Plans to Expand Prior Lake Marina Cause Controversy

Posted at: 10/21/2013 4:18 PM
Updated at: 10/21/2013 10:45 PM
By: Beth McDonough

A business wants to expand its marina on Lower Prior Lake, but some residents are opposed to the plan.

The owner wants to double the size from 50 slips to 96. Some folks who live on the lake in Bowdin Bay don't want that to happen. They believe more slips would mean more boaters, congestion, pollution and safety concerns.

John Farmar says he bought his home on Lower Prior Lake because of the beauty. He doesn't want the small town feel to be spoiled. "I think Prior Lake is one of the jewels of the South Metro, to let it be used or misused is a shame."

Farmar has done his homework. He's fighting the plan to almost double the size of this marina.

In the bid to make the marina bigger, extending the dock another 286 feet out, the owner Dan Schmid, says boaters are demanding more space and it could be an economic boost to the area. 

Because the marina doesn't provide other services like fuel, the DNR doesn't regulate it. City leaders would make the call.

The city is reviewing safety, environmental and congestion issues. A 2009 report from the DNR shows Prior Lake ranks right up there with Minnetonka in the number of boaters. An expanded marina could make room for even more. That's what worries Farmar, "when it's all commercialized up with all the boats, then it takes away, it really does, I wanted more privacy."

The last time the marina was expanded was 1989. The other two marina's in town have 100 slips that are at capacity. 

The issue will likely be forwarded on to the Prior Lake City Council.