Woman wants to limit water access at the end of street, but City Council says no can do

waxford@keynoter.comAugust 16, 2014 

Public water access in Marathon is creating difficulty for some residents.

That's what Carol Anderson told the Marathon City Council at Tuesday's council meeting, asking the board to regulate who can use public access points at the end of roads.

"We have been dealing with people coming down and putting their Jet Skis in and being rude to us," said Anderson, who lives at the end of 74th Street oceanside. "They have conveyed to us that they do not intend to stop unless someone above us steps in."

She submitted to the council a petition signed by Anderson's neighbors asking for action.

Regulating public water access could be a slippery slope for the council. Any ruling made for a single street, such as 74th Street, would have to be applied citywide. Restricting someone from public water access or creating different rulings for different streets could lead to legal issues.

The council was sympathetic to Anderson but said there's little it can do.

"I recognize people have private property rights, especially at the end of the street,"

Councilman John Bartus said. "Obviously that public access needs to remain, as well."

James Zdan, who also lives on 74th Street, told the council that minimal regulation could take care of the issue. Zdan said issues with public access and nonresidents of the street are virtually nonexistent.

"This was just an isolated incident on the Fourth of July," Zdan said.

Rather than making the access point closed to the public, Zdan suggests making it a no-wake zone and limiting the size of boats allowed to use it. "Our proposal is regulation, not over regulation," Zdan said.

Bartus suggests meeting with residents and holding workshops to discuss the issue further. Councilman Mark Senmartin opposes future policies limiting people from the water.

"We do live on an island. We can't start telling people they can't get into the water on the end of their street," Senmartin said. "I think it's good just the way it is."

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