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Date of Issue: March 18, 2009

Public reviews kayak launch plan

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A conceptual design of a canoe and kayak launch at Herb Dolan North Park in Bradenton Beach. City officials are focusing only on the launch and parking, not the landscaping. Islander Image: Courtesy Bradenton Beach

Bradenton Beach officials last week released a conceptual design for a kayak launch at Herb Dolan North Park.

The launch for non-motorized boats at the bayfront park on 25th Street is part of a larger plan for recreational boating in the city.

The city is working with Scheda Ecological Associates Inc., a consulting firm, on development of the recreational boating master plan that likely will lead to the creation of a mooring field, the hiring of a harbor master and the construction of at least one kayak/canoe launch.

Scheda surveyed the city and agreed with city staff that the park was the best spot for the launch.

The design for the project shows the launch at the end of 25th Street and the installation of “geoweb” and grasses at the site.

The plastic web and grasses would be used to hold the shoreline, replacing an existing bank of concrete rubble.

“There’s a whole lot of rubble to be removed,” said city project and program manager Lisa Marie Phillips. “It’s going to be a natural launch.”

The design also shows angled parking spaces on the south side of 25th Street and parking restrictions on Avenue A at the launch to prohibit motorists from blocking water views and access.

Local resident and city planning board chair Rick Bisio suggested instead of “No parking” signs that the city use boulders to deter parking.

Other local residents raised concerns that if the launch became too popular, they might get people parking in nearby alleys.

Phillips said such parking would be prohibited.

The meeting last week focused on the launch project, but the conceptual design also shows a line of non-native trees that eventually might be replaced.

Phillips said that aspect of the project would be discussed at another meeting.