New state rules for docks and marinas on state-owned lakes are headed to the 2008 Legislature for approval, but there’s still plenty of controversy over a provision that would allow privatization of up to 50 percent of a commercial marina. The state Lands Departments says that requirement would ensure some public access is kept – in the other half of the marina – as lakefront land values skyrocket, and it becomes increasingly attractive to marina operators to just shut down and fill up Idaho’s privately owned lakefronts with condos and subdivisions. Opponents say allowing the “sale” of boat slips in marinas that float over state-owned lakes will close off public access to the lakes. The disagreement on what the move would accomplish hasn’t been resolved; instead, the Lands Department structured the rules so that when they go to the Legislature for approval, lawmakers could delete the sections on privatization if they choose. You can read my full story here in today’s Spokesman-Review.
Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.