Originally created 10/17/00

Council OKs private docks



Residents of River Club subdivision in North Augusta have the go-ahead to construct private boat docks on the Savannah River.

On Monday night, city council members voted 5-1, with council member Carolyn Baggot opposing, to allow the docks.

Developers of the property, along the river next to the River Club golf course, originally agreed four years ago to a general development plan. The plan specified a 30-foot preservation zone on the Savannah River and did not allow private docks to be constructed on individually owned lots along the water.

Rather, developers and the city decided at the time that a public dock to be constructed near the 13th Street bridge would suffice.

More than a year ago, at the request of residents and developers, the city's Planning Commission reviewed and recently recommended to the city council a rezoning of the property.

Among others, the following amended changes have been approved:

One dock will be permitted on each platted lot in the River Club subdivision, provided the lot has no less than 80 feet of Savannah River frontage.

All private docks must meet a 12-foot-by-20-foot requirement.

Only one boat no longer than 30 feet can be permanently moored at the dock; no houseboats - or live aboard's - are allowed.

Docks cannot be covered, and each dock requires a separate building permit.

"Everyone should have access to the river," Councilwoman Carolyn Baggot said. "The original intent of the regulations was to preserve the integrity of the riverfront and prevent encroachment on a shared natural resource. It's a shared commodity that belongs to everyone on both sides of the river."

City officials called the dock approval a "compromise" between private landowners and public access.

There are about 20 lots in River Club eligible to construct docks along the river, according to Skip Grkovic, director of economic and community development. Two other North Augusta subdivisions, Campbell Town and Rivernorth, also have private docks on the Savannah River.

Also on Monday, a reduction of the local hospitality sales tax from 2 cents to 1 was approved on its third and final reading, Barbara Watson was named employee of the quarter, and the city's 2001 budget was approved.

Reach Josh Gelinas at (706) 823-3218.