DOCK CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE RULES AND GUIDELINES
These Dock Construction and Maintenance Rules and Guidelines (DCRs) are part of the Westlake Lake Management Association (WLMA) Rules separately distributed to WLMA Members.
It is the intent of WLMA to maintain control over the safety and appearance of docks, water use areas, and the scenic views in the Lake environment. Boats and docks are positively considered part of the scenic view of the Lake. Safety and accessibility of Lake waterways for boating and maintenance are important. WLMA has the authority and discretion to act to carry out its functions in both protecting the Lake and furthering a policy favoring allowance of individual and group boat docks on the Lake consistent with safety, though its decisions may differ from provisions in the Rules [including these DCRs].
DCR1. PAST STATUS. Existing Lake improvements including docks are grandfathered pursuant to the CC&Rs, as of the date of completion of recordation of the Tenth Amendment to [Restated] CC&Rs in both counties, September 22, 2000, and such improvements may be required to be changed at owner expense only if the improvement subsequently: 1) becomes or is discovered to be a safety hazard to the proper maintenance of the Lake including facilities, or 2) deteriorates to an unsightly condition visible to or within the Lake. Such existing improvements shall be considered in such grandfather status only if: 1) not in violation of any laws, ordinances, or regulations, 2) installed in accordance with submitted approved plans, either of a District or WLMA, if submitted, as applicable, and 3) not the subject of an unresolved complaint against such improvements presented in writing to a District or WLMA. Such grandfathering also does not include subsequent new construction apart from replacement, which must comply with current codes, nor such variance from existing improvements as determined significant by the Board. [from CC&Rs §6.4d]
DCR2. DOCK POLICY. WLMA’s policy is to allow installation of a dock on the Lake under approved dock construction, consistent with navigation and other safety concerns, whenever and wherever possible, but it is still a privilege that WLMA provides by revocable Permit License. The License is not coupled with another interest in real property; the property owner owns and has the right to remove and keep the dock. Anytime WLMA requests that an existing dock – grandfathered or otherwise – be removed, for reasons other than non-compliance with the Rules, not an expected action, and a decision to be made only by the Board, such removal would be at the expense of WLMA.
DOCK TYPES AND ELEMENTS
DCR3. DOCK CATEGORIES. The five categories of docks at the Lake that exist or may exist, with notation of ownership and maintenance responsibility, are:
(a) WLMA Public Marina docks. Public Marina docks for rental located at The Landing (and WLMA’s water service docks, non-rental, for Lake Users temporarily visiting businesses at The Landing) – docks owned by WLMA with responsibility for maintenance;
(b) WLMA office docks. Located adjacent to the WLMA office building, primarily used for work boats, but available for some kayak storage rental on racks and overflow slip rental for fishing boats – docks owned by WLMA with responsibility for maintenance;
(c) District HOA group docks. Located at various residential CC&Rs Districts surrounding the Lake, slips available for rental by WLMA Members owning lots or parcels [or by their tenants] within those respective Districts under and in accord with the Rules – docks owned by respective District HOAs for their members with HOAs responsibility for maintenance;
(d) Private (individual) docks. Located adjacent to individual lake front lots and parcels around the Lake – each dock owned by the WLMA Member owning the related lot or parcel with respective responsibility for maintenance; and
(e) Westlake Yacht Club docks. Located adjacent to the club building at The Landing – docks owned by Westlake Yacht Club with responsibility for maintenance.
DCR4. DOCK DESIGN AND LOCATION. No dock may be designed, built, used, or located in such a way as to become a hazard. See provisions in DCR7 & DCR8. WLMA locates docks with a space between dock and shore, optimally 4 feet from shore but location variable, to both limit extension into Lake waters, and to allow sufficient space for WLMA to clean the shoreline. WLMA has a cleaning easement that extends onshore from the shoreline, 24 inches onto each lot or parcel. It has been WLMA’s policy to prohibit construction of and/or placement of any dock along the Lake shoreline in the Potrero Creek inlet flood control basin where such dock would lie within that area encompassed by the basin’s underwater berm. Under all CC&Rs purposes, a dock is defined to include all its elements including, among others: dock, boat float, pilings, ramp(s), electrical installations [equipment, lines on dock], security gates without on shore posts where any gate for ramp(s) is located within shoreline cleaning easement, and ramp(s) attachment points on shore, regardless of whether on shore within WLMA’s Perimeter Area, within WLMA’s 24 inch cleaning easement, or otherwise located on the lot or parcel of the dock owner.
PROJECT SCOPE, PROCESS AND APPROVAL, AND APPLICATION
DCR5. NOTICE, APPROVALS & PROCESS. A boat dock Application approval process addresses, but is not limited to, the following: dock location, anchoring, construction, electrical, material, size, general appearance, safety, accessibility to dock and shoreline, the shoreline shelf, rocks or other water obstacles, shoreline indentation and in-Lake islands at a site, and potential added encroachment on the water use areas. The following procedures apply in the approval process:
A. The application process does not require Notice.
B. The applicant obtains project information from available sources and prepares and submits a boat dock Application to the WLMA office.
C. The Lake Operations Manager and Office Manager insure completeness of all submitted Applications. The Lake Operations Manager reviews each Application, determines if matter is ready to proceed or needs further input, and makes recommendations to and advises the Rules & Regulations Committee to proceed to evaluate the project.
D. Approvals. The process includes project evaluation by the Rules & Regulations Committee – which may involve physically setting dock location poles in the lake for reference, a preliminary approval by WLMA as described below – which enables beginning construction, and upon completion of construction, a final approval by WLMA.
(a) For private, individual dock Applications, the Rules & Regulations Committee evaluates the project and makes its recommendations to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee determines preliminary approval, notifying the Board of its decision. Unless the Board takes project control for approval determination and/or monitoring, the Executive Committee continues project supervision. Upon construction completion, the Lake Operations Manager and one member of the Executive Committee verify that construction followed conditions of the preliminary approval and sign the Application as project finally approved, maintaining Application record at WLMA’s office.
(b) For Public Marina, District HOA, or Westlake Yacht Club dock Applications, the Rules & Regulations Committee evaluates the project and makes its recommendations to the Executive Committee, which in turn reviews and makes its recommendations to the Board for determining preliminary approval. The Board may discuss and decide preliminary approval over one or more Board meetings. Upon determination, the Board may retain project supervision or return it to the Executive Committee. Verification of construction and signing final approval is the same procedure as for individual docks.
(c) Discretion; Referral. Where a dock application differs from a standard dock configuration or other established parameters, the Executive Committee then acting may determine, in its discretion, preliminary approval with parameters that deviate from guidelines in the Rules, or refer determination with its recommendations to the Board – except where the Rules expressly prohibit a parameter of a dock project, only the Board may determine, in its discretion, that project preliminary approval including such parameter. The Board may but need not issue instructions in returning control of any project to the Executive Committee.
E. Project notices to and from the Board may either be made as noted in respective meeting Minutes, or separately presented to the Board or Executive Committee verbally or in writing.
F. A project may be halted at any point for review, modification, or termination – including by Rules & Regulations Committee or Lake Operations Manager – where, for example, further Applicant input is needed, construction deviates from approval, or environmental harm exists.
G. After appropriate review and final approval of a completed dock construction project, the Lake Operations Manager and a member of the Executive Committee on behalf of WLMA will sign two copies of the approved application in confirmation. One copy will be returned to the applicant and the second will be kept on file at the WLMA office.
DCR6. APPLICATION. A Boat Dock Application is available at the WLMA office and contains the necessary elements for approval of a dock installation, among others: liability insurance coverage – currently $300,000 minimum, plans or other sufficient information from owner or owner’s dock contractor to enable WLMA to evaluate and decide approval on proposed dock, installation location, clean-up deposit, and parties’ agreement.
CONSTRUCTION AND OTHER ASPECTS
DCR7. CONSTRUCTION INFORMATION. An applicant may obtain information about dock construction and installation from the Lake Operations Manager at the WLMA office.
A. Dock construction including permits is at the owner’s expense. Applicant is responsible to inquire and obtain any necessary governmental electrical permit for electrical installation leading to the dock. All electrical installations leading to, and on, any dock must comply with current electrical codes including GFI (ground fault interrupter) protection and have a City of Thousand Oaks, or Los Angeles County Building & Safety permit to the extent of respective jurisdiction.
B. When installing or repairing a dock, the owner will be responsible for any damage to the soil-cement shoreline and Lake bottom.
C. On any existing wooden dock, the owner must use a non-toxic, environmentally safe paint, heavy-body stain, or other material, and apply it in a manner to avoid Lake pollution. All new dock construction exterior material must be of composite material (not wood) which may not be painted. Substructures may be of wood. New construction floatation must be encapsulated, or sealed foam.
D. Two or more posts/pilings sunk in Lake bottom must anchor docks. Chains, metal lines, or ropes above or below the waterline to anchor docks are prohibited [Board may accept special circumstances or newer technology]. Posts shall be of metal material with a minimum diameter of 2½ inches or greater, with a top cap, and shall hold the dock securely in place. Steel auger tip poles may be utilized. Finished poles shall be perpendicular and protruding a minimum 48″ above to a maximum of 54″ above the waterline when the lake is filled to the top of the dam spillway.
E. Dock walkways (ramps) can be attached or placed on top of floating docks in a manner to safely allow for the rise or fall of the Lake level. In past years, the lake level has been observed to drop 22″ or more and rise 48″, measured from the top of the dam spillway.
F. Each boat docking location shall have a minimum of two tie-off cleats, 8″ to 10″ in size, and secured to the dock with bolts. The use of lag screws to secure cleats is prohibited.
DCR8. DOCK CONSIDERATIONS. The following dock and boat float considerations apply:
A. The Board, and the Executive Committee as an approving authority as to individual private docks, may consider special circumstances and problems of a dock construction, location, or other parameter in connection with approving a boat dock. The approving body shall have full discretion, without being considered to have acted wrongly or inappropriately, to approve a dock that differs from parameters described in the Rules. Where a Rule specifically “prohibits” a particular dock construction, location, or other parameter, only the Board shall make the decision to allow it, or ratify such Executive Committee decision.
B. The standard rectangular dock size is 8′ X 16′ (128 square feet) with the (greater) length located parallel to the shoreline. An 8′ by 18′ rectangular dock (144 square feet) with the greater length located parallel to the shoreline may also be requested for approval. Other size docks, larger and smaller, including with length perpendicular to shore orientation, will be considered for approval – with attention given to overall conditions at that location. For perpendicular length configurations, particular attention includes comparative overall distance stretching from shore into Lake, including consideration for boat docking space. The standard ramp is 4′ X 8′ but other ramp lengths are considered to accommodate dock configuration, and dock location factors including those described in Rule DCR4.
C. Floating rectangular or U-shape docks are preferred. Any other configuration of dock may be considered. Fixed docks are prohibited.
D. WLMA seeks to place a dock near the middle of a property when it is feasible, including consideration of resulting locations of boats at the dock, and taking into account navigation, other safety, impediments such as rocks, and adjacent properties and docks, but WLMA follows a policy of favoring approval of a dock for a property owner, locating it where able, and has a history of approving docks that include locations crossing over adjoining lot lines in following that policy.
E. WLMA does not take the presence of a proposed dock, as viewed from the Lake or from neighbors’ properties, into consideration for rejection in evaluating dock approval, because boats and docks are positively considered part of the scenic view of the Lake; however, no dock may have a protective awning, cover, or other structure over or above the dock, whether attached or otherwise; any such structure is prohibited.
F. A maximum of one floating boat float per individual lot may be separately approved for the storage of small boats. A boat must be specifically registered to be stored on the approved float. The float size must be consistent with the boat to be stored on the float. It is preferable that the float be located on the shore side of the dock.
DCR9. VIOLATION. Dock construction not approved under the Rules by WLMA shall be considered in violation of the CC&Rs. The owner, at owner expense, shall remove or modify the construction as requested in writing by WLMA within fifteen (15) days of request. An owner’s written request for time extension with the reasons therefore may extend compliance up to an additional thirty (30) days without need of Board approval if accompanied by documentation of the owner seeking outside assistance to comply. If an owner does not comply or is determined still in violation after reconsideration of decision, then the Board has the right to authorize the removal or modification of the construction and charge the owner for removal and disposal costs as an assessment under CC&Rs.