A qualifying lot must be a recorded parcel with a minimum of two points abutting the Spartanburg Water-owned MSL contour and must have a minimum of 40 ft of shoreline when projecting the parcel’s sidelines to the water’s edge. (The information is spelled out in Lake Policies and Procedures.) Spartanburg Water is also developing a map that will be on the website as a quick reference to determine if your lot is qualifying or not.
Click on the questions below to see the answers:
- How do I know if my lot qualifies for a dock?
- My lot is listed as “non-qualifying” and I have a dock. Am I going to have to remove it?
During its recent inventory, Spartanburg Water identified some non-qualifying lots that have docks in place. Spartanburg Water is not planning to have anyone remove a dock that has been previously issued a permit on a non-qualifying lot. However, homeowners of docks on non-qualifying lots will not be allowed to make additional changes or improvements to the marine structure.
- Where did the 924 square-foot rule come from?
Our staff evaluated the docks around the lakes and determined that 924 square feet will allow two boat lifts and two personal watercraft lifts and still allow sufficient room for one connecting pier to the shoreline. As a result of this evaluation, our staff is now using 924 square feet as a guide in approving the size of docks on Lakes Bowen and Blalock.
- Why do I need a permit to replace a board on my dock?
Replacing a board on a dock is maintenance and any type of maintenance requires a permit. While the maintenance that you suggest, “replacing a board,” seems negligible, Spartanburg Water has always required a permit to conduct any maintenance on its property. That includes maintenance on irrigation systems, marine structures, retaining walls, etc.
- Why are you limiting the number of lifts I can have at my dock but not the number of boats? If water quality is the issue, shouldn’t you limit the number of boats?
This is a good point. While we may consider limiting the number of watercraft at each dock in the future, at this time we believe we can achieve a safe recreational atmosphere by limiting the number of lifts at one marine structure.
- Why do I need a drawing for my dock, when I am installing an unattached PWC lift?
The Lake Policies and Procedures identifies three types of marine structures that may be permitted. The Type A and B marine structures have specifications that minimize overall structural loadings. The Type C marine structure allows more flexibility with the design but also requires a certified drawing from a SC Professional Engineer. The requirement for an engineering review is to ensure the structure is safe. The only time a drawing is required for an unattached PWC lift is when it coincides with a Type C Dock.
- Why do I need to transfer the existing dock permit into my name when the previous landowner had a permit for the dock?
All Spartanburg Water permits are non-transferrable. Permission is granted through the permit process to people, not lots, through the Spartanburg Water permitting process. When a new homeowner moves in, the transfer of the permits into their name is required. This process also makes the new adjacent property owner aware of the Lake Policies and Procedures for use of the Spartanburg Water property for recreation.
- What rights do I have if I have a qualifying lot and I want a dock but my neighbor’s dock is blocking my access?
Spartanburg Water owns all the land around the reservoirs and access can only be granted by the sole permission of Spartanburg Water. When a marine structure has been approved by Spartanburg Water, the Watershed staff identifies the location it will be positioned on its property. While an adjacent property owner may meet the requirements of a Qualifying Parcel, which means that it has sufficient side width for placement, we sometimes find that the lake shoreline does not allow for a dock to be placed where the homeowner prefers. There are many coves around the lakes that limit both the location and size of the dock.
If other docks have already been sited by the Watershed staff for an area that has restricted watercraft access due to the topography, the most recent request may find their dock size limited or their dock placed in a non-preferred area along the shoreline.
- I have a dock that exceeds 924 square feet, am I going to have to remove it?
As long as you own the dock, Spartanburg Water will not require you to remove the dock unless the dock becomes in a state of disrepair, or a safety hazard and poses a threat to the public. If you wish to replace the dock at some point in the future, then the next marine structure will need to meet all of the current guidelines.
- Why is my neighbor’s dock on my frontage?
When a marine structure has been approved by Spartanburg Water, the Watershed staff identifies the location it will be positioned on its property. In most instances the marine structure can be placed directly in front of the adjacent landowner’s property. In other instances the topography of the shoreline and the proximity of other installed docks may require the marine structure to be located elsewhere along the shoreline. The staff considers the required spacing between docks and the impact to safety of watercraft moving either on the lake or towards adjacent marine structures.
It is important to remember that docks around the lakes are on Spartanburg Water property and that no adjacent property owner has property frontage directly onto reservoirs.