Irondequoit, N.Y. – The town wants to clear out rowdy boaters who hold daylong parties just offshore, angering lakefront property owners.
A proposed ordinance would forbid boats from anchoring or tying together within 450 feet of the shore along a 0.4 mile stretch between the Irondequoit Bay Outlet Pier and 186 Lake Bluff Rd. The strip includes the popular bar Marge’s Lakeside Inn. Property owners would be exempt from the law.
“Four hundred-fifty feet will get me a lot of respect,” said one property owner, who would not allow his name to be used because of altercations with boaters.
“The water is public water. We’re essentially privatizing it,” said David Chappius, a boater. “Why are we going to punish everyone else for a select few?”
Property owners describe summertime parties that begin at 10 a.m. and grow to include 1,000 people hanging out on 150 boats tied together just 20 feet offshore. They say boaters walk their dogs on the beach and don’t clean up droppings. They say they don’t feel comfortable swimming because of anchors and drunken individuals. Things got so bad, Marge’s no longer allowed boaters to come onshore and drink.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s department confirmed the area has been a trouble spot and deputies respond to daily calls for harassment, lewd behavior and loud music.
Boaters see the proposed ordinance as a violation of their rights and a dangerous precedent. They want the town to educate boaters not following the rules and being disrespectful, instead of punishing everyone. The boaters say the regulations would severely restrict recreation.
“If you buy a house next to a garbage dump, you can’t call the town and say, ‘You ought to do something about that because it smells,’” said Dan Quinlan.
“We pay local taxes as well and we feel that we should be able to enjoy the water just as much as anyone else,” said Kristal Perrone.
“Where are boaters supposed to go?” Chappius asked.
There will be a public hearing on the proposal Tuesday, April 17 at 7:35 p.m. at Irondequoit Town Hall.