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Old 11-03-2013, 07:24   #31
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Re: No anchoring in Maule Lake, FL?

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The court held that in NY the public has a right to utilize navigable waterways, even if they are surrounded by private land and the landowner owns the bottom.
Colorado has similar laws, but the courts there have concluded that canoeists and kayakers can only use the water. That is, they may not anchor, and they man not come to rest on the shore. The land-owner cannot stop them from using the river to pass through his land, but he can stop them from any use of his land, including the bottom.

I'm with FSMike on this one. I wouldn't want to make a bet either way on how a Florida court might rule. Though, having said that, since the lake has been open to public access for some time now, my guess is that a court would take that into consideration and most likely rule that Public Trust Doctrine applies. But, again, that's only a guess, and I wouldn't want to bet on it.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:25   #32
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Re: No anchoring in Maule Lake, FL?

Ah Maule Lake. The first paying job I ever had at 14yrs old was working there at the marina sanding two summers away.
Perhaps there's more than one way to skin this cat. That lake is so full of garbage, rotting wrecks, and illegal chemical dumping, etc. from the old Marina. I wonder if one is to make a legal private ownership claim of purchasing the bottom rights that they wouldn't also be buying the right to firmly be told to finally clean the bottom as well. Especially since that water flows right into the Oleta river and State park.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:30   #33
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Re: No anchoring in Maule Lake, FL?

The other thing I wonder is what the city would think about taxing that bottom land if somehow their claims to exclusive private use hold up? Shouldn't it be taxed as if it is all developable? If they really do own it, and they can exclude everyone else, couldn't they build a massive marina in there? They should be taxed on that value if their claims hold up. And of course, they will be held liable for the clean up of the bottom as Tellie noted.

Still, I think the public's right to use the water in there will prevail, considering they have been doing so for decades or longer.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:40   #34
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Re: No anchoring in Maule Lake, FL?

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Ah Maule Lake. The first paying job I ever had at 14yrs old was working there at the marina sanding two summers away.
Perhaps there's more than one way to skin this cat. That lake is so full of garbage, rotting wrecks, and illegal chemical dumping, etc. from the old Marina. I wonder if one is to make a legal private ownership claim of purchasing the bottom rights that they wouldn't also be buying the right to firmly be told to finally clean the bottom as well. Especially since that water flows right into the Oleta river and State park.
Good point. I'm not sure anybody would want to own it, if the EPA ever showed up, declared it a superfund site, cleaned it up, and slapped a billion dollar lien on all the other property owned by the same people.

I know a man who has a $2 billion dollar (not a typo) lien on him from an EPA cleanup of a site he used to own in Elizabeth, NJ. Google "Chemical Control, superfund EPA". The new "owners" of Maule Lake, might want to google it, too.
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:37   #35
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Re: No anchoring in Maule Lake, FL?

Here is an interesting article. Not 100 per cent on point, but close.

Divvying Atlantis: who owns the land beneath navigable manmade reservoirs? - Free Online Library
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Old 11-03-2013, 18:46   #36
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Re: No anchoring in Maule Lake, FL?

that bit about public access because, although it may be private land, it's been used by the public for many years, has a ring of truth to it.

in new york city there is a place called 'rockefeller center'. it's an office building complex that's been around since, i think, the 1930's, and occupies a large tract of city land including a street. vehicular traffic uses the street to get from avenue to avenue without ever intending to stop at rockefeller center. so it's really a 'right of way' i suppose. but once a year the owners of rockefeller center close the street to public traffic, in order to demonstrate that it is private property and they can do with it whatever they choose.

as far as i know, maule lake has never been closed to 'public' traffic....
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Old 15-03-2013, 10:07   #37
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Re: No anchoring in Maule Lake, FL?

There are some beachfront properties in Florida where the owners fence off the beach in front of their land, and claim that they have exclusive rights to that beach because it is adjacent to their property. Apparently there is precedent that the owner has rights up to the high tide mark. Below the high tide mark they can't prevent the public access.

Even though they don't pay property tax on the beach part.

I think it's B.S., but the owners have more money for legal fees than the public, apparently.

There are even owners who have gone as far as suing the localities to prevent them from beach renourishment projects, as putting more sand there would enlarge the amount of public beach and public access. New sand would belong to the public.

There are townhome owners in Destin Fl who have put a rope up and no trespassing signs, along with CCTV cameras to prevent people from messing with their signs. Makes me want to put my beach towel right there, as to me, the beaches should all be public property.
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Old 15-03-2013, 11:21   #38
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Re: No anchoring in Maule Lake, FL?

Here's a PowerPoint display on Maule Lake that was used by a real estate company.
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Old 15-03-2013, 13:59   #39
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Re: No anchoring in Maule Lake, FL?

I would love to see what most real estate attorney's errors and omissions insurance would say about certifying title on something like that. If anything, it appears the law is not quite settled on Florida bottomlands in all cases.

It's one thing to be wrong and get a ticket for tresspassing. It's another thing to certify title to it, be found wrong, and be liable for tens of millions of dollars in damages to the grantee.

It would be interesting to see what they paid for the lake. I'll bet it wasn't much, taking into account the uncertain title to any bottomlands.

I've seen land that's been sold a dozen times, be found to be state property, in the state I live in now, with the "owners" evicted with no compensation from the state, and huge lawsuits between the various grantors and grantees, over who knew what, and who should have known what.
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Old 15-03-2013, 14:03   #40
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Re: No anchoring in Maule Lake, FL?

Right in Florida there is an ongoing court dispute about Wisteria aka "Christmas Tree" Island in the middle of Key West harbor. For years a developer has been trying to get permission to build a luxury resort on it, with a surrounding rental mooring field so he can chase away all the anchored boats, but it turns out the island was "sold" back in the 1950s I think by someone who didn't really own it. Tracing back ownership records it turns out that the US Government still owns it and never gave up rights to it, which of course the people who have been paying taxes on it for years are disputing.
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Old 15-03-2013, 14:07   #41
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Re: No anchoring in Maule Lake, FL?

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Right in Florida there is an ongoing court dispute about Wisteria aka "Christmas Tree" Island in the middle of Key West harbor. For years a developer has been trying to get permission to build a luxury resort on it, with a surrounding rental mooring field so he can chase away all the anchored boats, but it turns out the island was "sold" back in the 1950s I think by someone who didn't really own it. Tracing back ownership records it turns out that the US Government still owns it and never gave up rights to it, which of course the people who have been paying taxes on it for years are disputing.
And, the problem when the government, either state or federal, or even local, turns out to be the true owner, is that there is no adverse possession allowed. So a private owner could have been paying taxes on it, maintaining it, and improving it for fifity years, and still not have any title to it. The former "owner's" only rememdy is to sue the attorney, or the title company, who certified the title, or the grantor, or all three.
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