Reservoir Land Stewardship Design Standards

Review summaries of the eight sections of the Land Stewardship Design Standards, and download the individual sections below.

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Overland Paths

An overland path is a designated route across city property that provides an eligible adjacent landowner access to the reservoir. Overland paths are the steward’s responsibility to install and maintain. Path alignment will take into consideration slope, erodible soils, existing vegetation, and location of a dock, if applicable. Paths are generally located along a straight line, unless a meandering path is used to avoid tree or vegetation removal, steep slopes, and crossing streams or wetlands.

Property Eligibility: Watershed Management staff will evaluate each adjacent landowner’s request for a path. Most properties will be eligible for a path, except for city property with extreme slopes or high-quality wetlands within the stewardship area.

Steps & Stairs

Steps or stairs may be required in conjunction with an overland path based on the alignment. Construction of steps or stairs on city property will be avoided when possible. If steps or stairs are required, the design will follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

Property Eligibility: The city will evaluate the eligibility of each adjacent landowner for steps or stairs as part of the overland path request. City properties with slopes (i.e. 20-119% slope) will be eligible for steps or stairs. Designated nature preserve areas will not be eligible for stairs, however, wood framed timber steps may be considered. Properties with slopes greater than 119% or with high-quality wetlands within the proposed location will not be eligible.

Private Docks and Paddlecraft Storage

Private docks on city property provide an eligible adjacent landowner boating access to the reservoir. Boat docks are the steward’s responsibility to install and maintain. The dock location will take into consideration existing wetlands, overland path access location, and width of water body.

Property Eligibility: The city will evaluate each adjacent landowner’s eligibility for a boat dock. Most will be eligible for boat docks, except for city property with excessive slopes or high-quality wetlands within the stewardship area. Adjacent landowners wishing to install a dock at Griggs or O’Shaughnessy reservoirs are required to obtain a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Section 10 permit. The applicant will complete the USACE Section 10 permit application and submit it to the city. The city will review the application and submit it to USACE. Dock installation on properties with wetlands may require additional steps for approval (see below).

Filtered View Corridors

Although the city strives to establish reservoir buffers consisting of mature trees and understory, consideration has been given to allow a filtered view which does not compromise reservoir water quality nor greatly impact habitat. Filtered view corridors are created by selective pruning or limbing of vegetation but not complete removal of vegetation. Filtered view corridors may be considered to allow the adjacent landowner a partial view of the adjacent water body.

Property Eligibility: Watershed Management will evaluate each adjacent landowner’s eligibility for a filtered view corridor. Adjacent landowners are not eligible for a filtered view corridor if bordering city property to designated nature preserves or greater than 250 feet from the water’s edge.

Vegetation Management

This refers to any physical alteration of existing vegetation not expressly detailed in other sections. This includes mowing, pruning, trimming, limbing of live or dead vines, grasses, shrubs, or trees.

Property Eligibility: Vegetation management requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Properties with invasive and noxious species, filtered view corridors, and/or hazardous trees will be eligible for vegetation management.

Streams & Wetlands

When the location of an overland path or private dock cannot avoid existing streams or wetlands, these design standards apply to determine eligibility. Stream or wetland crossings will be considered if all federal and state regulations are followed. The adjacent landowner may be required to have a professional certified in stream or wetland delineation verify, at the owner’s expense, that these permitting requirements are satisfied. Approved crossings must be elevated, either through the use of a boardwalk or dock design.

Property Eligibility: The city will evaluate each adjacent landowner’s eligibility for a stream or wetland crossing as part of the overland path and/or dock request. Properties may be eligible for stream or wetland crossings provided that the crossing is not determined to be an isolated wetland or a category 3 wetland according to the Ohio Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands.

Nature Preserve

Landowners contiguous to city-designated nature preserve areas are subject to additional restrictions. These are required to balance the Land Stewardship Program goals and nature preserve designation.

Property Eligibility: Eligibility of designated nature preserve areas for paths or docks will be subject to consideration. Overland paths and private docks will be evaluated by the city for each adjacent landowner as part of the request. Nature preserve areas will not be eligible for filtered view corridors, pruning, limbing, or stairs, however, wood-framed timber steps may be considered.

Embankment Stabilization

The impact of water flow, waves, and ice against the shoreline over time can cause substantial shoreline erosion. Re-establishing a stabilized shoreline will often reduce the bank erosion rate or prevent bank failure at the water’s edge. Embankment stabilization techniques are typically separated into soft and hard-armor options.

The soft-armor methods use organic and inorganic materials, combined with the root-mass of plants, to create a living barrier of protection. Revegetation, bioengineered bank, tree revetments, and reinforced bank are examples that can provide a measure of stabilization and reduce bank erosion.

The most common hard-armor technique is riprap, which consists of large rocks placed in the water and up the slope along eroding shorelines. Riprap is generally used for embankment stabilization along shorelines where the root-mass from vegetation is not sufficient to prevent erosion.

Property Eligibility: Stabilization requests will be evaluated by the city on a case-by-case basis for each adjacent landowner. Properties eligible may include those with significant shoreline erosion and the potential for further erosion of property. Embankment stabilization designs by a licensed, professional engineer (PE) are required for each request that addresses the specific site erosion. The city will consider numerous variables to determine if the request meets the land stewardship goals.

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