M/cloudy
48°
M/cloudy
Hi 60° | Lo 42°

Dublin

‘No swimming’ sign to remain

Residents give mixed input on boat launch sign that prohibits swimming

  • Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Dublin residents shared mixed opinions Monday night about whether or not the Select Board should remove or change the language of a sign at Dublin Lake that reads, "No swimming at boat launch."<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

DUBLIN — The Select Board has chosen not to amend a sign that prohibits swimming at the boat launch on Dublin Lake, after seeking the advice of town counsel and local safety officials.

Select Board member Sturdy Thomas said at Monday’s Select Board meeting that allowing swimming and boats to launch in the same vicinity as one another is a liability issue for the town, which owns the boat launch. Select Board member Sterling Abram agreed, saying the space is too tight for a combined use.

In a memo to the Select Board last week, Dublin’s Attorney Matt Serge of Concord-based Upton and Hatfield wrote that he has no issue with the sign or the board’s practice of prohibiting swimming at the boat launch. The town forwarded Serge a photograph of the sign posted at the boat launch, which reads “no swimming in launch area,” and a copy of a 1961 deed whereby Fanny Dwight Clark and her husband, Grenville Clark, grant public access to the lake on their shores as a gift to the town.

“The town is providing access to the water via this piece of property, but simply regulating the manner in which access is granted,” Serge wrote to the Select Board, adding that New Hampshire RSA 41:11-a authorizes the board to regulate the use of publicly owned land.

Fire Chief Thomas Vanderbilt, who attended Monday’s meeting and also chairs the town’s Safety Committee, said he agrees with Serge that the sign protects the public from harm by separating swimmers from boats that could cause them injury.

The board’s decision came after mixed responses from Dublin residents, some of whom expressed concern about future environmental impacts on Dublin Lake should an influx of swimmers recreate there, while others advocated for changing the language of the sign to encourage swimmers to proceed with caution.

Resident Grenville Clark III, whose grandparents gifted the boat launch to the town decades ago, told the Select Board he doesn’t believe the town should promote swimming at the boat launch, but swimming should also not be prohibited. The board, he said, has a right to regulate activity at that area and still uphold the spirit of the deed, which is to grant public access.

Resident Felicity Pool told the board that Dublin Lake is fragile and should not be exposed to an increase in human activity. “One of the concerns I have is if it becomes very inviting for people to swim. ...I’m also not sure that we’re obligated to take care of the whole region,” she said, referring to the language in the deed that grants both residents and visitors to New Hampshire access to Dublin Lake.

But the level of boating activity at the boat launch does not rise to a level of concern, said Bill Goodwin, chair of the Dublin Lake Host Program. “Ninety percent of the time it’s very safe,” he said. “When a motor boat comes in, people are not swimming.”

More than two weeks ago, resident Steve Baldwin met with the Select Board to voice concern about the sign that prohibits swimming at the launch area. At Monday’s meeting, Baldwin said, “This is about folks enjoying what they have a right to enjoy.” Changing the sign to “swim with caution” is not an unreasonable request, he said.

After the Select Board decided unanimously not to amend the sign, Baldwin told the Ledger-Transcript that the town does not have a right to prohibit people from swimming in public waters. “I felt this was a move to privatize Dublin Lake. Having my request denied was very mean-spirited,” he said, adding that his next step will be to ask the state to review the board’s decision.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

What a shock, the Dublin residents of what is already nearly a private resort of the rich and famous want to keep those without from 'recreating' on Dublin Pond. Just the use of the word tells the whole story. (yes check the atlas, the Dublin Lake crowd just tags that Lake name on it from the top of the noses they look down at us from. It's real name is Dublin Pond) Without an approved Town Ordinance to prohibit swimming and enforcement powers ceded to a law enforcement branch of the Town's government, the sign was, is and will be unenforceable. Without enforcement the towns liability is continued, and now that they have been informed and discussed it publicly, it is compounded.

Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.