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The Scoop

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Verbatim: DNR clarifies buoy agreement at Lake Wawasee

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources issued this news release today:

The Department of Natural Resources wishes to clear up any confusion regarding a recent agreed order the agency entered into with owners of two Lake Wawasee properties regarding the placement of buoys.

In November 2013, the property owners – Anchor LLC, and Randall J. Tobias and Sargent H P LLC – applied for a permit from the DNR to place posts offshore of their properties. The posts were intended to support signs with language regarding the mooring or anchoring of boats within 200 feet of the shoreline. The DNR denied the permit requests on grounds that the posts would create a navigational hazard for the boating public.

The property owners appealed DNR’s denial to the Natural Resources Commission (NRC), an autonomous board that addresses issues pertaining to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The NRC assigned an administrative law judge to hear the appeal.

In May 2014, the parties reached a settlement agreement approved by the administrative law judge that allows for the placement of temporary buoys 175 feet from the respective shorelines. The buoys are required to be of a material that, if struck by a watercraft, would cause little or no damage. The agreement further provides that the landowners may place signs on the buoys; the DNR is without authority to regulate what language a private landowner posts on signage in his or her respective riparian zone.

The settlement agreement applies only to the petitioners – Anchor Holdings LLC, and Randall J. Tobias and Sargent H P LLC. As it has in the past, the DNR will continue to consistently enforce the laws and rules applicable to public freshwater lakes.

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