Senate OKs no-wake bills

Senate OKs no-wake bills

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Dan Lauwers on Tuesday voted to approve three bills that would allow local units of government to establish temporary maximum water vessel speed limits to eliminate wakes from boats.

The Senate unanimously approved House Bills 5401, 5402 and 5463.

“Record high water levels are a major challenge for homeowners and businesses on the water front,” said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “These measures provide a mechanism to address what limits are appropriate, with opportunity for input from all interested parties.”

HB 5401 would allow a local unit of government to enact a resolution to allow the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), county sheriff or county emergency coordinator to issue an order establishing a temporary maximum vessel speed limit.

These temporary measures could be in effect for 14 days and could only be reissued two additional times in a calendar year.

Under HB 5463, measures could be established for six-month periods and could be renewed if local governments are seeking to have a special rule established under an existing process.

Applicants for a temporary watercraft control ordinance under HB 5463 would be required to provide:
• The resolution approved by the political subdivision’s governing body and a copy of the public notice listing the adoption of the resolution on the agenda;
• The information required for the DNR to conduct investigations and inquiries into whether special rules are needed;
• The circumstances that justify a temporary ordinance rather than a special rule;
• A complete list of all local ordinances, regulations and rules concerning the water body and how they are enforced;
• How the political subdivision plans to provide for and fund the public notice of the temporary ordinance, including buoy placement and signage, and how it will be enforced; and
• Any other information the political subdivision believes is relevant or necessary.

“We must allow local units of government the flexibility to address shoreline impacts during high-water conditions while allowing those who depend on boaters for their business to be an equal part of the discussion,” Lauwers said.

HBs 5401, 5402 and 5463 now head to the governor to be signed into law.

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