Protect Log House Landing from Overdevelopment
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For the past year, the City of Scandia has been considering extensive changes to the Log House Landing boat ramp. They have developed plans to build a large concrete modern launch at this small, secluded and wooded landing. The expansive and expensive launch design is completely out of character with this rustic National Park site.
Fortunately, the newly elected Council has asked for public input before proceeding with this plan. The Council is now considering four ramp access options for the site:
1. Leave the ramp as is with no changes
2. Continue to pursue building a concrete ramp for trailered boats
3. Change the ramp to Carry-In – no trailers permitted
4. Close the ramp completely
We are completely opposed to Option 2 - the expanded concrete ramp, and believe that this design will forever change the Log House Landing as an historic and rustic treasure.
After many months of looking for alternatives and analyzing the options, we believe that the Carry-In Option will best protect this beautiful site from both erosion and over development. It will allow access to the greatest number of users and cost significantly less than building a concrete ramp.
On May 3rd, the Council will vote for one of the four options. Friends of Log House Landing helped to stop a major expansion of the landing and the road three years ago. We had over 500 concerned citizens sign our petition and the City listened. Please help us again now and sign this petition supporting the Carry-In Option.
Why We Support Option 3: Change the Ramp to Carry-In
• Erosion is Mitigated: The ramp will be revegetated, which will completely eliminate ramp erosion. The revegetated ramp will vastly improve the walkable surface for all users. It will replace the existing difficult trap rock surface that was added last fall in an attempt to help control the erosion.
• Greatest Access: The greatest number and types of users will be able to access the site. Carry-in vehicles can drop at the top of the ramp and then park. Carry-in vehicles typically take up less space than trucks/trailers, allowing for more vehicle parking. The landing will no longer be primarily used as a trailer turn-around and more space will become available for other recreational uses such as picnics, games, swimming, shore-fishing, sightseeing, and the temporary storage of canoes, kayaks, carry-in boats, and paddle boards.
• Low Expense: The cost to revegetate the ramp will be minimal, saving considerable taxpayer dollars. More expensive options just don’t make sense because of the many LHL site limitations - small size, limited parking, difficult terrain and the small number of daily users.
•Low Maintenance: Very minimal ongoing ramp maintenance will be needed. Carry-in vehicles should have less impact on the road and parking areas than heavier trucks/trailers.
•Most Natural Setting / Improves the River Viewshed:
Revegetating the ramp will preserve the historic, rustic and rural character of the site. The view from the landing and the river will become more natural and scenic (in accordance with the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.)
•Improves Safety: Pedestrians, swimmers and other recreational ramp users will no longer have to share the ramp or shoreline with motorized vehicles. The ramp design will allow for emergency vehicle access.
•Encourages Appropriate Watercraft: This section of the river (from Arcola Mills to Taylors Falls) is designated as a Slow Speed Zone and in parts is a No Wake Zone. These limited speeds protect the shoreline. Building a large concrete ramp would attract bigger and faster boats that are inappropriate and damaging to this part of the St. Croix River.
•Meets the Scandia Comprehensive Plan Goals: Most consistent with Scandia’s stated objectives “to maintain unique rural character, agricultural heritage, historic charm, and natural resources.” Aligns with similar stakeholder preferences to keep the site as natural as possible. (NPS, SCRA, Watershed)
Important Note – There are several excellent and nearby alternative ramp sites, all with better designs for trailered boats: William O’Brien State Park, Osceola Landing, Franconia Landing.
CONCERNS ABOUT THE OTHER OPTIONS:
Option 1: Leave the ramp as is with no changes
Leaving the ramp as is would clearly be the next best option, but there are a few concerns.
- Will not completely mitigate erosion.
- Eliminates access for more than half the users. Only trailered boats can navigate the current surface (large trap rock.) Carry-In users and pedestrians can no longer easily or safely use the ramp.
- We investigated other possible surface options that would prevent erosion and keep the site natural. We have been told by consulting engineers that the ramp’s sandy base is too unstable and the terrain is too steep for the other possible options that were suggested.
- Unsustainable long term. Will likely lead to revisiting a concrete ramp in the future.
Option 2: Continue to pursue building a concrete ramp
We are absolutely opposed to an expanded concrete ramp on this section of the river.
- Significantly more expensive than the other options. The small number of daily users does not justify the taxpayer cost.
- Changes this historic, charming and rustic site forever.
- View from the river will be irreparably altered and modernized.
- Difficult for carry-in users. No place to drag a canoe or kayak.
- Expansive concrete ramp is overdeveloping this small site with limited parking.
- Encourages larger faster boats that are inappropriate for this Slow Speed section of the river.
- Does not align with Scandia’s Comprehensive Plan or the desires of other stakeholders to keep the site as natural as possible. (NPS, SCRA, Watershed)
Option 4: Close the ramp completely
We want access to the St. Croix River to be maintained for as many users as possible.
- Eliminates access for all users.
- Closes a valuable public recreational amenity.
For more detailed information about the issues that we considered in our analysis, please go to Scandia Councilman Steve Kronmiller's website http://www.kronmiller.us/Council/Issues.html and click on the first link under the Log House Landing section.
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