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"private" Boat Ramps

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There is a lake in my area where 8 years ago you could put in the lake on the side of the road with no issues from homeowners. This access point on this lake is registered as a public boat ramp according to the Florida Freshwater Commission website. Within the last couple years some homeowner began putting huge barriers, obviously they used some sort of tractor, at the ramp so you cannot get in. I was also told by a sheriff that there have been complaints of people using this land and that it was private.

My question is how can it be private land if its registered as public by the FWC AND it has a sign stating the drop off depth at the ramp? Don't the taxpayers pay for that sign? The "ramp" isn't paved by the way. I'm guessing that some deep pocket homeowner is doing this and hoping nobody will question it.

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All I can tell you is cases like this often end up in court for years if you should decide to challenge it. Its a question of riparian rights, here if a road dead ends into a lake it is automatically a public access, but if a road parallels a lake, the shoreline and riparian rights belong to the property owner the road easement runs through. Just because it was being allowed doesn't mean the courts will uphold it, despite adverse possession laws. I hope that clarifies things LOL

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All I can tell you is cases like this often end up in court for years if you should decide to challenge it. Its a question of riparian rights, here if a road dead ends into a lake it is automatically a public access, but if a road parallels a lake, the shoreline and riparian rights belong to the property owner the road easement runs through. Just because it was being allowed doesn't mean the courts will uphold it, despite adverse possession laws. I hope that clarifies things LOL

The road parallels the lake but it was deemed a public ramp according to the FWC so I don't know how someone could buy public boat ramp land. I also don't believe that a public sign such as the drop off depth sign would be used if it was indeed private.

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There have been areas in this state where similar things have happened and the courts determined the area in question was not public.

I am currently involved in a similar lawsuit due to one obnoxious landowner over an area that has been in semi-public use for over 50 years. They are now suing every landowner on the lake over an area surveyed and deeded for the use of all property owners on said lake. Having talked to a few lawyers before we decided on one and reading up on court cases, I can tell you what you would think isn't necessarily so.

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Look at the property appraisers website for the county in which you live. There you can find a GIS map that will show the parcel of land you are talking about and it'll list who owns it. If it's publicly owned you have ground to stand on. If it's not you might as well find another place to launch/fish.

If this sounds confusing send me a PM with the location and I'll help you find the info.

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Look at the property appraisers website for the county in which you live. There you can find a GIS map that will show the parcel of land you are talking about and it'll list who owns it. If it's publicly owned you have ground to stand on. If it's not you might as well find another place to launch/fish.

If this sounds confusing send me a PM with the location and I'll help you find the info.

X2.

Check out the county or city maps to find out who owns what at the ramp site.

You will find that the people working in the department at the county or city will be very helpful.

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It doesn't matter because the map should show an outline of every parcel. The property may not even have an address. You should be able to click the parcel (depending on the setting) and it'll show all the info. If it's owned by an individual it'll show their name. If it's owned by the public it'll say something about the city, county, state or public agency which has control of it.

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Is the ramp close to the homeowners? It could be that they have had the ramp so close to them for so long they are just assuming that it is private.

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Check with the Florida Fish and Game and see if they have been maintaining that lake over the years, such as for hydrilla and weed control. If they have, then it is a public lake, expecially if it has a desgniated boat ramp.

If not, then each and everyone of those home owners need to pony up ALL costs of lake maintenance. Tax paying monies are not to be used to maintain private property.

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Check with the Florida Fish and Game and see if they have been maintaining that lake over the years, such as for hydrilla and weed control. If they have, then it is a public lake, expecially if it has a desgniated boat ramp.

If not, then each and everyone of those home owners need to pony up ALL costs of lake maintenance. Tax paying monies are not to be used to maintain private property.

You are certainly 100% on the money with your last statement.

Mike

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I contacted the Florida Fish and Game. The woman told me that the lake in question is "a public lake", she's supposed to be looking into it and contacting me tomorrow. I forgot to mention that the lake has a gate that separates one part of the lake from the other in order to keep the grass carp out. She told me that the gate was put in by the FWC so it looks like some homeowner might be in trouble.

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Is the ramp close to the homeowners? It could be that they have had the ramp so close to them for so long they are just assuming that it is private.

No its not. The ramp runs adjacent to the highway, basically on the side of the road.

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Well consider yourself lucky, I just got my monthly update and the lawyer has gone through 5K, and expects it to reach 15k to complete all pretrial filings, the new amended complaint states they are seeking quiet title over public land but don't want to change the plat, the prior complaint stated that we all were trespassing on land they clearly don't own. Some people..

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The road parallels the lake but it was deemed a public ramp according to the FWC so I don't know how someone could buy public boat ramp land. I also don't believe that a public sign such as the drop off depth sign would be used if it was indeed private.

Kind of beating a dead horse here, but I will attach this part of a filing just to show you that, at least in Michigan, it is possible for a private citizen to claim a public access site through court order.

img002.jpg

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Well I finally got a resolution on my issue today. It seems as though the "ramp" is on private land and the landowner recently stopped people from fishing due to problems he was having with boaters. The lake IS public but it is surrounded by private property so therefore is inaccessible without trespassing. There isn't any land available for the county to build a public ramp. Needless to say this sucks big ones and should be illegal.

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Well I finally got a resolution on my issue today. It seems as though the "ramp" is on private land and the landowner recently stopped people from fishing due to problems he was having with boaters. The lake IS public but it is surrounded by private property so therefore is inaccessible without trespassing. There isn't any land available for the county to build a public ramp. Needless to say this sucks big ones and should be illegal.

That's what I suppose seperates county from city and rich people from the rest.

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Well I finally got a resolution on my issue today. It seems as though the "ramp" is on private land and the landowner recently stopped people from fishing due to problems he was having with boaters. The lake IS public but it is surrounded by private property so therefore is inaccessible without trespassing. There isn't any land available for the county to build a public ramp. Needless to say this sucks big ones and should be illegal.

How can you have public water without a right of way to access it?

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Well I finally got a resolution on my issue today. It seems as though the "ramp" is on private land and the landowner recently stopped people from fishing due to problems he was having with boaters. The lake IS public but it is surrounded by private property so therefore is inaccessible without trespassing. There isn't any land available for the county to build a public ramp. Needless to say this sucks big ones and should be illegal.

That has to be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. Was the lake private at one time? I mean, if it was always public, what person thought selling every inch of land around it to private owners would be a good idea?

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That's what I suppose seperates county from city and rich people from the rest.

That's what it looks like.

How can you have public water without a right of way to access it?

I'm baffled by this too. One thing I will do is fight against those homeowners to refund the city for all those years of free lake maintenance.

That has to be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. Was the lake private at one time? I mean, if it was always public, what person thought selling every inch of land around it to private owners would be a good idea?

The lake has always been public. I was under the impression that the county had the burden of allocating a space of land in the event something like this happened.

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This may or may not be the same thing in Florida as it is here in Michigan, but I'll explain what happens here.

Public water CAN be surrounded by private property without access to non-property owners. That is because the State considers a lake public if more than one property owner has frontage on the waterway. A private lake is considered owned indivudally, either by a person or an organization.

We have a number of lakes that have been accessable at the end of a roadway leading to the lakefront, or that runs along the shoreline if the lake is within the right of way given to the entity (city, county, state) that controls the road. While many of these pieces of property are legally owned by one or more land owners, access is granted because of the road's right of way. There have been a number of court cases dealing with these access sites when people start building large docks at these places. Most cases find in favor of the lakefront property owners as others are only supposed to access the lake and not build docks.

The only way the State of Michigan gets access to additional lakes these days is when a suitable piece of property is gifted to the State from a lakefront property owner, or where the State decides to purchase a suitable property when it comes up for sale on the open market. A portion of the revenue from gas/oil leases provide the income for the State to purchase and maintain these types of properties.

The comment made with regards to "the landowner recently stopped people from fishing due to problems he was having with boaters.", tells me that if you are going to get mad at someone, then it should be the slob boaters that ruined for everyone else.

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This may or may not be the same thing in Florida as it is here in Michigan, but I'll explain what happens here.

Public water CAN be surrounded by private property without access to non-property owners. That is because the State considers a lake public if more than one property owner has frontage on the waterway. A private lake is considered owned indivudally, either by a person or an organization.

We have a number of lakes that have been accessable at the end of a roadway leading to the lakefront, or that runs along the shoreline if the lake is within the right of way given to the entity (city, county, state) that controls the road. While many of these pieces of property are legally owned by one or more land owners, access is granted because of the road's right of way. There have been a number of court cases dealing with these access sites when people start building large docks at these places. Most cases find in favor of the lakefront property owners as others are only supposed to access the lake and not build docks.

The only way the State of Michigan gets access to additional lakes these days is when a suitable piece of property is gifted to the State from a lakefront property owner, or where the State decides to purchase a suitable property when it comes up for sale on the open market. A portion of the revenue from gas/oil leases provide the income for the State to purchase and maintain these types of properties.

The comment made with regards to "the landowner recently stopped people from fishing due to problems he was having with boaters.", tells me that if you are going to get mad at someone, then it should be the slob boaters that ruined for everyone else.

When I said "the landowner recently stopped people from fishing due to problems he was having with boaters" that really meant "the homeowners bugged him into blocking it off". This lake will remain blocked from public access most likely, too many homeowners with big money. The landowner in question payed $1.3 million for this piece of land which is basically just a small strip of the side of the road. Needless to say, this guy is loaded.

I don't condone trespassing but I see why guys sneak into lakes at night and wreck havoc on bass, because as long as you have tons of money you can get away with immoral things like this. I also discovered that taxpayer money may have been used in the upkeep of this lake at one point in time as well. Sickening in all aspects.

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This may or may not be the same thing in Florida as it is here in Michigan, but I'll explain what happens here.

Public water CAN be surrounded by private property without access to non-property owners. That is because the State considers a lake public if more than one property owner has frontage on the waterway. A private lake is considered owned indivudally, either by a person or an organization.

We have a number of lakes that have been accessable at the end of a roadway leading to the lakefront, or that runs along the shoreline if the lake is within the right of way given to the entity (city, county, state) that controls the road. While many of these pieces of property are legally owned by one or more land owners, access is granted because of the road's right of way. There have been a number of court cases dealing with these access sites when people start building large docks at these places. Most cases find in favor of the lakefront property owners as others are only supposed to access the lake and not build docks.

The only way the State of Michigan gets access to additional lakes these days is when a suitable piece of property is gifted to the State from a lakefront property owner, or where the State decides to purchase a suitable property when it comes up for sale on the open market. A portion of the revenue from gas/oil leases provide the income for the State to purchase and maintain these types of properties.

The comment made with regards to "the landowner recently stopped people from fishing due to problems he was having with boaters.", tells me that if you are going to get mad at someone, then it should be the slob boaters that ruined for everyone else.

Thats not entirely true. One dock is allowed as long as it is for public use as they consider that an aid to access. Overnight mooring, partying, swimming, etc are not. I have never seen a case where they even upheld the access rights when the road parallels the lake in this state, I know they've overturned some rulings on that lately.

I feel I should qualify that statement. At the lower court levels the decisions will be far more varied depending on the leanings of the presiding judge. If the case works its way up the appellate court system there is fairly clear precedent which so far has been followed. You will also see people frequently arguing or trying to change the law on access to the Great Lakes, where currently anything below the mean high water mark is public, simply because some people don't like watching others walk up and down the beach. It only takes one person with the audacity to go far a walk on public land to launch a court case spanning years and tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

As far as your last statement, well some people have problems if they can so much as see a person, boat, or dock out their window, so just saying he had problems with it doesn't mean a thing without some legitimate documentation. Particularly if he recently purchased the property, he may not have performed due diligence and realized what was there, or he may have had plans of revoking others access at the time of purchase. Not like he'd admit it, though.

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When I said "the landowner recently stopped people from fishing due to problems he was having with boaters" that really meant "the homeowners bugged him into blocking it off". This lake will remain blocked from public access most likely, too many homeowners with big money. The landowner in question payed $1.3 million for this piece of land which is basically just a small strip of the side of the road. Needless to say, this guy is loaded.

I don't condone trespassing but I see why guys sneak into lakes at night and wreck havoc on bass, because as long as you have tons of money you can get away with immoral things like this. I also discovered that taxpayer money may have been used in the upkeep of this lake at one point in time as well. Sickening in all aspects.

Well I guess there should be a law against any person that has money and expects their private property being private. I suppose it should also be a crime that taxpayer money is used on a lake surrounded by properties like the one you describe. If I guy only spent $1.3 Million in this lousy parcel, he and the others that can afford to live there probably don't pay any taxes.

By the way, you didn't mention how many times that you thanked this property owner for the use of his land.

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