Corps: security cameras allowed on Lake Lanier docks
Had been banned on Lanier since 2004
Doug Spiron’s dock, pictured on Friday, floats on more than 10 feet of water even with the lake down more than 6 feet from full pool. Docks that are “drought-proof” carry a premium on the Lake Lanier housing market, especially when water is down. - photo by FCN regional

Anyone who owns one of the more than 10,500 permitted docks on Lake Lanier can now put security cameras on them for the first time since 2004.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Friday they removed cameras from the list of items prohibited on “permitted private floating facilities” at the lake, effective immediately.

The decision follows a 30-day comment period that ended on June 16 where interested parties could give input for or against the use of security cameras.

A ban on cameras on docks had been in place since the 2004 Lake Lanier Shore Management Plan, which guides Corps management of the lake.

District 7 U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, who represents Cumming, south Forsyth and much of Gwinnett County, said while there are some people who are concerned about the cameras invading other property owners’ privacy, the response was overwhelmingly in favor of allowing them — 257 comments were in favor and seven were opposed.

“Those concerns are real when there’s already a camera on every corner,” Woodall told the Forsyth County News Friday morning. “But I can already put a camera in the yard on the lake or put it in my house and point it at the lake, but that’s not as effective of a security mechanism.”

Woodall said constituents and the Lake Lanier Association reached out to him earlier this year to “request assistance, visitors and property on Lake Lanier from the increase in thefts from its docks.”

“Lake Lanier is an incredible resource for our community. Unfortunately, I regularly hear reports from homeowners and visitors of property being stolen or damaged on Corps of Engineers property,” he said.

The ban on security cameras and camera towers was included in the array of items prohibited to protect the aesthetic of lakefront property, Woodall said, including flags and furniture.

Woodall serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and said the “value of good relationships” between the congressman and Corps allowed for the prohibition to be lifted through regulations instead of legislation.

“It doesn’t have to be pulling teeth to bring common sense to government,” he said.

The Lake Lanier Association voiced thanks to involved parties.

“Given the technology commonly available, and given the concerns for both personal safety and property protection, the Lake Lanier Association supports security cameras on docks,” said Joanna Cloud, executive director of the group.

“With the health care bill and those frustrations, that is front-page news,” Woodall said. “But this will make a big difference to a few people.”