathered in, adding the present arrangement has been working for many years.

There was discussion at Tuesday's council meeting as to what further extent the city should be involved in the matter. Councilman Jim Delperdang says the 10 or so property owners that would be affected have a lot on the line...Dock Concerns01 

"I mean there's some hardships. Some of these people may have to give up a dock or a hoist and a boat and if we do force docks off or a sharing of docks, that obviously affects their property value and the re-sale value. So it's not without consequence to a lot of these homeowners along there."

Fellow councilman Jerry Robinson agreed, adding he's concerned the city could be held liable if it doesn't continue to contest the matter...Dock Concerns02 

"The bottom line to me is that these folks are our citizens. They are our taxpayers. And I think while we can't and don't want to get involved in dock permits and such. We do owe them some sort of support at some level."

Councilman Walter Mendenhall differed. He says the city has already tried unsuccessfully to intervene, adding the DNR's position likely isn't going to change...Dock Concerns03 

"I don't particularly think it's to the city's advantage to try to get in the middle of this and work against the state. It's really up to the land people, to the wharf people there, to work within the parameters offered. That's 40 feet for a 50 foot lot."

Following some further discussion the council directed the City Administrator and City Attorney to write another letter to the DNR expressing the city's and property owners concerns.