Submarine proposed for Atascadero Lake gets first OK

The man proposing to put a submarine in Atascadero Lake passed his first hurdle with city leaders last week when the Parks & Recreation Commission voted 4-2 to recommend approval to the City Council.

Lloyd Reeves, a local businessman who also runs the paddle boat and kayak concession at the lake, made the same proposal in 2002 but the commission at that time voted against putting his quarter-scale replica of a World War II submarine in the North County lake.

The city council is set to review the project within a month, community services director Brady Cherry said, though a date is not set yet.

Reeves' plan is to set up rides and tours on a 90-day trial period from mid-April to mid-July if the lake levels are up. He would then remove the submarine during the off-season.

Up to 12 to 15 visitors could board the 42-foot craft to view the wartime memorabilia that hang inside. The lake rides would be on the water's surface, and the submarine wouldn't be submerged.

Approving the electric-powered submarine would require a change in the city's municipal code to allow for boats with a motor greater than 1 horsepower.

-Tonya Strickland