Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

March 14, 2019
Stansbury Lake no longer called private in updated lake policy

Two months after a water law expert deemed Stansbury Lake to be public, the Stansbury Service Agency board adopted an updated lake use policy at its meeting Wednesday night. 

The updated lake use policy states the service agency maintains the lake “for the benefit of Stansbury Park residents and their accompanied guests,” but no longer describes the lake as private. A five-page legal opinion presented at the Jan. 9 service agency meeting deemed the lake was public and had been since it was deeded to the service agency following the bankruptcy of developer Terracor in the 1980s. 

Resident Peter Rasmussen said since the lake was deemed public, there was an incident on his property and requested the board include language about protecting private property adjacent to the lake. 

Fellow resident Margo Huddleston asked if residents would still be able to fish on the lake without a license and whether the service agency or state would be required to restock the fish. Service agency manager Gary Jensen said they are working with the state Department of Wildlife Resources to determine the answer to both of those questions. 

Huddleston also asked if there is any way for the service agency to distinguish who uses the lake or how they use it. Board chairman Neil Smart said they could charge a higher fee for use by non-residents but it would be challenging to enforce. 

“I don’t think there’s as much outside usage as everybody thinks,” Smart said. “I think our community has grown really big and we don’t recognize everybody that lives here. It’s just what it is.” 

The board also discussed which watercraft should be registered under the lake use policy, which includes “electric, wind and man-powered watercraft.” Trustee Brenda Spearman said she didn’t believe inflatables should be registered, while Smart said he believed pool toys should be exempt, unless they were the larger inflatables that can hold four or more people. 

Prior to the vote, the draft lake use policy was amended to change “harassing” wildlife to “harming” wildlife as a prohibited activity, and to add “surrounding public property or adjacent private property” to the enforcement section on unauthorized use that is considered trespassing. 

Trustee Cassandra Arnell made a motion to approve the lake use policy change, which was seconded by Spearman. It passed unanimously, with Trustee Mike Johnson absent.

 

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