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Classify this Structure!

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
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10,624
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34
Spring is in the air, a time when a man's thoughts turn to....






recreational boating.

Having 1/3 of our community in surface water means we deal with plenty of riparian issues. And of course, the best riparian issues are when the new rich resident with more money than brains (and a McMansion on a 6,000 sq ft lot) moves next to the local yokel that inherited mom's pre-WW I bucolic cabin.

Last week we had a call about this structure. The entire thing is on pontoon floats, and has a tow hitch, enabling it to be pulled ashore, or set afloat.

It does not meet the statutory definition of a pier or wharf.

Is it a portable structure (other than a boat house)? If so, it can't be within 50 feet of the ordinary high water mark.

Is it a boathouse? If so, it can not extend over or into the ordinary high water mark.

Is it a trailer? If so it must be licensed by the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, and can't be parked in the shoreland setback.

Is it a boat? If so it must be licensed with the Dept. of Natural Resources.

What a heck of a compliance letter to write!!
 
Messages
3,690
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27
OMG! What exactly are they using the structure for? I would think it is a boat house? Good lord and good luck!
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
You said that it sits on pontoon floats. No wheels? Then how does the pontoon boat (Bass Buggy, Party Barge, Whatever) got up on the platform.

I would suggest speaking to the owner about its use and then inspect the construction methods before making a call. If it has wheels or still has an axil which wheels can be applied than it's a boat trailer pure and simple.

I worked for a dock and lake barge company the summer after high school and IMO, from just the two photos, it appears to be a poor man's dry-dock. No money for hydrolic or electric lifts? No problem. Just retrofit a large trailer bed and your in business. More of a dock or floating boat house with a hitch than a boat trailer.
 
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H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
trailer.

I used to work for a mortgage company and the rule was if it had wheels and you could roll it…it was a trailer.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
I think it looks like a trailer, if only for the hitch, at least that is what I would call it. It seems like it serves the purpose of a trailer - it can be used to drop the boat into the water, and it can be used to store the boat when it is out of water.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
You've never seen one of these before?

It's a nautical greenhouse. When the DEA comes to take your stash, you set out to sea with it.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
What it is not:
It is not a structure for people to dwell within.
It is not a permanent structure affixed to the ground.
It is not a houseboat.

It appears to me to be a unique method of constructing a boat trailer and thus should be regulated from a DMV perspective as to its materials and construction safety. If your regulations allow a boat trailer to be parked where it is then I see no problem. If not then the owner needs to relocate it in the way you would enforce the regs for boat trailers.

When it is finished, it should be less of an eye sore than a pontoon boat covered with a tarp. The person that built it is inventive and did not set out to play with the local planning department. Because your regs do not allow for his concept does not mean that the burden is on him to make his whatchamacallit fit your regs.

Kudos to the person for making us think, even if unintentionally.

JMHO.
 

Bullwinkle

Cyburbian
Messages
176
Points
7
It looks like a trailer, and should be regulated as one.

I agree with EG, except I bet the guy did set out to beat the system. I think he was trying to make some kind of a boat house and thought he was being clever by also making it a trailer.


El Guapo said:
It appears to me to be a unique method of constructing a boat trailer and thus should be regulated from a DMV perspective as to its materials and construction safety. If your regulations allow a boat trailer to be parked where it is then I see no problem. If not then the owner needs to relocate it in the way you would enforce the regs for boat trailers.

When it is finished, it should be less of an eye sore than a pontoon boat covered with a tarp. The person that built it is inventive and did not set out to play with the local planning department. Because your regs do not allow for his concept does not mean that the burden is on him to make his whatchamacallit fit your regs.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
Bturk is trying to trick you, it is actually his and Prudence's planning office. ;)
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Is it a spring ice fishing hut?

Drag it out on the ice (hence the axle assembly), and don't worry when the ice melts as the pontoons will hold it up.
 

Vlaude

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
Boat Trailer???

The surrounding structure is on wheels??? Or it would appear that way from the picture... Maybe he's devised a way for Snowbirders (retired peeps going north in the summer, south in the winter) to pull their boat and 5th wheel in one piece with one hitch!!! The guy might be on to something!!! LOL...

But in all seriousness the pontoon boat does not appear to be attached to the structure??? In that case it would have to be deemed as a trailer, right? Or possibly a travel trailer if it is used as a temporary place of residents (camping, etc...)

Just my 2 cents...
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
After much debate, we concluded it was in fact a boat house, as it was an enclosure used to house a boat.

The fact that it was on "tracks" and "floats" di not alter this fact. Therefore, we conclude that it can not be permitted to encroach the ordinary high water mark (float) and can not be within 20 feet of the OHM. The owner decided it was cheaper to comply that to contest the decision.
 
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