Mistake on the Lake?

Neighbors riled by massive boat garage

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Two people paddleboard on Monday past a two-story boat house in Everwell Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Some residents living on the bay are unhappy with how large the boat house is.

COEUR d'ALENE — A monstrous two-level, four-vessel boat garage sits on Lake Coeur d'Alene's Everwell Bay, adjacent to Camp Lutherhaven.

Its owner, Brian Kenworthy, opted to revamp the offshore structure four years ago and went through the proper legal channels before construction.

Some irked property owners on the bay's north side along affluent Everwell Lane, however, are dubbing it "The Mistake on the Lake."

When Roy Newton looks south from his lake abode, his once-idyllic view is obstructed by the sizable boat garage.

Allan Measom shares Newton's plight and said even more residents on Everwell Lane are annoyed.

"There are people out here trying to get their (property) taxes lowered because of this obstruction," Measom said. "How could you do that to your neighbors?"

The garage's tin roof, Newton said, creates a dramatic glare that shines into multiple houses, forcing him to keep his blinds shut a good portion of the day.

Newton said as president of the Everwell Bay Road Users Association, he represents the owners of 14 land parcels and that most will take action.

"Every one of those people will write a letter of objection (against the the boat garage)," Newton said.

Newton and Measom, who also said the boathouse is in the line of navigation, believe their gripes also extend to the law.

When Kenworthy submitted an application to permit the building to the Idaho Department of Lands in 2012, the plan included a three-vessel, one-level garage. Now it's four vessels and two levels, and Measom said he has even seen couches being placed on the second level.

Newton's biggest issue now, he said, is with the Idaho Department of Lands and he is now working with multiple lawyers.

"We didn't know that this was going to be a hotel," Newton said. "If this is allowed to go through, and we're having trouble stopping it, that means every property on the lake can put up two-story boathouses and nobody is going to stop it. This is setting a precedent."

Kenworthy had no comment on the matter other than noting he went through the proper legal procedures. Idaho Department of Lands and Waterways supervisor Jim Brady confirmed Kenworthy's compliance.

"What we look at is the footprint," Brady said. "What he can fit in there is his business and the second level is used for boat storage; that's it.”

Before a structure such as Kenworthy's can be built, adjacent neighbors must be notified. Once that has happened, Brady said, neighbors then have 30 days to respond after legal notices are published.

Measom and Newton said neighbors whose views weren't obstructed were notified, but nobody on the north bay was. Brady said they still had ample time to voice their grievances.

"They had their opportunity to object in 2012," Brady said. "They want to have a hearing four years after the fact."

Newton said he had a positive relationship with the Kenworthy family for 35 years, but the recent boat garage has created some contention.

"We're not against him having a boathouse and had something like he had before," Newton said. "But he won't even talk to me about it. He ignored the permit and did the permit like he wanted the permit."

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