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Alabama Boat Ban-We Lost

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Old 03-26-2008, 01:45 PM
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So Robert...does this mean you can not sell a 38 fastech even if it goes to LOTO...how is that going to work....
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:52 PM
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No,only applies to 3 Alabama lakes at this time.The original bill would have applied to 11 Alabama lakes,but a grass roots effort got 8 removed,leaving 3,but one of the 3 Lake Martin) is the largest in the state. Several big,fast boats down there,but they are banned,not grandfathered in.Most of the owners have nice homes on that lake,but now they cannot use their boats there at all.
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:57 PM
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So the power company owns the land around the lakes and want to sell it to a resort developer that does not want houseboats to crowd the views and the Senator is supporting the ban because he was asked by the developer........

to save you the trip to google.
If the big boat ban pending in the Alabama Legislature passes, Randolph County could see a multi-million dollar, high-scale resort community along Lake Harris in Wedowee.
"It will be unlike anything the state has seen," Matt Hooton, president of Randolph Properties Inc., in Wedowee, said of the proposed development. "It could change the perception and complexion of this part of Alabama."

Sen. Gerald Dial, D-Lineville, who sponsored the original legislation that outright banned all houseboats on nine Alabama lakes, including Logan Martin, said last Tuesday developers interested in property along Lake Harris are the same as those who developed the community resort on Lake Oconee, with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

The Ritz-Carlton Lodge is located in the 10,000-acre Reynolds Plantation resort community along Lake Oconee, east of Atlanta.

Hooton would not confirm nor deny Reynolds Plantation was interested in developing a resort along Lake Harris. "I think you could be looking at a combination of people, and they could be one of the players," Hooton said.

He did confirm the Lake Harris resort development is of the scale of a Reynolds Plantation. "This could provide 1,000 jobs over 10 years," Hooton said.

Randolph Properties does not own enough land for such a large resort community, but Alabama Power Co, a proponent of the ban, owns a significant amount of land along Lake Harris, the newest of its 14 hydroelectric developments.

Hooton would not say if Alabama Power’s land was needed to make the development possible. "I don’t want to lie," Hooton said. "Let me put it this way, the power company owns about 70 percent of the shoreline."

Hooton said he did not want to say anything that could jeopardize the economic development project. "I’m just trying to make something enticing for them and enticing for our Georgia friends, and I’m right in the middle," Hooton said.

Willard Bowers, vice-president of environmental affairs for Alabama Power, said late Friday he knew nothing about the development but would try to contact representatives in the property department. "I do know we own a lot of land there," he said.

Later Friday night, Bowers said he was unable to reach anyone, and it could be Saturday before he was able to talk to someone about the development and Alabama Power’s possible involvement with the development. As of late Saturday, no one had contacted him, he said.

Citing the need for a ban on houseboats, Dial said this week developers wanted assurances that restrictions are in place before moving forward with the development. He also said because Lake Harris has no restrictions, development around the lake has been hampered.

In 2003, Georgia state legislators passed a bill prohibiting any motorized vessels greater than 30 feet, 6 inches on Lake Oconee, a lake developed by Georgia Power Company, Alabama Power’s sister company, and where Reynolds Plantation is located.

"Nobody is going to put $20 million to $30 million into a development on the lake (Harris), if they don’t know what could be put next to them," Dial said last week.

That’s when the proposal for a big boat ban first surfaced, and the legislation was on the fast track toward action when opposition started building. Dial’s bill and a companion bill by Rep. Richard Laird, D-Roanoke, made it out of committee and onto action calendars in both houses within days, but opposition slowed the pace late last week before the Legislature recessed for Spring break.

There have been varying answers on how the houseboat ban came into play, ranging from restricting the dumping of raw sewage into Alabama lakes to potential overcrowding with big boats to making way for new development.

Bowers said efforts to develop legislation restricting houseboats began at the request of stakeholders at Lake Harris, and there were people at Lake Martin, who also wanted their lake included in the legislation.

He told the stakeholders that Alabama Power did not want restrictions for just the two lakes and would only support legislation if all Alabama Power lakes without locks were included in the legislation.

"It was a vehicle for all lakes," he said.

Laird said Friday that he was given the bill by an Alabama Power representative to look over because of his past experience in water issues. Laird was the chief negotiator for Alabama during the water wars negotiations with Georgia and Florida.

He said he didn’t introduce the bill until he received a phone call from a property owner asking him to do so. He disclosed that the phone call was from someone who worked with Hooton.

Because of strong opposition to the original Senate bill, a substitute bill was drafted late last week, and it could be considered when legislators return from Spring break next week.

Laird said Friday he believed there was enough support to pass the substitute bill. "All the concerns have been addressed," he said.

Under the substitute bill, 11 lakes instead of nine, would prohibit houseboats longer than 30 feet, 6 inches on their waters. Those lakes include Lake Harris, Lake Jordan, Lay Lake, Logan Martin Lake, Lake Martin, Lake Mitchell, Lake Neely Henry, Smith Lake, Lake Thurlow, Weiss Lake and Lake Yates.

Under the new proposal drafted, houseboats currently on those lakes are "grandfathered" in, but eventually all houseboats would be phased out on all 11 lakes.

The new bill would exempt sailboats, but prohibit boats longer than 26 feet, 11 inches in length and rated by the manufacturer for or capable of a top speed in excess of 60 mph.

Bowers said Alabama Power supports the substitute bill.

He said the company has issues with "floating condominiums," which are basically houseboats along its man-made reservoirs, citing the large number of houseboats now on Lake Lanier, near Atlanta, and the possibility it could happen on Alabama lakes.

Efforts to reach a spokesperson for Reynolds Plantation Friday and Saturday for comment were unsuccessful.

Reynolds Plantation, near Madison, was recently named the No. 1 small town in America. The community has about everything one would want in recreation, including four award winning golf courses.

Reynolds Plantation was named the 2005 "North American Golf Resort of the Year" by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators and "Best Golf Resort in the Country" by Zagat (2003-2005), according to its website.

According to the Reynolds Plantation Web site, membership ranges from $15,000 to $65,000 for initial deposits, and $73 to $422 for monthly dues. Property size in the Reynolds Plantation resort community ranges from half-acre to 9-plus acres.

For visitors, Reynolds Plantation offers an overnight stay package for $575, which includes accommodations at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, two-hour club-fitting session in the TaylorMade Performance Lab, and one round of golf at any of Reynolds Plantation’s four golf courses.
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:01 PM
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That blows Robert!
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Magicfloat View Post
No,only applies to 3 Alabama lakes at this time.The original bill would have applied to 11 Alabama lakes,but a grass roots effort got 8 removed,leaving 3,but one of the 3 Lake Martin) is the largest in the state. Several big,fast boats down there,but they are banned,not grandfathered in.Most of the owners have nice homes on that lake,but now they cannot use their boats there at all.
Sorry to hear that Robert. Was just thinking about Steve (Cathouse) when I saw this thread pop up. I'll have to call and chat with him for a minute. Sorry to hear about the ruling. I too thought you guys had this one sewed up. The more developments that spring up down this way, the closer we are to the same fate. It doesn't bode well for the rest of us.
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:14 PM
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Robert, thanks for being part and taking leadership in our lawsuit. At least I can say I met a wonderful person who stands up for what is right. You are my friend for life. As well to Oldnettle, Plott, Miller, Trollinger and all others.

Steve Northington
www.cathouseperformancemarine.com
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:22 PM
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If there were endangered species in the trees around the lakes, like a woodpecker found on this list : http://www.pfmt.org/wildlife/endangered/bycounty.htm

The developers would not be able to build. I suggest someone find these animals right after the developer has purchased the land.
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by the1st41 View Post
If there were endangered species in the trees around the lakes, like a woodpecker found on this list : http://www.pfmt.org/wildlife/endangered/bycounty.htm

The developers would not be able to build. I suggest someone find these animals right after the developer has purchased the land.
I was thinking the same thing, now is the time to sick green peace on them and have them remove the dam, that will bring down the value of the real estate. Get in FERCs ear make them spend a lot of money on a shoreline management plan.

I am very sorry you lost this fight, this is very bad news for all of us here.
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:45 PM
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After a fight of over 2 years,$100,000 in legal fees and a lot of hard work by a small group that believed passionately that we were right,the judge ruled today,over 6 months after the Sept trial. We lost,he ruled in favor of the Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Alabama Power Company. We knew going in it would be an uphill fight,but the 6 of us that filed the suit believed that since we were right,then right would prevail. We were wrong,it's over. I want to thank everyone from OSO that contributed,no mattter how small an amount. If it wasn't for the grass roots efforts,we never would have gotten this far. Word on the street was we were going to win,but it did not happen. It's over. A very sad day for the high performance and large boat industry,dealers,and owners. If anyone doesn't know the background,do a search here,or just goggle Alabama boat ban. If i get into details here,I will probrably say something I will regret,as I am so mad now. Thanks for listening to my rant.

WOW very sad and disappointing.

I have followed this and we were supporting you and hoping you would win.

Thanks for the hard work and efforts to keep the lakes open for the performance boats.

I wonder what community will try this next?
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:12 PM
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Thanks Robert--- you did alot--- A great fellow you r

WOW! Dang **** ***** ******!

Been boating on Martin since the 60's---- but can't no longer ***** Livin Loud very sad
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