City gives yacht club water rights

SANDUSKY Hook? Check. Line? Check. Sinker to secure the deal? Still to be determined. After one lawsuit and nearly a year of discussion, Sandusky city commissioners on Monday approved a lease agreement with the Sandusky Yacht Club. The agreement will allow the club to build 30 new boating docks north of the former Surf's Up property.
Jason Singer
Jun 15, 2010



Hook? Check. Line? Check.

Sinker to secure the deal? Still to be determined.

After one lawsuit and nearly a year of discussion, Sandusky city commissioners on Monday approved a lease agreement with the Sandusky Yacht Club.

The agreement will allow the club to build 30 new boating docks north of the former Surf's Up property.

Now the Ohio Development of Natural Resources must also approve the plan.

Several residents spoke out against the yacht club's expansion, but the city commission voted 5-2 in favor. Commissioners John Hamilton and Brett Fuqua dissented.

Commissioner Julie Farrar said the new boats will not block the view at the former Surf's Up property, despite many residents' fears.

The club will move larger boats to its western basin and dock smaller boats north of the former Surf's Up property, according to the plan.

"When I walk up that incline (near Surf's Up), I have to look down to see the boats," Farrar said.

Farrar added that Tom Whitted, who runs the city's IT department, will make a video recording showing how the public's view won't be obstructed.

But the view wasn't the only concern.

Tim Schwanger and A.J. Oliver, of Save Our Shoreline Parks, said there's too much uncertainty with the future of Surf's Up.

Until city officials know how they plan to use that area, Schwanger and Oliver said, how can the city can give up those property rights?

And while the view may not be obstructed from the incline, Schwanger said, the view will be obstructed from the lower area where many events take place.

Lastly, Schwanger said the city has 22 miles of shoreline, of which more than 90 percent is now private.

"It's time to say 'No,'" Schwanger said. "For me, it's not a money issue -- it's a quality of life issue. There are some things that are priceless, that you can't put a monetary value on, and (a public waterfront) is one of them."

Hamilton said he voted against the legislation because of a technicality: The commission shouldn't have passed it as emergency legislation.

"This isn't an emergency," Hamilton said. "I know we've discussed it for a long time, but we should finish that discussion and have a second reading."

In addition to obtaining the extra water rights, the yacht club will also get 19 parking spaces on the Perry Street right-of-way.

The club will pay the city $200 a year for the parking spaces and an undetermined amount for leasing the water rights to build new docks.

Interim city manager Don Icsman said the lease will likely be similar to the Sandusky Sailing Club's lease, but Icsman didn't have exact numbers available Monday night.

Several residents pleaded with the commission to ensure the city received significant financial compensation for leasing the water rights.

But ex-officio mayor Dan Kaman said the agreement helps a struggling business retain jobs -- not create revenue.

"The original thought of this was a lifeline to help the yacht club succeed," Kaman said. "It wasn't something we were looking to make money off of."

It could take money months for ODNR to approve the plan. For a similar agreement with the yacht club in 2000, it took ODNR about one year to approve the plan.

At a public hearing at the yacht club last week, some residents and others suggested the club may not have the financial capability to build the docks for several years, simply because of its large debt.

None of the yacht club's officials spoke at Monday's meeting.

The latest agreement stemmed from a lawsuit the yacht club filed in 2008. Club officials sued the city, arguing that certain city property rightfully belongs to them.

City officials disagreed and felt Sandusky had a strong case.

But when the yacht club said it was struggling financially last year and may need the extra revenue to stay afloat, city officials agreed to work toward a settlement.

The lease agreement city commissioners approved Monday is tantamount to a settlement on that lawsuit.


40 Hour Worker

Tourists and private interests.  That's all t his city caters to and to hell with the people who live and work here.

This is a absolute shame.

Woody Hayes

Hurray for the intrem city manager for calling that bafoon on 5th street for what she really is, a professional antagnizer.

Raoul Duke

What else could go there? Look at the picture-at least it's well maintained. Compare that to the west side of the water front, near Deepwater Marina. Yeah. I realize that 30 more docks does nothing to help out Bike Week, but Bike Week does little to help Sandusky for the other 50 weeks.

columbus avenue



HOORAY!!!   Finally, somone has the foresight and backbone to make a "normal" decision towards DOING something instead of being allowing the City commission to be manhandled by the fear-mongers and in-TIM-idators!

It's about time!

AJ Oliver

Hey, bloggers.  I just sent this to the folks at the city.  

Dear Sandusky City Officials - 

    Mr. Icsman was mistaken yesterday (June 14, 2010) in stating on the public record that the 2009 commission vote on the SYC deal was non-emergency legislation, and that the citizens at that time had an opportunity to organize a referendum campaign. 

    The June 8, 2009 city commission minutes contain the following with respect to the SYC deal . . .

"Section 4. That for the reasons set forth in the preamble hereto, this Resolution is hereby declared to be an emergency measure which shall take immediate effect in accordance with Section 14 of the City Charter" 

    I would ask that Mr. Icsman correct this error immediately in a communication to the media and to the city commission. 

    Personally, I would settle for a public vote on this issue, and would respect the outcome no matter the result. 

    But please stop claiming that the citizens ever had a chance to vote.  They did not. 

                      Sincerely,  Dr. AJ Oliver
                                  Save Our Shoreline Parks


Thank you Mr. Oliver. I also agree with Commissioner Hamilton when he says that this is not an emergency and should not be voted on as one.

columbus avenue

Get over yourself.  You lose, Buckwheat!

Julie R.

Hey Woody Hayes, you say hooray for the interim city manager for calling the buffoon that lives on 5th street  for what she really is,  a professional antagonizer......

If you are referring to the Johnson woman, I personally thought after watching this on TV that Iscman acted very unprofessional and disrespectful the way he talked to her. And when he said something about "the law not being abusive",  I almost puked. I also thought Mr. Kaman (to my surprise)  wasn't very professional at all in the way he talked to Tim Schwanger........and the same with Sams the way he responded to Diedre Cole. On the other hand, I thought Kim Nuesse was very professional the way she responded to the retired cop. 



Yeah, It's a shame that the Horrible Yacht Club, ( The same Yacht Club that Built and Maintains the Break wall at Shoreline Park. That is OPEN to The PUBLIC even despite all the Filth that happen's on that breakwall)has finally gotten the approval to DO SOMETHING with that eye sore and its only the water rights. How Long is the city going to wait for a grant on Lion's Park? Years? Decade's? What will save the shoreline Do with the Surf's Up property? Let is sit there and allow stray animal to breed there, like the city of Sandusky already has? That property is a eye sore to this city, We had the chance many of times to keep it open to the public, Remember the Surf's up experiment? It's Time that whole property needs to be sold and get it off the publics book. The people of the city that are so against this transaction i wonder why? You want it to be a park it seems most of the general idea is, but if you can drive 5 mph around it then wont anyone use it. People don't walk at parks anymore it's not the american way. There are plenty of Parks around yes not exactly on the shoreline, but plenty to be put to use. The Yacht Club members bring money to this town, everyone might not see it directly into there own pockets, but they do bring it to town.Someone made a comment that this city caters to private interests and Tourism, but in the 29 years i lived in Sandusky, other then the strong years when Delphi and Ford where booming Tourism has always kept this Town surviving. So why wouldn't they cater to tourism?

40 Hour Worker

Right.....and boy oh boy aren't those wonderful minimum wage tourism jobs helping people to support their families.  Gimme a break.  I could care less about tourism or these tourists that flood this town every summer clogging up our roads, restaurants, parks, and stores, dumping their trash all over the place, and expecting the locals to put up with their rude attutides and behavior. 

I spent many years in the past working those crappy, underpaid jobs and tolerating tourist behavior so don't bother trying to sell me on tourism.


columbus avenue

Boy you are right on the money!  Of which you obviously have NONE!  LOL!  That is why you are so angry. 

We all make choices.  You CHOSE to spend your life  "working those crappy, underpaid jobs and tolerating touirist behavior..." 

GOD didn't make you be there honey, YOU did!

Get over it!

columbus avenue


Wake up!  Those two boneheads have stalled progress for DECADES!!!  They are jerks.  The city people you mention said NTOHING out of line about those pains in BIG A!


How many jobs wil this create?  3 jobs for some high school teenager working on the 30 new docks?  All our area needs are more minimum wage jobs that are only here in the summer.  Maybe our unemployment rate will break 20% this winter.  


Are they going to end up building their condos or whatever they wanted to build down there as well?

AJ Oliver

Hey Columbus Ave. -  You are a sniveling coward for launching personal attacks on people anonymously.   I'm calling you out, you feckless weasel.  Come out and meet up with six foot three inches of left wing fightin' fury. 

You are not be fit to carry Tim Schwanger's prosthetic device (were he to have one)!! 


More summer jobs is right.  What is the city doing to get good jobs in here?


The city is doing nothing to get good paying jobs.  That much is clear.  They are MUCH more interested in getting summer jobs.  


Who is going to move to Sandusky and create jobs.  When they try to develope the marina district you have a group of citizens leading a protests.  The same people who sit around and complain becuase there are no jobs are the ones who are stopping development.   When someone is willing to invest in your town, Let them.  There was no way that project was not going to bring jobs to this area.  But still you have people showing up at the commission meetings complaining.  No one is going to invest in that town.  

Julie R.

By the looks of all the foreclosures in the paper (and there's more now than ever) who's going to be working at all these tourist jobs? I'm sure people aren't going to be sticking around this area to work for minimun wage 3 months out of the year.  The way I see it, if the village idiots had put as much time and energy into keeping the good-paying jobs from leaving this area as they did their own personal greedy interests, Sandusky and Erie County wouldn't be in the shape it's in!


Well said Julie


Are any of the city commissioners out of work??  Other than Kim.  But that too is the citys fault.

AJ Oliver

Hey "baseballdanny", and you too Col Ave., I am totally proud to have worked against the Marina District. Everybody but you knows by now that it was a complete con job from the start. In spite of our repeated requests, the city NEVER demanded that Mr. Eymann come up with a resume, or identify his equity partners. Turns out that Eymann had "never developed anything" and had no equity. Sandusky Now and the city have egg all over their faces for not doing even the most rudimentary of background checks. They owe Tim Schwanger a huge apology. If it were not for Tim, all you'd have are big, ugly unfinished holes in the ground where our Surf's Up and Battery Parks used to be - not to mention the tens of millions that us taxpayers were on the hook for. 

Another blatant lie about Save Our Shoreline Parks and Mr. Schwanger that is endlessly repeated by anonymous cowards is that SOSP and Tim are against development. SOSP has NEVER uttered a single peep of protest to the Hoty project on First St., the Chesapeake, the Tri-Cor Marina, or any other project on non-recreational and private lands. Of course, Col Ave knows that, but likes to repeat baseless falsehoods anyway. 

On the other hand, when greed-heads try to steal our waterfront parks and recreation areas, damn right we oppose them - and we do it with pride.

You are only able to falsely attack people with blatant lies because you hide under your cowardly, slimy rock of anonymity. You deserve no respect whatsoever, and you'll get none from me. 

And by the way, we don't "sit around" complaining, as you quaintly put it.  How about if you meet me down at Shoreline Park tomorrow, and you help me cut down some more of those pesky thistles?  Seriously, tell us about all the volunteering you do around here.  HMMMMM? 


how about instead of talking about volunteering we talk about how the city could work to get some jobs.  Otherwise all of its citizens will be unemployed and have plenty of time to volunteer


The marina district might not have been perfect, but how much longer can we as a city sit around and rot and until perfection comes marching down columbus ave?

Julie R.

baseballdanny: I think you misunderstood my comment. I was NOT referring to the Save Our Shoreline Parks group as the village idiots and as I said before-----people in Sandusky should be thanking their lucky stars for Tim Schwanger and the rest of them that worked against that CON JOB OF THE CENTURY Marina District!


Pay attention people! The commissioners passed that legislation under 13 at "First Reading" DUH.................. It was the Perry Street right of way that went under emergency. Kim Nuesse voted for it so it must be OK.

Julie R.

Hey Columbus Ave, once again I thought the way Iscman talked to the Johnson lady was very unprofessional. It sort of reminded me of that arrogant attorney from one of Erie County's favorite Lorain County law firms that said "Face it, lady! That property is getting sold at a sheriff sale if you like it or not..............and there isn't a godda*n thing you can do about it!"   

Matt Easterhold

Finally they will have more room for me to dock my boat there! 


There is plenty of room to fish and stare at me enjoying my boat and drinks at the pool from Shoreline Park.  Honestly, what are the most people you've seen at the park at once, 20..25, maybe 6 or 7 cars there?  Mostly creepy guys in vans, drug deals, unlicensed fishing, and ghetto weddings.  There is plenty of park for everyone to enjoy, the SYC is a large local employer who pays plenty of TAXES something that most of the city folk know nothing about. 

So stop your crying and let the few decent people left in this city enjoy the view WE pay for.  Welcome new members!!!  Enjoy your dockage!


Julie R. wrote about Don Icsman being unprofessional with the public and I agree with her.  The commissioners need to look at Icsman and how he manages public relations when talking to the public when they are considering him for city manager.  I don't think he sets a very respectful example for staff.  Calling the public names is uncalled for and he totally crossed the line.  The commissioners are Icsman's  direct supervisor, but guess who is ahead of the organazation chart, the very taxpayer he called a name in public; that is who.