SLW Looking Into Kayak Launch at Dam

Kayaks are stored at Johnson Point in Seven Lakes West. Ted Fitzgerald/The Pilot

BY JOHN NAGY || Seven Lakes Insider

Seven Lakes West officials plan to explore the possibility of developing a small permanent pathway on the east side of the Lake Auman dam to allow safe access for a kayak launch area.

The idea, which came before the community’s Board of Directors during its Nov. 15, meeting, is far from reality. It has no cost estimate or timeline attached.

Indeed, board members say the idea for a small launch may go nowhere. The first step will be determining whether it can be done legally. Board president Josh Davis said that the dam is community property, not an amenity. As such, the board would first have to determine if property on the dam could be converted into an amenity.

“Can we even get to ‘yes’ that it’s a good idea?” Davis said at the board meeting.

The issue, which came up on the board’s agenda as part of the dam committee’s report, initially drew some confusion from individuals who wondered about a budget and timeline.

But board members said such matters were premature. Critical issues such as parking and emergency vehicle access need to be addressed after it can be determined if a launch even could be allowed. Assuming it can be, the project would then become an infrastructure issue and be referred to a different committee.

Dan Lambert, who chairs the dam committee, said the idea came up because a number of residents use the dam area now as an informal launch area for kayaks.
“I’ve seen lots of kayaks launched in this area,” Lambert told board members during a brief discussion. “People have moved rip rap out of the way” to launch their kayaks into the lake.

Lambert said there’s no need to waste time or money on the issue if it’s not legal to do on the dam. That determination will be referred to an attorney for review and a recommendation.

In other business, the board set Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. as its third and final town hall meeting of the year to discuss budget issues. The meeting will be held at the Seven Lakes West Community Center.