COLUMBIANA - Residents of the four condominium associations surrounding Arrowhead Lake voiced their concerns Tuesday about the plans of the lake's newest owners, but Columbiana City Council members seemed mainly concerned Tuesday about a boat ramp or driveway built to go into the lake.
Residents and Councilman Bryan Blakeman questioned the long-term plans of the owners Rob and Bob Struharik. Residents like Judy McCoy appeared and complained the Struhariks are selling fishing permits for the lake behind their homes, permits which are costing residents $500.
The elder Struharik said the reason for the permits are to help cover the insurance costs for the lake, which are about $6,000 per year. He denied implications that the family is running a business. With a 35-acre lake, he noted the lake is big enough for motor boats, jet skis and wakeboarding, but the planned fishing tournament this June 8 will be 11 bass boats with electric motors. Additionally, there will be children fishing along the water with adult supervision.
Residents also questioned the use of boats on the lake and the possible noise, which could come from additional boat use on the lake. It was noted the city does have noise restrictions.
One resident Larry Carnel questioned how boats entered into the fishing tournament would not block traffic as they were being loaded and unloaded on the new ramp built by the Struhariks.
Council members noted if there is a problem with traffic, the auxiliary members of the police department will be available to help with the parking situation the day of the tournament.
While the Struhariks said they do not have any long-term plans, the fishing tournament is a benefit for Heartland Christian School. They said they are trying to be good neighbors and work with the condominium associations, meeting with them on occasions. Bob Struharik noted he is not selling permits to everyone in Columbiana, just to those living near the water.
Planning Commission member Ron LaLonde said most of the concerns of the residents are civil matters, but what concerns the city is whether the Struhariks needed to come to planning commission before putting in the driveway or boat ramp. LaLonde said his personal opinion is the ramp was put in a bad place.
While a property owner has every right to put in a driveway on their own property, it was noted this particular driveway goes straight into the water, which qualifies it as a loading ramp.
Law Director Dan Blasdell was asked to take a look at the city's regulations involving driveways, loading ramps and other issues surrounding the matter.
Councilman Lowell Schloneger urged the four associations to put aside their differences and work together. As the meeting continued on Tuesday, some of the residents around the lake and the Struhariks spoke outside.