County Commission Acts on Lake DeSmet Issue

Johnson County’s Commissioners will be sending a letter to a landowner at Lake DeSmet, telling them to remove a newly-built boat ramp from county-owned property on the shoreline.

In their meeting this week,

The ramp was installed by John Moreland, the new owner of the old Texaco Lodge, who wants to make improvements on the shoreline of the property.

In an earlier meeting between Moreland and county representatives, he was told that the current shoreline regulations at the lake do not allow building permanent structures below the high-water elevation mark of 4,620 feet, which are county-owned lands.

He was asked to wait a few months for the county to update their regulations to allow permitting of improvements at the lake, but the landowner has since built a concrete boat ramp on his property which also encroaches on the county-owned property below 4,620 feet.

Commission Chair Bill Novotny discussed the issue with Crago.

According to earlier discussions in the matter, the landowner believes he has a right to improve an existing boat ramp because of a “Grandfather Clause” in the shoreline regulations.

The commissioners have asked the Lake DeSmet Advisory Board to review and begin to update the shoreline regulations for the lake.

Also, they advised Attorney Crago to draft a letter to the landowner giving him 14 days from receiving the letter to remove the ramp from county-owned property.

Further action, should nothing happen, could include the county filing trespass charges against the landowner.

1 Comment

  1. When I was a kid there was all kinds of access to the shores of the Lake. Shocking how so much of it is not accessible now.

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