Future docks placed along the shoreline of Grand Lake and Lake Hudson won't necessarily have to follow the ‘Third of the Cove Rule' that has been historically used as a placement guideline.

Applicants can apply for variances to the rule, as outlined in rule newly enacted by the Grand River Dam Authority.

During its regular meeting on Wednesday, GRDA board of directors approved the following measure:

“No dock shall extend more than one third of the cove measured from 750 feet mean sea level to 750 feet mean sea level on the nearest opposite shoreline of Grand Lake unless the permit sets forth a directional bearing of the dock's orientation ensuring adequate public access and safety.

“On Lake Hudson, the elevation shall be 622 feet mean sea level in figuring the one third of the cove rule.

“Additionally, no dock shall extend more than 125 feet from the applicable mean sea level unless the water depth under the shoreside of the dock, at 742 mean sea level on Grand Lake and 618 mean sea level on Lake Hudson, is less than 8 feet. In such instance, the office of ecosystems management may approve the extension of the dock up to the length necessary to reach a depth of 8 feet of water.

“The office of ecosystems management reserves the right to deny an application if the dock extends more than 125 feet from the applicable mean sea level, if the dock exceeds more than one third of the cove, or if the dock poses a hazard to the public.

In considering whether to approve such application, the office of ecosystems management shall consider impacts to the characteristics, zoning and prevailing permitted uses within a half-mile radius of the proposed activity.

The office of ecosystem management shall also consider the shoreline topography and geometry; safety, navigation and flood control requirements, environmental impacts, potential economic development and tourism benefits, recreational use impacts and applicable statutory mandates, according to the new guidelines.

Chairman Jim Frasier denied a public comment request by Mike Brady on the issue, explaining that the board had already been provided a transcript of opinions aired during recent public meetings on the third of cove Rule.