Policy changes to Docks, Davits and Boat Lifts provides improved flood control
As the agency responsible for local flood control, the District utilizes a Right-of-Way (ROW) Permitting program to manage its water resources and ensure proper stormwater drainage and unencumbered access to canal rights-of-way.
The ROW Permit is a revocable license granted to a permittee to occupy or utilize the District’s right-of-way. Boat docks are one example of a ROW Permit. The District may revoke a ROW Permit at any time, if determined to be in the best interest of the District’s flood control efforts. It is important for applicants to understand that any investment made in the right-of-way may be lost if the ROW Permit is revoked.
The personal use of the District’s right-of-way is a privilege and granted on a temporary basis to the permittee. The permittee is the person or entity to whom the right is granted. Only the person(s) or entities named on the face of the permit are authorized to use the right-of-way or make improvements that were constructed or installed in the right-of-way. For example, if you purchase a home with a dock in the canal, you are not authorized to use the dock until you transfer the permit into your own name. The rights of the permit are personal and are not automatically granted when a property is sold or transferred.
The District has a public duty to ensure that the canals perform in an optimal manner and ensure that uses within the canal and rights-of-way do not block the flow of water or create opportunities for storm debris to collect, causing the creation of a dam in the canal. For public safety reasons the District has modified its Operating Policy 3.6 regarding permits for docks, davits and boat lifts within its canal system. The modifications will mitigate risks to the District and the public as they pertain to flood control and emergency management, inefficiencies in the maintenance of the canal rights-of-way, and litigation/liability.
Highlights of the policy changes are:
- Removal of the authorization for roofs on docks
- Removal of the authorization for use of interlocking block revetment for erosion control
- Revision to the allowable size of docks, davits, boat lifts
- Limitations to location in canals and removal of non-compliant docks, davits, boat lifts
- Requirement of proof of $300,000 general liability insurance
It is important for residents to understand these revisions are in place for their safety and those neighbors around them. Residents with a dock located adjacent to their property and with a non-compliant permit may have their permit revoked and be required to remove the structure. For more information or questions on the District’s Docks, Davits and Boat Lifts Policy, contact Shaughn Webb or Brian Tilles, P.E., at 561-498-5363 or email email@example.com.