City officials say a permit allowing use of a controversial dock had lapsed
CANANDAIGUA — In trying to determine ownership of a controversial dock on Canandaigua Lake, city officials said they have discovered that a state permit allowing for use of the dock — where the Canandaigua Lady sets sail from and returns home — is expired.
That said, the lunch and dinner cruise vessel will be allowed to operate, according to City Manager John Goodwin.
“The Lady can continue to operate until the state tells them they can’t,” Goodwin said.
The issue arose after questions emerged over who owns the dock that Canandaigua Finger Lakes Resort developer Robert Murphy is seeking to expand by 32 slips.
Goodwin said a permit for the dock was issued to Steamboat Landing LLC through the state Office of General Services, but it expired in 2006. The state hadn’t enforced the lapse, Goodwin said, but is now aware of it.
City Council has to grant its consent for a renewal of the permit, as the city is the property owner of the lake frontage there. The state owns the land underneath the water, Goodwin said.
“The city is fine with them operating a business that is a draw to the city,” Goodwin said.
Murphy said he has an attorney who is in the process of renewing a permit with the state Office of General Services and reviewing ownership questions, but declined further comment on the issue.
Murphy said the new boat slips are necessary to serve the 44 condominiums that are part of the project, which also includes 109 hotel rooms under the Hilton Tapestry brand, restaurant, meeting and conference space, spa and other amenities.
During a recent City Council meeting, Murphy said seven of every 10 inquiries concern the availability of slips and some potential sales hinge on them.
During the committee meeting June 20, little, if any, support was expressed for Murphy’s request for the additional boat slips, although no formal vote was taken.
In making his case, Murphy noted the city has seen a “significant” $4 million benefit through the developer, including land used for the park, the construction of public docks adjacent to the dock in question, and eminent domain costs.
And he also noted that the resort will create 60 construction jobs and 88 new jobs once it’s up and running and produce “substantial” state and local sales tax.
The resort “has made a significant financial investment in amenities for the public, and the Resort and condominium units will result in significant direct financial benefit to the City and County in the form of increased tax revenues, along with generating benefits in the form of increased tourism activity and consumer spending and the creation of new employment,” Murphy wrote in a May 22 letter to city officials.