Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Lake Minnetonka residents at odds over lowering speed limits

Author:

Some homeowners on Lake Minnetonka are hoping to restrict the speed limit in a popular area of the lake.

The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) received a petition for a "quiet water area" in parts of Harrisons Bay and West Arm. It would take up about 85 acres near homes in Spring Park, Orono and Mound, and would be bordered by an existing quiet water area on Seton Channel.

In quiet water areas, boats and other watercraft can't go over 5 mph or over minimum wake, according to the LMCD. Quiet water areas are established for public safety and/or environmental concerns, LMCD's policy says.

Supporters of the quiet water area say the proposed area is more of an extended channel than it is a bay, and increased traffic and boats going at high speeds have led to an erosion problem for homeowners in the area. The petition also says it will make the area safer for homeowners, swimmers and boaters.

Randy Bickmann, one of the authors of the petition, told FOX 9 they don't allow their grandkids to swim in front of their house anymore because of the waves that come in off the speeding boats.

"Boats are supposed to obey the 150-foot rule from shoreline or swimmer – they come and pass by the end of my dock here, 20 to 30 feet from my dock, and they're doing that at 30-40 mph," he said.

However, people who oppose the restriction have created a counter petition.

They say there are too many quiet water areas on the lake already, and the proposed region is near lengthy slow zones. They also say the proposal would add the time it takes many boaters to get to the popular boat-up restaurant, Lord Fletcher's – the restaurant saw a loss of business over the summer when boat speeds on the entire lake were limited due to record high-water levels.

“The way I see it, the petitioners had a summer of no-wake and liked it and are trying to keep it that way,” Ed Rockwell, who started the counter petition, told the Star Tribune. “In our opinion, just leave the lake the way it is.”

Both sides are expected to pack the Nov. 12 LMCD meeting on the issue. Greg Nybeck, executive director of LMCD told the newspaper the proposal is "a pretty substantial request in this area."

If passed, this new proposal would make the first quiet water area added to the lake since 2008, FOX 9 reports. The first quiet water area was established on Lake Minnetonka in the early 1970s and now there are several quiet water areas scattered around the lake (click here for a detailed list).

The LMCD board could vote on the proposal by Dec. 10, and if approved it would go into effect next spring.

Next Up

Eric Kendricks

Vikings downgrade Eric Kendricks to out against Lions

The Vikings have also activated Michael Pierce from injured reserve.

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.

Related