Proposed Dock Standards - Part1 (Oct 17 2008)

*Chapter 36; added to read as follows:


Chapter 36

Docks, Piers and Boathouses


A. “Boat Dock, Pier, or Boat House”: a structure extending from the shore into the water to permit the landing and mooring of vessels. The term “boat dock, boat house” or “dock” includes the anchoring system and any walkways or bridges that will attach to the dock itself.

B. “Walkway” or “Bridge”: a passage that provides access from the land to a boat dock, marina, or other floating facility.

C. “Dead Load”: the permanent inert weight of the dock structure, including fixed or permanent attachments, such as bumpers, railings, winch stands, roof structures, etc.

D. “Decking”: the surface material that forms the floor of the boat dock or catwalk.

F. “Flotation Live Load”: the total load that a dock can carry without capsizing or sinking. The flotation live load is equal to the dead load plus the live load.

G. “Habitable Structure”: any structure on a boat dock or catwalk, whether permanent or temporary.

H. “Hunt Absorption Test”: a test documenting the rate at which flotation material absorbs liquid, as well as the quantity of liquid absorbed.

I. “Live Load”: any moving or variable superimposed load on the boat dock.

J. “Registered Professional Engineer”: a professional engineer currently registered with the State of Texas as a professional engineer with a specialization in civil or structural engineering and experienced in boat dock and pier construction.

K. “Sanitation Device”: any enclosure or equipment used as a toilet or bathing facility,

L. “Lakefront Property Line”: the property line that borders the waters of Lake Worth.

M. “Structural Live Load”: the weight of the dock itself and its ability to support itself.

N. “Working Load Safety Factor”: the ability of a boat dock anchoring system to hold or withstand loads. A safety factor of 3.0 means the anchoring system is rated to hold or withstand a load equal to three times the entire weight of the structure; e.g., if the structure weighs 1,000 pounds, the cable attached to the anchor will be able to hold 3,000 pounds.

3601 Permit Required

3601.1 . No person shall erect, construct, enlarge, alter, or move any dock, pier, boathouse or combination to any body of water within the corporate limits of Fort Worth, that is under the jurisdiction and control of the City of Fort Worth, without complying with the provisions of this chapter. Persons seeking to construct a boat dock must submit to LWMO two complete sets of project plans for the dock, including the anchoring system, and any walkways or bridges that will attach to the boat dock;

(A) When a dock will use existing facilities as part of the new proposed dock, the project plans must include a complete description of the existing facilities, and those facilities must comply with the specifications set forth in these regulations.

(B) The plans must be signed and sealed by a registered professional engineer (RPE), and contain a statement that the proposed dock complies with the specifications set forth in these regulations.

(C) Each plan set also must include a copy of the manufacturer’s certified plans for any components that will be a part of a dock, such as floats, decking, railing, or awning systems.

(D) Both engineered plans and manufacturer’s certified plans must be based upon the actual conditions at the site of the proposed dock.

(E) Upon approval of the plans by the Lake Worth Management Office the plans will be taken to the Fort Worth Development Department and a building permit

3601.2 During construction of a dock, a complete set of all permits and approvals required for construction of the dock must be posted in a readily visible location at or adjacent to the construction site, and one complete set of the approved plans must be kept available at the construction site.

3601.3 Construction of a dock must be completed within six months of the date that the permit is approved by the permitting entity.

3601.4 After a dock is completed, an RPE must submit to the Lake Worth Management Office a signed and sealed certification that it was built in accordance with the requirements set forth in these regulations and the plans submitted to and approved by the LWMO.

3602 Use.

3602.1 Boathouses shall normally be classified as a Group U Occupancy. Other occupancies may be allowed when the use is permitted by the Zoning Ordinance, together with the approval of any other appropriate department of the City of Fort Worth, and the construction complies with this code for said use.

3603. Design and Design Loads.

3603.1 Flotation devices for docks walkways, and bridges shall be designed to support the dead load plus 30-pounds per square foot (PSF) live load applied to deck area.

3603.2 Boat dock and dock structural frame shall be designed to support 50 pounds PSF live load applied to the full surface area of the deck.

3603.3 Roofs on docks shall have a minimum flotation live load of 12 pounds PSF and a structural live load of 15 pounds PSF.

3603.4 Walkways and bridges shall be designed to support a live load of 50 pounds PSF.

3603.5 Walkways and bridge handrails shall be designed to withstand a 200-pound load applied in any direction and at any point along the handrail.

3603.6 Walkways and bridges shall have a maximum slope under dead load of a 4:1 ratio in any direction at the lake level of 594ft. above sea level.

3603.7 Boat docks shall be able to withstand a minimum of four-foot high wave action at lake levels up to 601 ft. above sea level. Floating boat docks must be designed with anchorage footing and piers to remain in place without floating off at the 601 elevation..

3603.8 Boat docks, anchoring systems, and connectors, including cables and chains, shall be designed to resist wind loads per the City of Fort Worth Building Code requirements for residential structures.

3603.9 Cables and chains used in anchoring systems shall be designed with a minimum working load safety factor of 3.0 for cables and 2.0 for chains.

3604 - Dock and Pier Construction

3604.1 Piles. Wood piles shall be a minimum of six (6) inches in diameter. Metal piles shall be a minimum of three (3) inches inside diameter pipe Schedule 40. Such piles shall be driven to a minimum depth of twenty-four (24) inches below the top layer of silt. Such piles shall be driven in pairs, one on either side of the platform, and braced as required by section 3604.5. Such piles shall not be spaced apart more than ten (10) feet center to center.

3604.2 Box cribs. Sets of structural columns of the same size forming a box crib may be used. Such crib shall be braced as required in Section 3604.5 and anchored as required in Section 3605.

3604.3 Beams. Beams shall be defined as those members which connect to piles to support the stringers. All beams when of wood shall be a minimum 2-inch material.

3604.4 Stringers. Stringers shall be defined as those members usually supporting the decking. All stringers when of wood shall be of a minimum 2-inch material. Pipe stringers shall be a nominal 2-1/2-inch I.D. Schedule 40 and spaced not more than eighteen (18) inches O.C.

3604.5 Decking.

(A). Wooden platform decking shall be of a minimum nominal 2-inch material.

(B). Other materials, to include lightweight concrete or metal decking may be used when approved by the Building Official. Such decking shall meet the load requirements of Section 3603.

3604.6 Bracing.

(A) All wooden bracing shall be of a minimum nominal 2-inch material.

(B) Bracing shall be accomplished by one or more of the following methods:

1. Cross or “X” bracing. Cross or “X” bracing may be used on each set of pier and box cribs.

2. Beams may be used as bracing, provided the connections give sufficient support to resist horizontal forces equivalent to that of cross or “X” bracing.

3. Knee bracing. Knee bracing shall be used on each pier attached to and paralleling the platform deck. Pipe knee bracing shall be a nominal 2-1/2 inch I.D.

3604.7 Attachment of deck. Attachment of the platform deck to beams and piles shall be accompanied by one or more of the following methods:

(A). By attaching the beams to the piles and box cribs by lag bolts.

(B). By caps: Wood caps shall be a minimum nominal 4-inch material and anchored by bolts and welded.

3605. Anchorage of Floatation and Box Crib Structures.

3605.1 Such structures shall be anchored with solid units that will provide the following anchorage:

(A). Docks and piers less than fifty (50) feet in length: An anchor on each corner that will support one-fourth of the total dead load plus one-eight the total live load.

1. Docks and piers fifty (50) feet or more in length: Anchors at the midpoint of the piers.

2. All docks and piers shall be anchored to the shore line.

3. All anchors shall be of masonry, concrete, or steel and shall be securely fastened to the dock or pier by wire rope, cable, chain, or other approved methods.

3606. Required Water Proofing.

3606.1 All wood below one (1) foot above spillway elevation on lakes or below one (1) foot above the 50-year flood elevations on other bodies of water shall be treated lumber. Creosote is not allowed.

3606.2 All metal, including bolts, lag bolts, and fasteners, shall be galvanized or painted with paints of similar materials approved for immersion in water.

3607 Flotation Material

3607.1 Flotation material shall be extruded polystyrene, expanded polystyrene, or a copolymer of polyethylene and polystyrene and shall have a minimum density of 0.9 pounds per cubic foot, and be of consistent quality throughout the float. Beads shall be firmly fused together, and there shall be no voids inside the encasement. Flotation material shall have a water rate absorption of less than 3.0 pounds per cubic foot over 7 days when tested by the Hunt Absorption Test. Other flotation material may be considered if it meets all of the requirements set forth in this section.

3607.2 Flotation material shall be encased in solid polyethylene or a polyurethane type coating, both of which shall be watertight and have a nominal thickness of .125 inches.

3607.3 Drums made of plastic, whether new or recycled, or metal shall not be used for encasements or floats.

3607.4 All floats shall be warranted for a minimum of eight years against sinking, becoming waterlogged, cracking, peeling, fragmenting, or losing beads, and shall not be prone to damage by animals.

3607. 5 Floats that are punctured, exposing the foam to erosion or deterioration, shall be replaced immediately.

3608. Boat House Construction.

3608.1 Construction of boathouses or other structures shall meet or exceed the requirements for framing and coverage as specified in other parts of this code. When, in the opinion of the Building Official, the load of the intended use exceeds the capability of the minimum construction design specified in Section 3604, plans and specification may be required to be designed by an engineer registered in the State of Texas.

3609. Inspections, Removal for Violations.

3609.1 Docks may be subject to inspection by the LWMO or its authorized agents, without notice, at reasonable times.

3609.2 Dock owners and boat docks must comply with these regulations and any requirements contained in a permit at all times.

3609.3 Failure to complete inspections, follow inspection guidelines set forth above, or to correct any violations of these rules within thirty days of receipt of written notice, may result in the division or permitting entity requiring removal of the dock at the dock owner’s expense.

3609.4 The division or permitting entity may remove docks that become hazards to navigation at the dock owner’s expense.

3609.5 When a boat dock is removed for any reason whatsoever, including at the initiative of the dock owner or at the direction of the LWMO, the dock owner shall be responsible for the complete removal of the entire dock including the boat dock, walkway, anchoring system, cables, floats, and any other related components or materials installed in conjunction with the construction, maintenance, or use of the dock.

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