Town Landing Abutter Calls for a Different Location for Dedham Canoe Launch
The abutter said he isn't opposed to the canoe and kayak launch as a whole, but would like to see it at another site.
An abutter to the proposed site for a kayak and canoe launch, while in favor of the project's concept, has come out opposed to its location.
Northrop Knox, a High Street abutter to the proposed Bullard Street site for the new town landing, said the Dedham officials should consider alternative sites.
"I'm not opposed to the idea. I'm just not sure this is the right spot [for town landing]," he said in an interview with Dedham Patch.
Charles River access is a wonderful attribute to the community, Knox said, and he's happy that town officials are looking to take advantage of it, but he does not believe they should have it in Dedham's historic district.
But officials said they chose the Bullard Street spot, in part, because of its connection to history.
"Historically that is an area where people put boats in the water," said Jon Briggs, a Conservation Commission member that is spearheading the project.
The commission did extensive research on two other sites before deciding on the Bullard Street site, Briggs said.
Dedham's ownership in the Bullard Street land played a major factor in securing grant money for the boat launch, said Virginia LeClair, the town's environmental coordinator.
"We didn't own the other locations," she said.
She added that even though the town will build stopping points along the water trail, the Army Corps of Engineers owns those spots.
The Conservation Commission postponed further discussion on a construction timeline until the group can meet with Knox in an open-to-the-public meeting, commission chairman Frederick T. Civian said, which could come once Knox finishes his own research on the project.
Paul Lindholm, the architect for the project, however, said that ideally the Department of Public Works would finish the gravel driveway leading to the site before winter starts. Lindholm said crews want to remove as much small brush as they can before the winter.
Knox voiced concerns of boaters confusing his land for the town's, but LeClair said that difference would be obvious. Asked if they will be planting anything or constructing a fence she said, "If he wants to us to plant anything he hasn't mentioned it yet."
Site plans call for parking near the water as well as on High Street. There will be two parking areas on the gravel driveway near the water with a picnic bench, LeClair said.
Rev. Cheryl Kerr, of Allin Congregational Church, has a residence that will abut the site. While Kerr said in an interview that she isn't opposed to the site, she doesn't want to see the town remove trees from the area, officials said there aren't plans to remove those trees.
Proper signage to distinguish between the church's boat launch and town landing should alert users, where possible, Kerr said.