State rejects Grosse Pointe Shores’ request for temporary no-anchor zone

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 27, 2021


GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Concerns about noise and safety from boaters anchoring close to waterfront Grosse Pointe Shores homes could remain an unresolved issue this summer.

During an April 20 Grosse Pointe Shores City Council meeting via Zoom, officials announced that the city’s application for a temporary watercraft determination from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to create a no-anchor zone 300 feet from the shore was rejected.

“Our application was very much in order, very descriptive,” Shores Public Safety Director Ken Werenski told the council. “However, this is an international body of water.”

Werenski said that, besides reservations state officials had given the international nature of Lake St. Clair, they felt that the fact that water levels are down somewhat this year might resolve some of the problems the Shores has experienced in recent years with some boaters.

Had it been approved, the no-anchor zone would have spanned from roughly the north end of Osius Park to 956 Lake Shore Road. The DNR allows for communities to apply for this type of regulation on a temporary basis, for a six-month duration.

Waterfront residents have been dealing with noisy, rowdy boaters — some of whom have gotten out of their watercrafts and trespassed on residential properties — for years, but the problem has gotten worse in the last couple of years because of high water levels. In addition to loud music and partying, residents have seen personal watercrafts zipping at high speed in between anchored boats while people are wading or swimming near those boats. Residents and city officials have both expressed fears that a swimmer could easily be injured or killed by a personal watercraft because the watercraft operator might not be able to see the swimmer in time to avoid a collision.

“We just don’t want to put the public at risk,” City Councilman Matthew Seely said in March. “We, more than anything, want to create a buffer zone between the shoreline and where people begin to anchor.”

It was in response to concerns voiced by waterfront residents that Seely and some other Shores officials began exploring their options circa 2018.

Mayor Ted Kedzierski thanked Werenski for his work on this matter.

“I appreciate your follow-up, and I’m sure the affected residents do, too,” Kedzierski said.