Public boat ramps have opened at the former Lanier Harbor Marina under the management of the City of Buford. Now called City of Buford Lanier Harbor Park, it opened mid-September and is a day-use loading and unloading park for boaters.

The park was renovated by Southern Heritage Homebuilders, which will be constructing up to 120 townhome units on the property. The developer also improved Pinetree Drive, which is now a public street. This work is part of the zoning conditions for Southern Heritage Homebuilders approved by the city in August 2018.

According to the city’s 2018 Annual Report, “In 2016 the city signed a lease with the Corps of Engineers to manage the former Lanier Harbor Marina property on Pine Tree Drive” the report reads. “There are recent plans for a town-home development adjacent to the marina, which would include renovating and reopening the park in the future. This is the only part of Buford city limits that provide direct access to the lake.”

The Corps finalized the lease in early 2017. “The Corps of Engineers approached us back in 2015 and we moved forward with a lease,” said Bryan Kerlin, city Manager of Buford. “Our first step was to put in public boat ramps and 16 day-use boat slips. We have also paved the area and landscaped. The improving economy and the demand for housing in Buford led to the adjacent townhome project and the opportunity for improvements to the park.”

Zoning enacted in 2018 allows the developer to build townhomes on the former footprint of housing proposed around a decade ago at Lanier Harbor. Infrastructure has been installed for the project. Building of the townhomes is pending. “At this point, we are waiting for the developer to submit elevations and the formal plan for the townhomes to the city’s planning and zoning for permitting,” Kerlin said.

The boat ramps will be for public use, not the exclusive use of future residents of the condominiums. No overnight docking will be allowed. The day-use loading and unloading ramps summer hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and winter hours 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hours are subject to change. There are no plans to charge a fee. The entry gate and ramp area have been posted with operational and use information. “Redeveloping this area and building housing there is a good opportunity for the city to provide a nice amenity for our residents,” he said. “It’s good to incorporate it back into the community.” Lanier Harbor Marina officially closed in 2014.