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TID approves bigger houseboats for Don Pedro

POSTED September 17, 2013 10:49 p.m.

Own a houseboat on Don Pedro Reservoir? Go ahead and build it bigger.

On Tuesday, the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors voted to allow an increase in the maximum allowed width and height of houseboats on Lake Don Pedro. The 3-2 decision will now allow boat owners to increase the width of their boats from  22 feet to 24 feet  wide and from 15 feet to 16 feet high, respectively.

Carol Russell, Don Pedro Recreation department manager, said customer requests prompted the look at allowed boat sizes. She added that the current docks alongside the marina are already equipped to house larger boats, so it made sense to accommodate those seeking added leg room. 

Board member Charles Fernandes was critical of the changing the size regulations. He said  making changes to long time rules for one individual did not provide adequate justification. 

“It seems to me like this is being made for possibly one individual,” said Fernandes. “The rules have been there for a long, long time and now all of a sudden it’s okay to make a wider houseboat and I don’t understand that.” 

Russell argued that although currently there are no other boats looking for size increases, there was future interest expressed by the other 64 members of the Don Pedro houseboat community.

Board President Michael Frantz was in support of the size increase, citing the increasing fees that houseboats have been subject to over the last decade. Frantz argued that if these residents are paying more to live on these houseboats, then that should come with added flexibility.

“It’s common human nature, the more you pay, the more you expect back,” said Frantz.

Board member Joe Alamo was also in support of the size change, stating that if there was no additional cost to the district, then he had no opposition to it.

“If there’s no cost and the houseboat owners don’t have any problem with it, I’m okay with it,” Alamo said.

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