Pasco County commissioners are looking to relax the county’s ban on roofs over boat docks and boat lifts.
At an Aug. 22 workshop, they directed county staff members to draft an ordinance that would allow the roofs to be permitted, with restrictions.
For instance, the roofs must not block scenic views of the water. Roofs would not be allowed along canals due to their narrow widths.
“If you put one up (there), you’re definitely impeding the view of your neighbors,” said Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Moore.
An engineer also must certify that the structures could withstand hurricane-force winds.
“You need an engineer’s certification to make sure you’re not making a flying missile during hurricanes,” said Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey.
County officials said some residents are eager to have the roofs, while others are strongly opposed.
Residents of the deed-restricted community of Gulf Harbors are very concerned their views may go away, if roofs are permitted, county officials said.
The county can’t draft an ordinance that specifically excludes Gulf Harbors, said Jeffrey Steinsnyder, the county’s attorney.
If a Gulf Harbors’ resident applied for a permit, it would be up to the community to enforce deed restrictions banning roofs, but Steinsynder said, “I’m not sure they have the prohibitions you think they have.”
County officials said several docks on county lakes were grandfathered in years ago.
Pasco’s regulation efforts date back at least a decade with the issuance of dock permits for marine waters, rivers and man-made canals. The focus largely was on ensuring that docks weren’t built too far into the waterways to obstruct passage or views.
In 2010, Pasco commissioners amended the dock ordinance to make it clear that roofs were prohibited, and to require that structures be located at least 15 feet from the “mean-high water line.”
The county later grandfathered in roofs and wall structures built before June, 2010, and also applied the dock ordinance to “all privately and publicly owned bodies of water-lakes.”
In the past, residents were referred to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection or the Southwest Florida Water Management District, known as Swiftmud, for dock permits.
Regulations on covered docks and boat lifts vary by county and city. For example, New Port Richey bans both.
The city of Temple Terrace regulates the matter based on height and square-footage. Pinellas County permits roofs over boat lifts only.
Pasco allows canvas covers for boats.
Published September 6, 2017