In 2017, the board of the Defenders of Crooked Lake received concerns from members that Crooked Lake residents had applied to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to construct a dock. They were concerned over the size and the configuration of the proposed dock.
As we investigated the proposed dock, we came to find that it would extend over 200 feet into the lake, cover approximately 2,600 square feet of lake bottom, include berths for 6 water craft and a 2nd story observation deck, and would be the largest residential dock ever built on the lake.
Concerned neighbors and the Defenders of Crooked Lake formally challenged the issuance of the FDEP permit on multiple grounds. Unfortunately, our petition was rejected and the permit was issued.
Docks of even larger and longer sizes can be permitted on Crooked Lake if alternative action is not taken. We believe that a proliferation of mega docks would drastically change the character and ecosystem of Crooked Lake, and the preservation of Crooked Lake is at the core of our mission.
The Defenders of Crooked Lake has approached the Town Commission of Hillcrest Heights and proposed that the Town adopt an ordinance restricting the size of docks on Crooked Lake. The primary elements of the ordinance would restrict new docks to a length less than 200 feet, a total square area of 2,000 square feet, and allow a maximum of 2 boat berths. The full text of the proposed ordinance is available at this link.
Based on our review of existing docks on Crooked Lake, almost all the docks currently constructed would be permissible under the proposed ordinance. The proposed ordinance, therefore, would prevent future docks from growing larger and larger. Proposed docks would still be required to comply with all other state and federal permitting agencies (e.g. FDEP, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, etc.)
We welcome feedback on the proposed ordinance. Comments can be sent to email@example.com. The proposed ordinance will also be a topic of discussion at our Annual meeting on March 19, 2019 at the Babson Park Women’s Club.