May 11, 2022 - report by Shawn Hathaway
Honeysuckle Beach Project Update
HLWA President Jan Wilkins and I attended last night’s Hayden City Council meeting to hear the presentation from Melissa Cleveland of Welch Comer on the Honeysuckle Beach and Boat Launch project.
There were about a dozen other residents in attendance to also hear this update.
Melissa gave a 30-minute big picture overview of her report which was followed by questions from council members. While the report seems fairly balanced listing the pros and cons of each option, Jan and I both felt Melissa's presentation favored moving the launch.
Councilman DePriest asked about the cost of the project so far which was estimated at $30,000 and the cost for the studies on Honeysuckle Bay which were estimated at up to $200,000.
Councilwoman White asked about the proposed location of the boat launch parking lot and what is currently there. This suggested to me that she is not familiar with the area and a site visit should be organized for the Council to see the limitations of this location.
Councilman Saterfiel asked why to increase the size of the parking areas when they will only fill up with the increased demand. Melissa answered the aim was not to increase parking areas but to separate competing activities for a better user experience.
Councilman Roetter was absent.
City Administrator Brett Boyer made a comment at the end about taking what we have and making it more efficient.
Mayor Forssell called for a vote which passed to accept the report for further study and emphasized that no decisions had been made.
Two Seasons at the Proposed Boat Launch Site
The video above gives us birds eye view of the proposed boat launch site. We wonder how much dredging would be necessary to provide year round access.
“The waters of Hayden Lake drain into the bottom substrate in the area between the Hayden Lake Country Club and the Rim Rock formation to the south and drain down to the aquifer.” (from Hayden Lake: A Brief Primer - Geoff Harvey)
Potential damage to the lake bottom structure could reopen the whirlpool that was plugged in the early 1900s.
The photo below highlights an environmental hurdle facing the project. The green line that runs parallel to Hayden Lake Road is Feller Ditch constructed as flood water infiltration gallery. It is designated as a wetland that is the first line of defense against flooding. Click on the photo to see a larger image.
HLWA Preliminary Observations and Concerns January 12, 2022
The current proposal is the result of the City of Hayden’s desire to improve user experience at the Honeysuckle Boat Launch and Public Beach. Those surveyed and the sheriff’s marine patrol division reported stressful interaction between boaters and beachgoers.
The current proposal is in early planning stages. The city representatives recognize that there are many issues that will need to be addressed. Our concern is that those issues get sincere consideration, and that there is not a rush to accept the first proposal that appears to have some limited merit.
When the city decided to try and separate the conflicting uses, they first tried to relocate the beach area along the dike. This idea was shot down by the ID Department of Fish and Game and IDL which prohibits the importing of sand due to interference with fish gills.
They then began looking for alternative launch sites close to the urban area and the city’s current park and found that Dalton Irrigation owns a 5-acre strip of land that runs west from the dike parallel to E. Hayden Lake Rd. This site is bordered by the Richards Conservation Trust lands, which also contain identified wetlands. The site is the dike’s overflow channel.
Honeysuckle Beach Project Update
January 27, 2021
We can report that the Open House at Hayden City Hall was packed and the dialog robust. Thank you to all those in attendance. The opportunity to contribute your input will continue until February 11th. Take action with the three links below:
And check this website for updates on the status of the Honeysuckle Beach and Boat Launch project as well as news you can use from the Hayden Lake Watershed.