New wake restriction ordinance on Lake Minnetonka takes shape

The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District has released the details of a new ordinance that would impose tougher wake restrictions on the water.

The new ordinance would impose a five-miles-per-hour speed limit on all boats within 300 feet of shorelines, beaches, docks, anchored boats, and swimmers, doubling the current 150-foot restriction.

John Bendt has lived on Lake Minnetonka for nearly four decades, and he's seen firsthand the toll wake boats have taken on his shoreline.

"You can see the effect of wake surf waves on our rip rap... all of these boulders used to be up (higher), but they got slammed out of there," said Bendt.

Bendt started the non-profit Citizens for Sharing Lake Minnetonka and says while he supports the proposed change to wake restrictions, he thinks it needs to go further to a 700-foot buffer.

"It doesn't go far enough. We view it as an interim move. It doesn't recognize the high energy and power contained in the wake surf boat waves," said Bendt.

Gabriel Jabbour owns Tonka Bay Marina and says he also supports a new ordinance, but wants some tweaks made to the current proposal.

"You only need one boat anchored in the middle of the lake or the bay to make that bay unusable," said Jabbour.

He'd like to see the buffer measured from the shoreline instead of docks or anchored boats.

"Having the proposed change from the shore instead of the docks would be less intrusive on the use of the lake," said Jabbour.

Right now, the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District board is compiling the public feedback they've gotten on the proposal. If it is approved, the new ordinance will most likely go into effect next boating season.