Rappahannock Record, April 3, 2014
Our county government is basing its requirement for a large boat ramp on Dymer Creek and other future public water access sites on a very questionable requirement in Chapter 5 of its comprehensive plan. This requirement states that the county’s goal for taxpayer-provided public access is: “one water access site per 31.5 miles of shoreline.”
I seriously question this county comprehensive plan criterion as it does not have any statistical correlation to the actual need for public water access. The criterion, “one water access site per 31.5 miles of shoreline” is totally unrelated to the county’s people population, boat population, or the number of trailer boaters needing public access.
The county should conduct a comprehensive survey to determine the number of trailer boaters desiring and needing public access, how often they will use public access, and where they desire public access sites to be.
Using wild guesses and questionable criterion such as “one water access point every 31.5 miles of shoreline” is ridiculous. The county’s personal property tax records contain information on the type of boats owned and where these boat owners reside. The county could use this information to sent survey letters to those trailer boaters who do not live on the water to determine their water access needs and if they really require taxpayer-provided public access.
Before the county spends hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars building public access piers and boat ramps, the county needs to develop realistic data and statistics that prove the actual need for these water access sites. All public water access projects and commitments should be immediately suspended until accurate public water access needs data are obtained and analyzed.