Redondo Beach staff and boaters consider vessel launch ramp locations in King Harbor

Attendees of two public workshops discuss plans and prepare to move forward with more detailed proposals.

REDONDO BEACH — As many boaters would say, what’s the use in having a boat if you can’t get it out on the water? That’s where a standard boat launching facility on the waterfront comes in handy.

The city of Redondo Beach – a unique destination for on-water activity as it is one of the only waterfront cities in California with a beachfront, marina and pier – held two public workshops, on Feb. 28 and March 10, to discuss and receive feedback on where a boat launch ramp should be located in King Harbor. Here’s just a dip into a few topics that were discussed.


Measure C Compliance

In March 2017, Measure C, an initiative seeking to limit coastal development especially in the King Harbor area, passed with a majority vote of 57 percent. CenterCal, the developer tabbed to redevelop the Redondo Beach waterfront, filed a lawsuit in state and federal court, in response.

While the outcome of the lawsuit could alter plans in the future, the city is moving forward with the direction provided by Measure C.

From a presentation given at the Feb. 28 meeting, there are a lengthy number of requirements that must be met to satisfy Measure C requirements, those being:

  • The boat ramp must have a minimum of two lanes to avoid “clustering” on the water.
  • To address overcrowded parking, a minimum of double-length boat trailer and vehicle parking spaces per lane must be available within 500 feet of the ramps or adjacent to them. Additionally, parking spaces must measure at least 40 feet long with at least 10 percent being 55 feet long; no more than 25 percent of the parking spaces should measure more than 55 feet.
  • Design concepts for the ramps, parking and routes for vehicle access must conform to guidelines in accordance with the California Division of Boating and Waterways and American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials.
  • Boat slip numbers that were available since Jan. 2, 2016 will not diminish in numbers. Construction of the ramps and surrounding areas will not result in a net loss of boat slips.
  • Public access to beaches is all Californians rights according to The Coastal Act – this project will not adversely impact entry or hinder any other recreational pursuits that rely on the coast.
  • Accordingly, the ramps cannot intrude on paddleboarders and swimmers. The ramps must be a safe distance from human-powered watercraft launch points and swimming areas.
  • In an effort to increase safety, considerations will be made to welcome a safe launch and recovery in “harbor surge conditions.”
  • Locations will only be secured if they are out of harm’s way, including free from waves topping the outer breakwater or any locations that cause a safety hazard when launching or recovering a vessel; locations that may cause a damage risk to vessels, vehicles or trailers are out of the question.
  • Clear, directional signage must be posted so visitors can locate the ramps. Signage should indicate the ramps are open for public use.


California Design Guidelines

These guidelines as decreed by the state in 1991 would also be considered while securing a location for the ramps. The length of the lanes must measure at least 15 feet; parking spaces must be within 600 feet of the ramp’s head; a minimum 60-feet diameter should exist at the head of ramp; and, “pull-through” vehicle and trailer parking is recommended.

For each 50 parking spaces, one handicap parking space must be available. Vehicle and trailer parking stalls must measure a minimum of 10 feet by 40 feet. One-way traffic must have a drive aisle at least 20 feet, while two-way streets must meet a drive aisle of at least 24 feet. For every 30 parking spaces, a restroom must have at least one toilet.


Ramp Locations Under Consideration

Moles A & B

Moles A and B were previously cited as not being compliant with Measure C, with some raising the question of whether these locations were safe for boaters or harbor patrol.

Plans as is were discussed with alternative plans including a two-lane ramp envisioned for Mole A and B, concluding major issues. The Coastal Commission also determined there were “substantial issues” with a previous proposal for Mole B.

All in all, these were still the least favorable locations with boaters, according to a written statement by Mark Hansen, a local boater in Redondo Beach.


Mole C

Several visions for Mole C were presented including one with contiguous parking, an option with overflow parking and another alternative cited at Mole “C ½.” Hansen stated these concepts were discussed at “Spartan,” but ultimately the option with contiguous parking could best be developed and that the facilities could be enhanced.


Mole D

Hansen stated of the plans presented, the Mole D concept was found to be “Cadillac.” This location could be developed in the most efficient fashion and appeared to be the most popular path forward.

Following the meeting Jim Light, a previous candidate for Redondo Beach City Council in District 1, mentioned another alternate plan for Mole D.


Next Workshops

In the coming months, another workshop could be slated to present more refined plans for the boat ramp at King Harbor. City staff and the chosen engineering consultant are likely to be present at this workshop to further analyze and deliberate on what plans and location would best suit the layout.

            The Log attempted to reach Council members Nils Nehrenheim and Christian Horvath, but they were unavailable for comment prior to press time.

All presentations and renderings of the Mole locations and planning are available at Redondo.org.

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