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Santee Lakes may see more options for recreation

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Santee Lakes could be opened for recreation

Santee Lakes could be opened for recreation (Google Maps)

Water sports enthusiasts are rooting for a proposal that would open up Santee’s Lakes to wakeboard and water-ski recreation.

The plan consists of building a cable ski park and restaurant, in which skiers would be swimming in reclaimed water. Reclaimed water is sewage water that has been cleaned and meets standards for recreational use.

The proposal the City Council will consider includes plans to test the water quality regularly and install a water-cleaning system for the Santee lake.

Officials with the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, which oversees the 190-acre Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, say the cable ski park would fulfill the demand from residents for more recreational opportunities at the Santee lakes and give people a place to try new water sports.

However, some city officials, along with neighbors, are expressing concern over the possibility that this proposal could turn their community into just another crowded amusement park.

Santee Mayor Randy Voepel told the U-T, “I have concerns about Santee Lakes becoming Legoland. Santee Lakes have always been a recreational area and a place to relax.”

The concern that a cable ski park would allow Santee Lakes to become overly commercialized also makes residents apprehensive about the noise levels around nearby homes.

Santee homeowner Guadalupe Gillenberg, who has lived near the Santee Lakes for over 20 years also said to the U-T, “We will have absolutely no peace at all. This park is a jewel and we don’t want it tarnished.”

Supporters of the cable ski park fire back with the city staff report stating that the projected noise levels would not exceed city ordinances. The proposed park and restaurant would only attract about 500 more cars a day and would not have a significant effect on local roads.

The ski park is projected to generate more than $1 million in annual ticket sales, and the Padre Dam district would be paid at least $100,000 a year in the leasing of the lake property.

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