Weather Forecast


BOA cool to lakeside encroachment

Lakeshore encroachment remains a thorny issue for Hubbard County's Board of Adjustment.

The key for variance applicants is restoration of the shoreline. But it doesn't always guarantee success.

Monday, the Board denied a request by Perry and Mary Champeau to build a platform and second story deck onto their Grace Lake cabin that would have encroached further into the Ordinary High Watermark and shore impact zone.

"The shoreline is very vulnerable," said BOA member Ken Grob. "Anything you do will enhance the rate at which water runs into the lake."

The board did allow the couple to build a 6-foot walkway near the home's sliding glass door. A staff report noted the family created the practical difficulty by revising plans presented in a 2009 variance application sketch.

But Mary Champeau's suggestion to haul in dirt and plant grass near the shoreline also didn't appease the board.

"Pragmatically you'd want a 25-foot buffer zone," Grob said. "Hauling dirt doesn't work for me."

He suggested a no-mow area along the lake with shrubs to anchor the shoreline.

The board also denied a request by Lawrence and Denyse Kramer to build an enclosed porch on the lakeside of their Big Mantrap lake home. The home currently sits 45 feet from the OHW and the couple applied in 1997 for the exact variance, the staff report noted.

The couple said they wanted Lawrence Kramer's mother, who lives in an upstairs apartment, to be able to safely "enjoy and use the property."

Board chair Lou Schwindt said the board would not overrule a previous board's denial of the same variance. The home currently has a deck on the backside of the second floor, members pointed out.

The disappointed family said the elderly woman, who attended the meeting, had fallen previously and injured herself and they were trying to prevent a reoccurrence.

In other action, the Board:

n Approved a variance for Paul and Lori Carter to replace a flat roof with a gable roof on their Lake Belle Taine cabin, which sits 25 feet from the OHW. The board reasoned the footprint of the cabin would not change and the new roof "would be beneficial to the area and cabin itself," member Charles Knight said.

n Approved a variance for Erland and Joyce Alto to add two small additions to their East Crooked Lake cabin. The board found the request to be reasonable for the structure, which does not comply with the 150 foot setback.

n Approved a variance request by Richard and Karri Stebbins to add to an existing deck on their Lake Belle Taine home, while modifying the extent the deck protruded near the shoreline.

The state raised the OHW on that lake in 2006 when the level kept rising. That and erosion made the cabin noncompliant with the setback. The board suggested mitigating the erosion by planting some shrubbery near the shoreline.

n Approved a request by Roza Stolzenberg to add a lakeside deck to her Island Lake cabin. The home sits 90 feet from the water's edge, but was compliant with a 100-foot setback when built. The deck would not encroach any further into the shoreline than the house itself, the board reasoned in granting the request.

n Approved a request by Nancy Seaberg and Bonnie Williams to place an addition to their Lake Belle Taine home that meets all setback requirements except the drainfield and septic tank setbacks. The staff recommendation said because the house of slab on grade, the possibility of septage leaking into the home was minimal.

n Approved a request by Malcolm Daryle and Jane McCannell to place a larger than 50 percent garage addition onto their Lake Midge cabin. An amended garage design was presented to the board showing the structure and walkway were on the opposite side of the lakeshore. The addition would constitute a 117 percent addition, the board estimated.

n Approved a variance request by Stephen and Mae Tinguely to place an addition larger than 50 percent to a Long Lake structure built by variance that doesn't meet the 100-foot OHW setback.

In doing so the board questioned whether it should protect homeowners from themselves. The 1,600-foot addition, with porch, would encroach on the septic system and make it difficult for a contractor to service the septic system. The board approved a smaller deck and the addition.

n Granted a variance to Eric Boe and his relatives to place a small addition to their nonconforming cabin on Kabekona Lake. The 11-by-18 addition is outside of the setback for the bluff impact zone and met all other setbacks, the board noted.

n Approved a variance for Gary and Jacqueline Lane to tear down a cabin on Island Lake and replace it with a new structure in the bluff impact zone.

The cabin sits on a double lot 160 feet from the lakeshore.

"We're short of flat land," homeowner Jackie Lane said, explaining the need for the variance.

n Approved a request by Jeff and Deb Armstrong to add a lakeside deck and non-lakeside storage shed to their Long Lake home. The board allowed an apron to be built by the garage and approved the shed on the triangle-shaped lot. The board noted there was ample vegetation in place, but said some additional growth might be optimal to offset the impervious surface issue of the deck, the driveway and the shed.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

(218) 732-3364