Riverfront Park Levee Rules Finalized

Charleston Gazette
5 May 2014
By Rachel Molenda, Staff writer

The City of Charleston is making some changes this year to the way the levee at Haddad Riverfront Park is managed. Rules and regulations for boats were released earlier this week, City Manager David Molgaard said.

Rules for the 2014 season were created in an effort to clear up confusion and issues the city had with boaters last year regarding overnight mooring. Some would leave their boats docked on the levee for most of the season, which created issues for others.

“The park has been evolving over time,” Molgaard said. “Last year was really a shake down cruise as it relates to use of the floating dock and the issues that we would have to address.”

The city last month met with members of the boating community to work out some of the problems each party had last year. Kanawha River Power Squadron Commander Pat Wood said the meeting “was a really good move” by Molgaard. It gave the boating community a chance to voice their opinions and also allowed the city to communicate its reasoning behind new rules.

“They actually listened to some of the comments,” Wood said of what was shared. “I think we have a better set of rules than we would have had they done it on their own.”

Licenses and permits have been separated into classes for this season. Boats larger than 40 feet can apply for Class A licenses for the entire season. Those boats will be permitted to moor at the concrete landing only and are the only ones permitted to moor the night before events. They can stay overnight after events through Monday.

“As a result of our meeting with the boaters, it was clear it is more advantageous for the larger boats to come in the night before and at least be positioned against the dock before the smaller boats for safety reasons,” Molgaard said.

While Class A boats will be able to hook up to electricity when available, the hookup won’t be available until noon on the day of the event. Electricity will be turned off by 8 a.m. Monday morning.

Season-long Class B licenses are for boats of any size and allow for overnight mooring after events through the following Monday or Tuesday if Monday is a city holiday. This license along with the Class C license can also use electricity on the levee when it is available. Class C licenses are valid for individual events only.

Class D licenses are “issued as a special permit on a case-by-case basis,” state the regulations. Molgaard said those licenses are intended for tour boats on the Kanawha that want to make a stop in Charleston as part of the journey.

“We did want to be able to address those transient boats that aren’t necessarily native to our valley and our river, but are coming through on a tour and want to stop and disembark and spend some time in Charleston,” Molgaard said.

Under regular circumstances — when there aren’t events — the city wants the dock cleared by 11 p.m. each night, which corresponds with rules that already exist for city parks, Molgaard said.

Class A and B licenses cost $100. Class C licenses are $25, and Class D licenses can cost up to $100.

Other rules outlined for the levee include a first-come first-served basis for mooring. Mooring on the north side of the floating dock — between the bank and the dock — is limited to 10 minutes for loading and unloading.

Boaters can apply for licenses with the City Manager’s office at City Hall.

Reach Rachel Molenda at rachel.molenda@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.

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