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Old 06-15-2021, 10:13 PM   #1
lakebro
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Default Existing dock encroachment

I live next door to some who has an existing legal dock pre-regs. He insists on putting his dock on the extended property line and parks boats on that side that almost entirely sit in front of our beach. And if thats not enough he now throws an anchor of the back of his boat when at the dock further into our swimming area.
He claims he can’t move it over because getting out would be a problem when the lake level is low in November. However I feel there are solutions to that. The dock is rolled in and out and floats when it his the water.
Everyone in the cove has legal existing docks and affords the abutting neighbor 10’ so boats are not encroaching over the extended lot line in front of their beach.
My neighbor has 106’ of frontage and I have 75’ but we won’t budge.
Do I have any leverage to get him to move it over or do I have to grin and bear it?
Thanks for any advice.”
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Old 06-15-2021, 10:23 PM   #2
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Time to lawyer up. Enforcement is so difficult


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Old 06-16-2021, 05:03 AM   #3
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Question Or Moor Your Boat off Your Beach?

Perhaps a "lot-line-adjustment" is necessary?

You'll need a survey, and some bucks to buy more frontage. Or have a diagonal lot line, where you give up the back of your lot for the front of his lot.

Property taxes go down for him--as incentive.
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:51 AM   #4
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I would want to be certain that the "existing legal" dock was in fact that.

You could hire a lawyer but you may be able to make inquiries of DES, either in writing or in person in Concord, and find out what the file on that property shows. If you make an appointment with DES to review the file I would bring pictures showing the dock and boats. Make sure the pictures show where the property line is.

Also, you could go to your town hall and review the tax cards for that property, as far back as they are available, to understand the history of that dock. The assessors file should have a drawing of the lot with the dock. You should be able to see where it is located on their drawing and how long it has been on the tax card. There is a lot of information available that is a matter of public record.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:03 AM   #5
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Default References

Opinions were offered in this thread, on what sounds like the same question. https://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums...ad.php?t=20741
I found the DES fact sheet on new docks quite interesting, and very clear about allowable dock placement such that a docked boat ("slip")doesn't violate abutter's lake space. But this is quite specific to new docks, and grandfathered behavior and neighbor relations are always weighty considerations.

https://www.des.nh.gov/sites/g/files...0-01/wb-19.pdf
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Old 06-16-2021, 09:15 AM   #6
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First, I can't stand when people make their problems others' problems. This dude should accept that his depth problem in fall in no way allows him to infringe upon your space.

That being said, and I've no idea on dock installation, but if it's fairly easy to move, maybe offering to avoid making waves by allowing him that space in fall but not during the summer?

I always think it's best to work with neighbors, but it's it's impossible to resolve, and you have legal recourse, give him a heads-up and the chance to do the right thing?

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Old 06-16-2021, 03:54 PM   #7
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Thank you all for you great advice and insights. Here's some responses based on your inputs.
I was hoping to do this without lawyering up but may have to. I was hoping there was a legal precedent regarding this I could leverage.
I'm very certain my neighbor will not give up any lakefront with a LLA as he wont even afford me 6-8' I've asked for by moving the dock - which would be hardly noticeable for him but would do wonders for me as I'm giving up 10' on the other side of my 75' of shorefront for my dock to my other abutter.
I'm certain the dock is legal - my home has been in my family since 1969 and I recently purchased it in 2018. I do remember him telling me it was re-built and he changed the sections from 8' to 10' (post 1978 - start of seasonal dock regs) but I have nothing to prove it.
I did call DES docks division - they said the dock is existing and as long as he didn't change the dimensions or location there's nothing they can do.
I did get him to move the ramp over 1-2' (but now the other end of the dock is closer - actually right on the line - I have a picture of a string line to prove it too!) Perhaps considered a relocation?! . I checked DES onestop and don't seen any permits issued to him.
The town hall records is a good suggestion and worth looking into.
The dude tries to make alot of his problems mine, I could tell you some stories...but I digress. The claim about water level in November is real and valid. He would have to float the dock to his launch point about 6-8' due to a tree being in the way where it would sit in the water if he was to move it over. But the water is so low in November the first section is practically out of the water. I think there's ways to do it, i.e. push the dock out further to where it will float (he uses a tractor to launch and pull it out), float it into place and then yank it out. I'm sure there are other ways, but like you said his problems should not be mine.
I did think of the same idea about suggesting moving it back to the launch point after labor day when the water level is still high enough. I have not approached him on that idea yet but I have a feeling what the outcome will be.
Again, thanks for all your feedback, more ideas welcome.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:05 PM   #8
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Not for nothing but that is a complete punt by DES. It's a roll in seasonal dock for cripes sake, you meaning to tell me they cannot instruct the owner he must roll that dock in according to the setback laws or at least enough for it not to be a problem of encroachment.

It's not as if they are saying the dock has to change in any way IE grandfathering, just that it cannot be placed at the property line where it is a problem. Seriously?!? That just blows my mind.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:20 PM   #9
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We had our crank up dock fall into the water sideways towards our neighbors waterfront this past winter. We hired a guy to repair the hinge and put the dock back in. None of the people in our group were around to oversee the install and the dock went in crooked encroaching on our neighbors waterfront. We have a great neighbor on that side and he was ok with it for this season as long as we fix it next year. If it had fell the the other side, that neighbor is not so nice, he would have made us move it.

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Old 06-16-2021, 05:04 PM   #10
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A lot of us on this forum like to think we know a lot. There is certainly a lot of experience here. Some good, some not so good, some that proved to be a learning experience. Sometimes expensive!

When you have exhausted all the free research options I would not give up until you have consulted a lawyer and concluded that there is no hope for a change.

Sometimes (as much as I hate to pay them) they think of things or know of laws that could make a difference. There are a few lawyers in the area who specialize in waterfront permitting and regulations. They would be your best bet.
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Old 06-16-2021, 05:12 PM   #11
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Enforcement of rules and deeds rights always end up in court. There is no clear way these issues are and should be resolved in NH. I know you want to take the “nice” route, but save yourselves some time and headaches and hire a lawyer. The lawyer will then send your neighbor a well written letter identifying the issue and the correct solution.


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Old 06-16-2021, 05:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiltonBB View Post
A lot of us on this forum like to think we know a lot. There is certainly a lot of experience here. Some good, some not so good, some that proved to be a learning experience. Sometimes expensive!

When you have exhausted all the free research options I would not give up until you have consulted a lawyer and concluded that there is no hope for a change.

Sometimes (as much as I hate to pay them) they think of things or know of laws that could make a difference. There are a few lawyers in the area who specialize in waterfront permitting and regulations. They would be your best bet.
Thanks, I know one that I worked with on a shoreland project who was effective. Will reach out.
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Old 06-16-2021, 05:18 PM   #13
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Wouldn’t the code enforcement officer in your town be able to handle this problem? Might be worth a try.
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Old 06-16-2021, 05:21 PM   #14
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Unfortunately, enforcement will come from both the town and state. The town won’t act until the state is involved


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Old 06-16-2021, 05:23 PM   #15
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Take some good pictures both from the water as well as land, including lot stakes, etc. Then get them enlarged at Walmart and head down to DES in Concord. These people at DES are very helpful and you need to go meet them in person. See if you can get them to come out when you are present and make an on site inspection as well. The burden of proof should be on the other person....he should have to prove he had the right to have the dock where it is. DES can be helpful with this if you press them for help. You can always try a phone call to your State Senator and ask them to make a call to DES on your behalf for help if you do not get any satisfaction from the Concord visit. Just a thought......
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:15 PM   #16
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Default something new?

If I read everything correctly, the OP says his family has been in this place since 1969 and he acquired it in 2018. There was also a statement that the neighbor's roll in dock was an existing structure. To me, a temporary seasonal dock is not a structure, although it can be registered with DES. Even so, when registering, it should meet lot line (extension) setbacks. So, it appears that something new, that we don't know about, has triggered this issue.
I'm familiar with some other cases where both sides had non-definitive pictures to prove their case. Find a way to get a date. A child in a picture who is now an adult and would affirm that he was that child could get a 40 year old date established. A boat at the dock with a license plate would have a date (remember boat license plates?).


BTW, how much boating do any of us do in November? False issue?
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:18 PM   #17
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If your neighbor places a dock on the property line is he able to dock a boat on your side of the line over your 'beach'. seems to me he really should have access to only one side of roll-in dock. Heck, a good neighbor would let you use the other side of dock (ha).
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:19 PM   #18
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Silly question can he tie up his boat to the other side of the dock? Or is that simply not an option? Big difference between unwilling and not an option.

Maybe invite him over for a cocktail so he sees the eyesore he is creating from your perspective and he may be willing to work with you?

On the other hand you can always make his life hell and put a swim raft in right in front of where he needs to come in to tie up, or throw in one of those barriers you see at public beaches that would make it impossible to get to that side of the dock.

Hopefully you won’t have to stoop to the levels of immaturity I suggested, but hey they are options if push comes to shove.


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Old 06-16-2021, 07:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tummyman View Post
Take some good pictures both from the water as well as land, including lot stakes, etc. Then get them enlarged at Walmart and head down to DES in Concord. These people at DES are very helpful and you need to go meet them in person. See if you can get them to come out when you are present and make an on site inspection as well. The burden of proof should be on the other person....he should have to prove he had the right to have the dock where it is. DES can be helpful with this if you press them for help. You can always try a phone call to your State Senator and ask them to make a call to DES on your behalf for help if you do not get any satisfaction from the Concord visit. Just a thought......
Thanks. Pictures in hand. Just so happens the DES is coming out next Thursday…but it’s the wetland bureau for a construction project. Not sure its in their jurisdiction but can’t hurt to ask.
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:43 PM   #20
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Thanks. Pictures in hand. Just so happens the DES is coming out next Thursday…but it’s the wetland bureau for a construction project. Not sure its in their jurisdiction but can’t hurt to ask.
Check that it is the wetland bureau jurisdiction
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:46 PM   #21
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Local visit may be helpful, but sometime these are field people. Still feeling a trip to Concord is the best.........
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Descant View Post
If I read everything correctly, the OP says his family has been in this place since 1969 and he acquired it in 2018. There was also a statement that the neighbor's roll in dock was an existing structure. To me, a temporary seasonal dock is not a structure, although it can be registered with DES. Even so, when registering, it should meet lot line (extension) setbacks. So, it appears that something new, that we don't know about, has triggered this issue.
I'm familiar with some other cases where both sides had non-definitive pictures to prove their case. Find a way to get a date. A child in a picture who is now an adult and would affirm that he was that child could get a 40 year old date established. A boat at the dock with a license plate would have a date (remember boat license plates?).


BTW, how much boating do any of us do in November? False issue?
The DES environmental fact sheet routinely refers to a seasonal dock as a structure. What triggered this is I bought the property and got tired of staring at his boats in front of my property not to mention he routinely has friends over and as many as 3 boats per side docked at his 68’ dock. I don’t mind the friends just the boat traffic in and out while trying to enjoy the sunset with my family on our beach. They take their boat out around November 15th every year. Diehards I guess.
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Old 06-16-2021, 11:58 PM   #23
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Quote:
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The DES environmental fact sheet routinely refers to a seasonal dock as a structure. What triggered this is I bought the property and got tired of staring at his boats in front of my property not to mention he routinely has friends over and as many as 3 boats per side docked at his 68’ dock. I don’t mind the friends just the boat traffic in and out while trying to enjoy the sunset with my family on our beach. They take their boat out around November 15th every year. Diehards I guess.
I wondered aboUt that. Most of the other similar cases I've heard about have also been new owner vs. "old". More often because the "new" person had misinformation or the dock was out of the water when they toured the property. If this has been the same situation since 1969, that's a tough battle. A diplomatic solution may be easier than fighting through DES and lawyers.
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:53 AM   #24
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What ever happened to people respecting each other?
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Old 06-17-2021, 09:36 AM   #25
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What ever happened to people respecting each other?
Agree 100%. I've had it with this guy, and I don't even live there! How could any decent person believe it's acceptable to dock his boat in his neighbor's swim area? Why is this even a conversation?

(OK, rant over. Thanks for letting me get that out of my system)
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Old 06-17-2021, 09:37 AM   #26
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There is nothing better than having a great relationship with your neighbor. Especially along the shoreline.

And nothing worse than not getting along.

Try to avoid legal paths or even mentioning the word lawyer.

My guess is, if the neighbor asked first then you’d probably not feel encroached upon.
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