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#264319 01/25/08 10:33 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,208
collyk Offline OP
OP Offline
I have a question. Public docks? What are the rules exactly? Today, as every day, I walked along the beach with my two dogs. One is a local dog and is always on a leash and the other is a little dog that loves swimming.

Much to the mirth of tourists, my little dog is obsessed with jumping from every dock along her route. I always make sure it is safe, walk down the dock to check it out and off she goes. I then walk back to shore to meet her.

Today, a very unpleasant security guard from one of the resorts approached me on the dock. He told me that the owners of the resort don't want dogs on the docks. I explained that I had never heard this rule and as far as I was concerned the docks were public. He didn't like that at all and became very aggressive. I told him that he didn't need to be so aggressive and his words were 'I'll get more aggressive if you don't do what I say'. When I asked him for his name so that I could report him he just said 'get out of my face'. The other security guard was so embarrassed he came over to apologise.

To be honest, I don't really care about the security guard as he is clearly a big bully and won't keep his job for long. I am more intrigued about the ability of individual resorts to introduce conditions or rules about the docks that they have built on public land.

The same resort had their security throw off local children who were jumping off of it and swimming around it a couple of weeks ago.

I am also aware that this is an issue for people who fish and snorkel off of docks. One friend was told he couldn't snorkel around a 'private' dock and many dock owners try to ban fishing. What is the real lowdown?
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collyk #264322 01/25/08 10:38 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
Some dock "owners" have been forced to ban fishing from their docks due to thoughtless fisher persons leaving rotting bait and fishhooks scattered about where guests are walking barefoot.

collyk #264323 01/25/08 10:41 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 192
Sounds like the same sort of over-bureacratic policies we see getting more and more prevalent around the US. All sorts of "you can't do this, or you have to do that" with no real reasons for them... other than some personal agenda or flex of the authority muscle! I hate that BS crap... hopefully that doesn't start invading SP... please!

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SP Daily #264324 01/25/08 10:42 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,208
collyk Offline OP
OP Offline
I completely understand the 'desire' to make a dock private. I just wonder about the legality.
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collyk #264326 01/25/08 10:48 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,822
JZB Offline
From what I understand, and of course it depends on who you ask, docks are public in the sense that you cannot restrict anyone from using your dock to come and go. Basically, they can use your dock to access land or to access the water. I do believe a dock owner has the authority to restrict people from setting up camp on their dock and using it as if it is a public park.

This subject comes up often and no one has ever researched what 'public' actually means.

I restrict people from fishing from my dock because I'm tired of cleaning up their messes, leaving fishhooks around and fishing line wrapped around everthing, dock lights knocked off into the water, food wrappers left behind stuck in between dock boards, etc..

When I have paying guests I reserve the end of the dock and my lounge chairs for them. But then again my dock is no where near town with very few people around so I don't have too much problems with people on my dock to begin with.

This thread is going to be interesting....

6string #264327 01/25/08 10:50 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 13,675
Your problem isn't with dock Laws it just with a a** securty guard and possibly poor attitude of a hotel owner.
Docks are public and rules are just made up by folks that think they own the docks, everyone is given permission to put a dock on the Queens/Belize land and it can be taken back. Jessy has a good point fishing lines are a problem for boaters and swimmers and its bad form but rules/laws are not there just manners and consideration for your fellow man.

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collyk #264328 01/25/08 10:54 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,001
I was always under the impression the the docks on ambergris caye where always open to the public both local and tourist alike and there are no private docks ,if you build it you must share it with all who want to use it....??????? The fact some inconsiderate fsherman are pigs and leave bait and hooks is a shame ..if I had a dock and it was done it would [#%!] me off.Am I right in saying there are no private docks ???

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elbert #264329 01/25/08 10:54 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 13,675
Belizeans have an old saying ,' The Queen owns the sea and the beach belongs to God.'

Last edited by elbert; 01/25/08 10:55 AM.

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elbert #264330 01/25/08 10:55 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,041
then how can places like BYC put up gates and close off their dock?

When you find a big kettle of crazy, it's best not to stir it.
elbert #264331 01/25/08 10:56 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,208
collyk Offline OP
OP Offline
JZB you are right. I think this is interesting. I would very much like this all to be clarified because I must admit resenting having my relaxing beach walk interrupted by some big bully.

I actually did tell him that it is public and that I had every right to be there, but my guess is that either the resort management or owners are undertaking an aggressive campaign to keep people off of their dock completely. I do worry that this could set a precedent. It is a slippery slope to having private beaches.

Elbert, how would you suggest that I deal with this security guard in future? (I very much look forward to your reply)
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