10. LAUNCH RAMPS
Boat launch ramps are usually located at marinas or public parks but are occasionally proposed for a residential waterfront property. The requirements for a ramp usually require excavating or cutting into the shoreline and placing gravel, rock or concrete to accommodate the launching of a boat
Installation of a ramp involves dredging, filling or cutting of the bank, which may result in:
- Short term or on-going siltation, erosion and alteration of water movement patterns;
- Disturbance/destruction of cultural resources;
- The loss of fish habitat resulting from the placement of ramp material;
- Removal of shoreline vegetation;
- A public safety hazard when the launch ramp is constructed in a narrow channel or near the navigation channel.
Launch ramps are routinely approved when the application addresses the following polices.
- Boat launches shall be incorporated into the maximum shoreline disturbance limit of 25% of the frontage or 15 m (50 ft.), whichever is less.
- Launch ramps must not be constructed in known fish spawning areas or result in the destruction of emergent aquatic vegetation.
- Concrete and wood may be used above the upper controlled water elevation level. The in-water portion of a launch ramp shall be an aggregate mixture such as pea gravel or clean granular “B” pit run material: 60 - 70% sand, 30 - 40% gravel (1/8 in [0.2 cm] - 3 in [8 cm] diameter). A steel grid base may also be permitted.
- Asphalt surfaces will not be approved in or near the water due to the detrimental leaching impacts on water environments of this petroleum-based product.
- Launch ramps must not be located within 30 m (100 ft.) of navigation channels.
- Shoreline alterations to accommodate launch ramps must be minimized.
- If dredging is required, then the dredging policies will apply.
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