As the weather heats up, Minnesotans are gearing up for fun on the water, but on the banks of Lake Waconia, whose dock goes where is the subject of a bitterly contested neighborhood debate.
The battle has pitted neighbor against neighbor. In just the past four months, there's been a lawsuit and name calling on both sides, even allegations of harassment. Dr. Jayson Dock says two neighborhood docks run dangerously close to his property line that serve 136 families in the area.
Dock has filed a lawsuit and petitioned for a zoning ordinance to protect his dock. Both were dismissed. Both sides are aiming to find a long-term solution, but while Dock thinks the neighborhood could easily move their docks down the shoreline and fix the problem, neighbors argue that would cost thousands of dollars. The City of Waconia and the State of Minnesota have told both sides it's a problem they have to settle on their own.
Statement of the Board of the Waconia Landing Homeowners Association
For the past 10 years, the Waconia Landing Homeowners Association has placed a dock off of its community property, as it has the legal right to do. Access to and use of the dock is a primary reason many homeowners either built or bought in this development. The Association has also maintained a beach and swim area for the use and benefit of all 140 families in Waconia Landing.
This year, a neighbor by the community property placed a private dock in a location which has prevented the Association from putting out it's community dock. Within the last year, the same neighbor sued the Association and sought a zoning ordinance amendment from the City, all related to private dock placement.
The Association won a complete dismissal of the lawsuit and also successfully opposed the proposed zoning ordinance amendment, which was unanimously rejected. Over the past month, the Association Board has worked with the homeowners, the DNR, the City of Waconia, and the sheriff's office in an attempt to solve the dock problem in the best interests of all homeowners in the community but its efforts, thus far, have been unsuccessful.
The Board is optimistic that its continued efforts will result in a solution soon, so that 140 families can enjoy the beach, fishing and boating this upcoming season.