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Private Beaches on BBI????
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ttfn
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 5:55 pm    Post subject: Private Beaches on BBI???? Reply with quote

After a recent experience on the island, I am left wondering if there really are any "private beaches" on BBI. While respectfully enjoying the day on one of the beaches many of us were told to move because we were on a "private beach". We were all surprised at hearing this and very unhappy as we were all just enjoying a beautiful day on the beach without causing any type of problem to anyone. I am curious as to if this is really true and/or what others thoughts are on "private beaches" as we frequently go to this beach but have never had a problem there before.
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Ron Petersen
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has always been a problem no matter where you go - I'm not sure what the laws are in Michigan, but being a Realtor iin Iowa - You only have control to the average high water mark (not normal level) on any navigable water such as lakes or streams - the area between that mark and the water is public property as is the water. the problem is getting to that area!! I know that sounds stupid and most people respect beaches if a home is built near it. You probably pay taxes to lot lines which could be in the water and to middle of roads and don't control them either.
I know we used to swim at snow beach and I heard that people are being chased out of there - is that true? - There isn't even a cabin at that spot!!
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Uncle Steve
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy This should help
http://www.mlui.org/landwater/fullarticle.asp?fileid=16906
Snow beach is public from the road extention coming off rocky road,extending to your right as you face the water for a significant distance at least to the twin rocks and beyond as per GW
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Ron Petersen
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's interesting - Kinda the same as here in Iowa- No one owns the beach by the water or the water -

Here is another tricky one - In Iowa if you have a stream that runs through your property that runs into a navigable stream or lake, others may boat up into that stream but are not allowed to touch the bottom or shore - If it is a boundary stream, the owner owns to the middle of the stream bottom, but not the water - It is owned by the public (Don't step out of your boat!) - I bet it might be the same in Michigan
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katie
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uncle Steve wrote:

Snow beach is public from the road extention coming off rocky road,extending to your right as you face the water for a significant distance at least to the twin rocks and beyond as per GW


has anybody been chased away from that section of the beach?

when i was up in July, we stopped at Snow Beach only b/c i hadn't been on it in years. We were getting mean mugged like crazy from the house that was closest.
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KELLY
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We go to that beach quite often, we have had remarks made that it is private. So we just told her that it is public and that if she has a problem to call Gram and she left us alone the rest of the time. I have also seen her yell at other people on the beach. So what we do is tell her to call Gram and she leaves Smile)
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islandnana
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know which place you are referring to and she had problems a few years ago when she first bought the place. In a way, I can't say that I blame her. It was two women and several kids that parked their chairs right on the beach in front of her house. When they left it was very messy with trash that they left on the beach. From what I've heard you can still go on the beach straight out and to the right of the parking area. I do not own on the water but if I did I wouldn't want people constantly sitting in front of my house either so guess we'll all have to show a little respect and courtesy even though I've heard she can get grabby at times.
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theeislandgirl
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:33 am    Post subject: s Reply with quote

sorry to hear this but sounds like it can be corrected..
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KELLY
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didnt mean to sound rude, we tried a few times to be polite but she just kept going. and after a few times there and dealing with it we had to tell her to call Gram. Now she just comes out and stands there which I dont mind. It is unfortunate that she bought a home right next to a public beach, but it is another thing to harass people.
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katie
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

islandnana wrote:
I've heard she can get grabby at times.


WHAT?????? GRABBY??? I hope you meant crabby.

I agree that people should never leave a mess OR sit right in the front of her spot just to spite her.
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KELLY
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be uspet also if you intentionaly sat in front of my house and left a mess. I can say that this summer she has been fine, we just keep to ourselves and stay on the public side.
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islandnana
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right Katie...I did mean crabby. That's what I get for typing so fast then not reading over what I've written before sending it out into cyberspace. Thanks for pointing out the mistake.
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Ron Petersen
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darn - I was hoping you meant "Grabby" - but then, I haven't seen her Very Happy
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katie
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

islandnana wrote:
You're right Katie...I did mean crabby. That's what I get for typing so fast then not reading over what I've written before sending it out into cyberspace. Thanks for pointing out the mistake.


hahaha. i thought maybe you DID mean grabby...i figured i could send my brother out there to see exactly what you meant.
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:29 pm    Post subject: I think you meant crappy. Reply with quote

Several years ago the situation got out of hand. There were times when visitors would go to the bathroom under the trees in full view, right next to, that last cottage.

I don't think that I'd want to look out my window and see someone pooping!
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katie
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: I think you meant crappy. Reply with quote

Charlie Trie wrote:
Several years ago the situation got out of hand. There were times when visitors would go to the bathroom under the trees in full view, right next to, that last cottage.

I don't think that I'd want to look out my window and see someone pooping!


EWWWWWWWWW!!!!
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pilotkid
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasn't there a lawsuit involved in this whole affair? What ever happened to that?
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IslandDeer
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:46 pm    Post subject: sand bay ,and ponteauxpins beach Reply with quote

In pointe aux pins, on the beach, it belongs to whoever owns property in the pines. and its still a free beach at sand bay as its public , up to the water line. The people on the righthas been fighting about for a long time, just drive around their stuff, its been public for forever and people should use it, so people will come back, but no messes left as respect to the people who owes cottages there. Snow beach has always been a free beach too forever.
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Squeaky
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So right. I know I do not want to look out and see anyone going to the bathroom either and what about the toilet paper they leave behind? NASTY! NASTY! Take the nasty paper with you. Parties on the beach whatever beach it may be should provide bathroom facilities. Are bathroom facilities provided on these so called public beaches? Even those that do not have cabins on their property do not want to come to their land and find all of this nasty stuff laying around.
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Ron Petersen
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as the Pines - unless the property is owned by a "Governed City" which would then "might" own the beach - - - I always thought that the pines was unincorprated which would make it no different that any property on the island and if that's the case - they would only own to the high average water mark just like everyone else. I know it is not fun to have people on "your beach" and I also think it is a stupid law, it still don't stop them at this time - I have been to several beach parties over the years and have never seen any messes left behind - I'm sure their are a few bad apples that will ruin it for others and I'm sure it can get blown out of proportion very easy too.

this controversy will never stop until the law is changed
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:20 pm    Post subject: Beach ownership Reply with quote

Nominally the water is open to the public. (I believe that the land under water -ie, lake bottom - is public property.) Then the adjacent land up to the ordinary high water mark is public property. Where there are tides, this definition is pretty easy. In the Great Lakes, it's hard. In fact the Court in the Michigan case wrestled with the definition, and decided to leave it rather open. The easy definition is to say:where the sand, rocks, or soil is wet, is where private property ends.

Other definitions could be the yearly high water mark. Or historical high water mark. To use historical highest water mark would be silly because essentially the entirety of BBI would be public property. As I recall the decision indicates that where vegetation is growing, the land is beyond the high water mark. For some of BBI that's easy. But what about where there's gravel berms? And what about beaches?

In general I try to stay at the water's edge when walking by someone else's property.

At Snow Beach, since there's a public beach to the right of the access, I don't see why it should be a difficult decision: use the beach to the right unless you have secured permission from the property owner. Swimming and walking in the water is unlimited. Emergency landing of a boat is unlimited.
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mikewhite
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:51 am    Post subject: meander line Reply with quote

When subdivisions are surveyed, there is a line made running parallel to the lake shore called the meander line. I am sure Snow beach has those. Sand Bay does. That line usually follows along where bigger bushes and trees appear back from the waterline. It is your property line.

Before the latest MI supreme court ruling, the land owner and the state shared overlapping jurisdiction in the area between the meander line and the waters edge. The confusion was over how much and what rights the landowner had.

The supreme court ruling was based on a persons right to walk along the beach past other peoples property. In that case a woman who lived on a lake had taken walks for many years along the shore. A new neighbor stopped her from walking in front of his place. She took it to the top and won. The state also won, because they gained more of the shared rights and the landowner got less.

The supreme court did not address the issues of people loitering in front of someones summer place. It is still a grey area.

I would suppose that it is OK to sunbath and go in and out of the water, as long as the person or persons are not creating a nuisance. On the other hand, like a noisy neighbor, if they are creating a nuisance, you have a right to call the law on them, even though they are not on your land. No clear laws have been made and I suppose that a police officer must use his/her own judgement in each situation.

I would presume that someone using the area below the meander line as a bathroom in front of everyone is a nuisance and more. Also messing around with the vegetation would probably be a nuisance. I think you all get what I'm trying to say.
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Dan Reynolds
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to let everyone know, I have moved this topic out of the "Photo Comments" forum and into the "Idle Chit-Chat" forum.
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doug miller
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike:

I think you provided a really good summary of the current state of the law. (I assume that what you call the meander line is what is also referred to as the high water mark). With the low lake levels, there is probably quite a bit of dry land on the lake side of the high water line--I know there is in front of our cottage) and I understand the law in Michigan to provide that people can walk on that area--but as you say, loitering for too long is a grey area.
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about specific subdivisions, but I am familiar with the Glass v. Goeckel case that appears to control Michigan rights to walk along the shores of the Great Lakes. (Here's a site with the decision http://www.saveourshoreline.org/LegalMatters/GlassvGoeckel/MISupremeCourt/MISupremeCtDecision126409.pdf)

Note this passage: <<In this
case, the property now owned by defendants was originally
conveyed subject to specific public trust rights in Lake
Huron and its shores up to the ordinary high water mark.
The ordinary high water mark lies, as described by
Wisconsin, another Great Lakes state, where “‛the presence
and action of the water is so continuous as to leave a
distinct mark either by erosion, destruction of terrestrial
vegetation, or other easily recognized characteristic.'"
State v Trudeau, 139 Wis 2d 91, 102; 408 NW2d 337 (1987)
(citation omitted).<<<4>>>
Consequently, although defendants retain full rights of ownership in their littoral property, they hold these rights subject to the public trust.>>

<<<4 We refer to a similarly situated sister state not for
the entirety of its public trust doctrine, but for a
credible definition of a term long employed in our
jurisprudence. Despite Justice Markman’s protestation over
upsetting settled rules, see, e.g., post at 37, we have recourse to this persuasive definition because, as noted by
Justice Young, this area of law has been characterized by
critical terms receiving less than precise definition. See
post at [1.}>>>

[1] Modern usage distinguishes between “littoral” and
“riparian,” with the former applying to seas and their
coasts and the latter applying to rivers and streams.
Black’s Law Dictionary (7th ed). Our case law has not
always precisely distinguished between the two terms.
Consistent with our recognition that the common law of the sea applies to our Great Lakes, see People v Silberwood,
110 Mich 103, 108; 67 NW 1087 (1896), citing Illinois
Central R Co v Illinois, 146 US 387, 437; 13 S Ct 110; 36 L
Ed 1018 (1892), we will describe defendants’ property as
littoral property. Although we have attempted to retain
consistency in terminology throughout our discussion, we
will at times employ the term “riparian” when the facts or
the language previously employed so dictate. For example,
a littoral owner of property on the Great Lakes holds
riparian rights as a consequence of owning waterfront
property. See Hilt v Weber, 252 Mich 198, 225; 233 NW 159
(1930).

Germane to Snow Beach (and others) is the phrase: "DEFENDANTS RETAIN FULL RIGHTS OF OWNERSHIP IN THEIR LITTORAL PROPERTY, THEY HOLD THESE RIGHTS SUBJECT TO THE PUBLIC TRUST". Then you have to go look at the definition of public trust in each case.

This litigation result allows people to walk along the lake, but doesn't give them an easement across private property to reach that public trust. ie, enter via a public easement. You're allowed to walk. Are you allowed to stop and camp? Picnic? 'loiter'? This decision suggest not.

Here's an Ohio court chipping in:

From the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

<<A trial court in Ohio recently held that Lake Erie beachfront property owners have the right to exclude others from
their property. As the right to exclude is a traditional and fundamental aspect of owning property, it seems odd that
such a holding would be newsworthy. But in 2005, the Michigan Supreme Court held that the general public has a
right to walk the Great Lakes shoreline, and that trumps the property owners’ right to exclude. These divergent
results indicate that there must be constant vigilance to prevent property rights from being weakened.
The Michigan Supreme Court in its 2005 Glass v. Goeckel decision held that Great Lakes property owners did not
have the power to exclude beach walkers below the high-water mark. In making this ruling, the court relied on the
public trust doctrine, which was originally meant to protect navigation and subsistence hunting and fishing. The
Michigan Supreme Court created a new "public trust" right to walk on property below the high-water mark, which
was ill-defined, both geographically and temporally. In that case, the court defined the high-water mark as "the
point on the bank or shore up to which the presence and action of the water is so continuous as to leave a distinct
mark either by erosion, destruction of terrestrial vegetation, or other easily recognized characteristic."
While the Glass case was winding its way through the Michigan courts, the state of Ohio was using the public trust
doctrine to allow beach walkers below the high-water mark, and it was also charging adjoining owners rent for the
property between the high-water mark and the water’s edge. In essence, Ohio claimed ownership over all land
from the high-water mark to the water, even if landowners’ deeds said ownership extended to the water’s edge.
Not surprisingly, the Ohio tactic led to a lawsuit. A trial court in Ohio held that the public trust stops at the water’s
edge, i.e., that the state had no interest in any privately owned dry land. In making this decision, the Ohio trial
court, while not bound to follow Michigan decisions, looked at Glass and explicitly held that it was not persuasively
decided. An appeal is almost certain.>>

BBI doesn't need any more litigations. Hopefully every one will behave.
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