Lake Gertrude residents would block public from its lake -- Can...

Full story: Orlando Sentinel

After Lake County Commissioner Linda Stewart said last month that scenic Lake Gertrude should be open to outside canoes and kayaks, she drew a severe backlash from lakeside homeowners, who say opening the lake ...
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1 - 20 of 45 Comments Last updated Apr 23, 2008
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roger

Purcellville, VA

#1 Apr 9, 2008
A public lake is a public lake. Quit with all the homeowners power grab and attempts to control. Didn't they check the property and lake ordinances before buying? If the county has a public boat ramp to the lake, it should remain open to all citizens. If the homeowners want a private lake, then they should get together and buy any remaining property around the lake- including the county owned property, then they can make their own rules. Otherwise keep public waterways open to the public!
Justamom

United States

#2 Apr 9, 2008
The lake is public. Always has been. It was when they bought their homes and it still is now.
NAR

Lady Lake, FL

#3 Apr 9, 2008
My problem with this whole issue is that the land owners with deeded access to the Lake won't come out and say a thing about the fact that they allow there relatives and friends to launch outside vessels on the Lake on holiday weekends and during the summer. I have seen truck after truck backed in on Morningside Drive launching jet skies and holding parties ( the road borders the western shore area)This is a public body of water in every sense of the word. Only when one single person owns all the land around a body of water is it then a private lake or pond. The Sheriff's office does patrol the lake and fields complaints when called and I have seen them there. This is an issue that does not just happen on this body of water it happens all or the county. Another case in point is the Lake Saunders boat ramp that was shut down years ago due to noise and littering complaints. It is maintained with tax payers dollars (mowing and general maint.)but the area has concrete barriers blocking it. Comm. Linda Stewart knows that you can only stop so much activity on any public land or water when it has any tax payers dollars being used on it, thats not to say that you can't allow it's use and restrict its activities to find a happy medium.
Kay Cee

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#4 Apr 9, 2008
If you want to increase safety on Lake Gertrude, make the area connecting the Northern and Southern portion a No Wake Zone. It's the younger crowds on ski boats that pose the biggest danger-to themselves and everyone else. I have personally seen ski boats on plane within 50 feet of docks on that lake.

If they (residents and government) want to increase the 'health' of the lake, consider introducing grass carp to knock down the hydrilla.
Good Grief

Orlando, FL

#5 Apr 9, 2008
The lake was public before and it should stay that way. I have to agree with the Com Linda Stewart. If the residents want it to be a private lake, let them purchase the land from the county and pay the millions of dollars to treat storm water overflowing from one lake to the other. If they feel that strongly I bet they take one good look at the expenses and decide to let everyone enjoy a natural PUBLIC area.
HKS

Ocala, FL

#7 Apr 9, 2008
Elite snobs. They only want their spoiled children to be able to use the lake.
mohammed

Nomans Land, MA

#8 Apr 9, 2008
roger wrote:
A public lake is a public lake. Quit with all the homeowners power grab and attempts to control. Didn't they check the property and lake ordinances before buying? If the county has a public boat ramp to the lake, it should remain open to all citizens. If the homeowners want a private lake, then they should get together and buy any remaining property around the lake- including the county owned property, then they can make their own rules. Otherwise keep public waterways open to the public!
No that makes too much sense !!!
Sherri

Leesburg, FL

#9 Apr 9, 2008
You can always tell when someone has an irrational opposition to something when their first argument gives way to a second, third, forth, fifth, etc. First it was the hydrilla, but when that could be discredited by rational people who know weedy propellers are the culprit, it then becomes a safety problem. Oh, the children could get hurt by those menacing kayaks!(Notice the telltale sign that someone is without a good argument when they claim "This is all for the CHILDREN!") And the canoes are oh so dangerous too! Stay tuned and I'm sure we'll scare up a Bald Eagle or endangered tree snail that will be jeopardized by these intruders.

What they want is for us to give them our tax money to maintain the water quality and water level of their lake, but to keep it all to themselves. There is no problem with leaving their lake without public access if not a single taxpayer dollar goes to maintain it.

By the way, while I'm on the soapbox, it is people like this that are running our country into the ground. Self-interest is running amok and no one wants to do what is for the greater good. Its all about me, me, me and now, now, now. AARP would mortgage the future for the sake of today's seniors. Washington politicians are giving us all "tax rebates" while they borrow money from foreign countries to balance the budget. Florida politicians haven't the courage to correct Save Our Homes, so they make an enemy out of local government and blame the enemy. These Lake Gertrude dolts want us to spend money maintaining their private paradise! Harumpff!
Bette

Tavares, FL

#10 Apr 10, 2008
In the original brochure for the Lake Gertrude Sylvan Shores area, of which I have a copy, the plan was to construct a seawall and have a wide public promenade around the south end. There already exists an old boat ramp in that area. The original intent was not to make it a private lake. Lake access was to be for all residents. When Sylan Shores Park was given over to the county the southwest shore became public.
I do not feel the natural wild area should be cleared for a beach but the old boat ramp could easily be made accessible for kayaks and canoes. The writer who commented on lakefront residents allowing others to launch from their property is correct. This is a common occurence and is a greater threat of hydrilla than the conoes and kayaks would be.
The other problem on the lake is the lack of attention parents pay to their teenage children on motorized water craft.
Good Neighbor Dave

Apopka, FL

#11 Apr 10, 2008
We're not trying to say this is our lake. But it was never intended to allow [outside] boats."

TRANSLATION FROM LAKE GERTRUDESE: "We're not trying to say this is our lake. But since we're the only ones allowed to operate Jet Skis and other power boats, and will STILL be the only ones allowed to do so even after this change goes through, you can sort of understand why we act as if this is our lake."

"We're fearful for the children and grandchildren playing in that area," he said. "People could get hurt or even killed..."

TRANSLATION FROM LAKE GERTRUDESE: "When our children and grandchildren are roaring around the lake on Jet Skis and other power boats, those slow-moving kayaks and canoes are a definite hazard to their safety.
Bette

Tavares, FL

#12 Apr 10, 2008
These same lakefront owners refuse to hook up to Mt Dora city sewer system so they are endangering the lake themselves with more than hydrilla. But thye will allow the city and county to install a new overflow drainpipe into Lake Dora.
Who is really doing the polluting?
Debbie

Orlando, FL

#13 Apr 10, 2008
I am a Mount Dora city resident who kayaks frequently on Lake Dora. I am appalled that my tax dollars are used to improve and maintain Lake Gertrude, however, I am not allowed to kayak on it. I support Commissioner Stewart in her efforts to open Lake Gertrude to the public for nonmotorized boating. If the residents of Lake Gertrude oppose this, then they need to put their money where their mouths are!
Fran

Mount Dora, FL

#14 Apr 10, 2008
These comments are all right on. I hope some of you are planning on putting your thoughts into a letter to the editor, or better yet, being at the commission meeting when this is voted on.
taxpayer

Mount Dora, FL

#15 Apr 10, 2008
It is a shame that Tom Youngs was not as concerned about the water quality of Lake Apopka when his company was polluting it so badly and then the govt paid them millions with our tax dollars to stop , now he wants tax dollars to keep "his" lake pristine and private. Is this arrogance at its best?
Yalahaparadise

Apopka, FL

#16 Apr 11, 2008
I just hope they don't think they OWN the County commissoners also !
Captain Chaos

United States

#17 Apr 12, 2008
Let's talk about Lake Dalhousie's "public" access. You can access the lake, but you can't loiter on shore by the ramp. You are either launching or retrieving a boat, no standing around the shoreline. So unless your entire party can ride your jetski at the same time, better leave them home. I'd venture to say the snobism far exceeds Lake Gertrudes residents.
Two Strokes Rule

AOL

#18 Apr 13, 2008
How noble of the good stewards for Lake Gertrude to protect and defend the the uncertain future of their private water park from the brutal environmental impact of SPF 50 coated yuppies, gliding around in their brightly colored kayak death machines.
TERESA

Apopka, FL

#19 Apr 13, 2008
I LIVE IN TAVARES AND AM DELIGHTED THAT I CAN DRIVE TO LAKE GERTRUDE AND ENJOY THE BEAUTIFUL WALKWAY AROUND PART OF THE LAKE....IF I LIVED THERE NO WAY WOULD I WANT IT TURNED INTO PUBLIC GATHERING SPOT TO BE RUINED BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO CONSIDERATION FOR THE PLACE OR OTHERS WHO WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT REMAIN THE SAME......AND THE PEOPLE FROM OUT OF TOWN, UNLESS YOU HAVE VISITED THE AREA, SHOULD NOT EVEN COMMENT......GOOD FOR THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE GOOD FORTUNE TO LIVE ON IT.....I WISH I DID AND I WOULD FIGHT TO THE BITTER END TO KEEP "THE PUBLIC" OUT..........JUST LEAVE IT ALONE????? WHEN IS ENOUGH EVER ENOUGH?????
minority

AOL

#20 Apr 13, 2008
It amazes me how many people, not living here, have something to say about life on Lake Gertrude. It's a shame that to live on a lake in this county makes you a "special interest group." Does it matter to anyone that this access into Lake Getrude was cut through pristine wetlands? No I can't believe it would, unless it suited your story. Why did the county put up the sign prohibiting use through these wetlands. Oh well, nobody cares anyway. Full steam ahead!
Environmentalist -Eustis

AOL

#21 Apr 13, 2008
The mayor of Mt. Dora says"spending $2.7 mil. on John's Lake polluted water going into Lake Gertrude is for lake owners benefit." The truth is she lives on John's lake and will benefit much more than Gertrude resident's. These tax dollars spent are why she feels outside boats should have access. Please don't misinform the public this way. I know several Lake Gert. owners and they feel there is no benefit for them for these dollars spent this way. Theyr'e getting screwed both ways. Yes the county is assisting financially also. But then these rich, snobby,priviledged homeowners probably deserve this type of responsible government

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