Tuesday, January 20, 2009

P.O.P.U.L.A.R. Survey Results

The first survey of watercraft/lakeshore owners conducted by P.O.P.U.L.A.R. is now closed. In all, 160 of the 471 visitors (in 662 visits) to this blog last week completed the survey, many expressing their appreciation for what they described as a less biased format than the D.N.R. survey of watercraft owners.

The results of the survey are available here. Click on each page image to obtain a larger version of the survey page. Hit the "back" button on your browser to return to the blog and the next page of the survey.

About 60% of the respondents own property in Crow Wing County. About 20% own property in Cass County. A little more than 6% own property in Hennepin County. Wright and Washington Counties had a few respondents. Aitkin, Douglas, Hubbard, Itasca, Ottertail, Scott and Sherburne Counties each had one property owner. 14 respondents either do not own lakeshore property or did not respond to the question about location. One of the tasks P.O.P.U.L.A.R. faces is getting residents from all over Minnesota to understand that the proposed D.N.R. regulations will apply to them. There appears to be a misconception, based on the hoopla last year over dock platforms, that the new "private structure" rulemaking will impact primarily Gull Lake, Lake Minnetonka and the Whitefish Chain.

We believe that if all lakeshore owners in the State understood the potential threats to their use and enjoyment of their property, there would be a significantly more widespread outcry.

As demonstrated in the results of the survey, lakeshore owners, who have a vested interest in the well-being of the public waters on which they reside and in the commitment they have made to their respective properties, strongly believe that the State of Minnesota will be financially liable for compensation if there is implementation of regulations which outlaws previously legal uses of property. Similarly, persons responding to the P.O.P.U.L.A.R. survey demonstrated a strong belief that any reduction in property values resulting from new regulations will require a reduction in property taxes.

These results will be part of the record the D.N.R. Commissioner will have to consider before approving any new regulations. The financial impact of adopting the regulations cannot be ignored. P.O.P.U.L.A.R.'s position is that the State of Minnesota cannot lawfully impose new regulations which carry with them a legitimate financial burden to the State without making provisions to meet that financial burden. Suffice it to say, that this are not the time for the State of Minnesota to incur tens of millions of dollars in obligations to property owners on account of the taking of their lawfully acquired property and property rights as a result of new, incredibly restrictive regulation of docks, boat lifts, boat slips, sand blankets and watercraft ownership.

Please help us fight on your behalf by making a donation to P.O.P.U.L.A.R. today. Thank you for your support.

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