Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
The Beach House in Pine Lake has been closed due to safety concerns. This includes the front porch and the deck in the back of the building.
An inspection prior to beginning renovations showed some structural concerns, and the city has decided to close the building as renovation proceeds.
City council member Brian Car's e-mail follows.
Wanted to make you aware of issues related to the Pine Lake Beach House that have created a compelling need to suspend its use effective immediately, and for an indeterminate period of time.
As the City began the bond-funded project to renovate the Beach House and update all of its many aging systems, an independent building inspector came out to look at the structure. City Council reviewed the report from the building inspector and observed that there are a number of structural issues that present safety hazards. While it has stood for decades and has hosted countless functions, including a few as recently as last week, the building is not 100% safe today. It's likely this would not have been clearly understood today had the City not undertaken the recent building inspection.
This tough decision to shutter the Beach House is the prudent course of action because of public safety concerns. As of this evening, yellow caution tape has been placed on the exterior of the facility, including the front and rear porch areas. Effective immediately, PL residents and visitors are asked to stay out of the Beach House and NOT TO ACCESS THE FRONT OR REAR PORCH AREAS until further notice.
The process to renovate the Beach House has already taken a step forward as of this past week, with City Council's approval of a design firm to render architectural plans. On completion of these plans, a process will begin to invite contractors to bid for the work and it is anticipated that renovations will begin in late-spring. When the contractor is selected we will know with more certainty about how long the renovation might take.
Important things to note:
1. The City does not anticipate that renovations to the Beach House will affect beachfront and lake access. The lake is expected to be open for recreation this summer.
2. We're investigating options for a temporary shade structure and a port-a-potty unit to be located on or near the beach while the Beach House is inaccessible.
3. The City will make every effort to make meeting space available at the Court House and Club House for recognized PL groups and committees (PLAIN, ARB, etc) during the Beach House renovation.
When it's finished, the renovated Beach House will be in line with modern codes for electricity, plumbing and other infrastructure. It will be ADA compliant. The renovated Beach House will help the City expand its revenue base through rentals and provide residents with a safe, accessible and attractive place to gather. For now, on behalf of the City, please mind the yellow tape and please pardon our dust as we work to make the Beach House the best and safest it can be.
Please feel free to forward this message to those who do not subscribe to this listerv. Thanks.
Pine Lake City Councilmember
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Here's a Do Not Enter sign near the intersection of Spruce and Ridge. Obviously it's been there a long time. It's unclear just what one is not supposed to enter, as the yard has a hurricane fence. My best guess is it's meant to deter people from driving the wrong way on one-way Spruce Drive and somehow got rotated 90 degrees. What do you think?
In the meantime, please don't drive through the fence into the tree.
There's a birdhouse very much like this one in the Eastern wetlands. I believe it's a house for purple martins.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
When I saw this old photo I at first thought it was the Beach House.
Here's the beach house as it is today.
Clearly, it's not the same building.
Until the 1980s the beach house was a pizza restaurant. I'd love to see a photo of it in that incarnation!
I love tree houses. More than that, I love the very idea of tree houses.
When I was 14 years old my family moved to a pony ranch near Smyrna, Tennessee. Our lot was 3.5 acres, bordering Rocky Fork Creek at its bottom side. We soon acquired two more acres on the other side of the Creek.
With lumber from the dump at nearby Sewart Air Force base, I built the tree house above. It stood on the banks of the creek; the floor at the front was about eight feet high, and at the back was a good fifteen feet above the creek.
My engineering left a lot to be desired. I found four trees that made a rough rectangle and nailed boards to them; upon those boards I built a floor and walls. There was no roof, or at least not much of one, for I ran out of lumber. Entry was via ladders.
Despite its inept design, the tree house stood for many years. I loved to spend time there.
We have a couple of tree houses here in Pine Lake. Click below to see them.
Friday, March 16, 2012
It seems people either love or hate these guard rails. Above, they run from the east end of the berm to the gazebo. There are more at the entryways to the wetlands paths and the path on the back side of the lake.
The rails are 12" x 8" boards and the posts are about 10" on a side and as yet unfinished. Above, you can see a receptacle where a post will be inserted to prevent vehicular access to the paths.
People seem to love or hate the posts and rails. I'm reserving my opinion. I think a redwood stain will improve them immeasurably.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
In 1990 then-mayor Al Fowler told me of his vision to create holding ponds for the water that fed the lake. Silt in the water would settle, resulting in cleaner water in the lake, and thus less sedimentation.
I'm happy to say Al's dream has come at least partly true.
I'll lead off with material from a November post from The Dredge Report.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Today, of course, the chapel is the Pine Lake City Hall.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
|Melanie Preventing a Tree From Making an Escape|
This afternoon I got a phone call from an excited Melanie Hammet.
"Are you in town?"
"Do you have your camera?"
Melanie told me crews were planting trees-- big ones-- around the lake and in the wetlands. Five minutes later I was at the lake.
Sure enough, there was a big bunch of trees stacked near the beach house.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
|PLAIN Folks: Hard-Workiing Volunteers|
PLAIN volunteers serve up pancakes, bacon, hash browns, eggs, and meatless sausage; there's orange juice to drink.
The cost is $7-- $6 if you bring your own plate and utensils, and $5 if you're a member of PLAIN.
I wandered down this morning shortly after 9:30, wondering if it had been called off due to the storms. Far from it. There was a row of cars parked alongside the lake.
Inside there were more than the usual number of breakfasters:
They were already out of food!
Oh, well. I at least got some photos.