Point Beach eyes kayak ramp at Cooks Creek

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POINT PLEASANT BEACH — The borough has taken the first steps in the process to install a kayak launch in Cooks Creek for public access to Lake Louise. The project still needs approval by state and environmental agencies, but officials hope the process will move smoothly. The launch, made of a 16-foot aluminum gangway and an 8-by-20-foot floating dock, would be located at the end of Harvard Avenue off Randall Avenue along Cooks Creek, according to Borough Administrator Christine Riehl. The creek connects the borough’s Lake Louise and the fishing docks on the other side of the canal. The council discussed the proposed kayak ramp, including its location, during multiple meetings over the summer months. A conversation about installing a public access kayak ramp had been in the works for well over a year, officials said. The borough must go before the state of New Jersey for a tidelands license application giving a riparian lease for the area, according to Ms. Riehl. This would give the borough official access to build in these waters. “With that comes a set of requirements for licensing fixed structures, which this would apply to for the floating dock and the gangplank,” Ms. Riehl said. The administrator said these requirements include a waterfront development permit, a property survey and a recorded deed, which the borough needs to locate and could be an issue with the state. The borough previously obtained one of the permits for the same location in 2004 to rebuild the bulkhead. Ms. Riehl says she hopes the borough can use the same process to get a new permit to build. If the borough receives the permit, the riparian lease rights would last 10 years and be subject to a yearly fee. If the borough is deemed eligible for the permit, neighboring residents would have to be legally notified before the permit is issued, Borough Attorney Kevin Riordan said. Ms. Riehl said it should take between three and six months to get the permit. The borough had discussed other locations for the launch, including the east and west side of Cooks Creek, or the possibility of constructing it at the end of Harvard Avenue and Riverside Place. “I believe the consensus and the more logical location would be the Harvard off of Randall,” said Ms. Riehl. The council also contemplated using a 30-foot gangway onto the dock with an additional five-foot dock along the bulkhead, but that was determined to be unnecessary.

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