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Boat docks on Lake Austin now need registrations

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Lake Austin boat docks must now be registered with the city and display an address label that is easily visible to those using the lake within the vicinity of the dock. Although this new rule went into effect this July, Environmental Commission Chair Linda Guerrero explained at the Sept. 19 meeting of the commission that this address system is something the Lake Austin Task Force has tried to have Council implement for five years. Daniel Armstrong, a supervisor in the Austin Code Department, noted that the motivation for the change came from a recent tragedy on the lake. “There was a person who was enjoying recreational activities on Lake Austin and … needed immediate help. … They did not know where they were, which compromised public safety’s ability to reach them,” he said. The new dock addresses are meant to assist with public safety efforts. Whoever is in need “can look at the nearest dock and give a frame of reference to where they’re at,” said Armstrong. The Code Department is allowing registration to occur until Sept. 30. Inspections will begin Oct. 1, but those who are not registered will not be subjected to code enforcement fines until April 1, 2019. “We hope there will not be enforcement action. Compliance is always our goal,” said Armstrong. Only 10 applications have been received to date. Going forward, owners of commercial docks will have to renew their registration every two years and residential dock owners will have to renew every five years. The first year there will be no registration fee.

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