IT IS TIME TO ACT !
PROTECT YOUR MOORING LOCATION AND THE VALUE OF YOUR MOORING
March 14, 2023
Attention Mooring Permittees,
The Harbor Commission has voted to recommend Commissioner Ira Beer’s radical double row mooring plan and associated detrimental Harbor Code changes be approved by City Council – possibly as soon as the next City Council meeting on March 28th. The recommended Harbor Code changes will change the nature of your privately owned mooring tackle and create UNCERTAINTY OF LOCATION FOREVER regardless of the results of the pilot test of the ill-advised and unsafe double row mooring plan.
We are asking all mooring permittees to EMAIL CITY COUNCIL TODAY to object to these RADICAL HARBOR CODE CHANGES related to a mere pilot test of an unpopular mooring row realignment plan.
Through this proposal, a small “Ad Hoc” group of Harbor Commissioners is starting the process of a MAJOR Harbor Master Plan Reorganization that will force the INVOLUNTARY relocation of a high percentage of moorings and boats. We do not think these major changes should be forced on us by a small group of Harbor Commissioners. We believe that any significant mooring field reorganization should be a collaborative effort of all stakeholders.
Here are the primary concerns:
1. CODE CHANGES NOW?? --The Harbor Commission has recommended that City Council pass a host of detrimental Harbor Code changes IN ADVANCE of a pilot test of a dangerous double row mooring plan that has only been used in the ultra-protected harbor of America’s Cup Harbor in San Diego. Why should any changes to the Harbor Code be made now? Are these changes to the Harbor Code their real objective?
2. EXPANDED AUTHORITY to allow the City to make you move your boat and your mooring tackle FOREVER and AT YOUR COST--The existing code allows the Harbormaster to move your boat “when necessary” (i.e., in an emergency). This authority will now be expanded to include nebulous reasons for an involuntary relocationand now will include moving your boat and your mooring tackle at your cost.
3. MOVING AUTHORITY from City Council to the Harbor Commission --The Harbor Commission is asking the City to move mooring equipment mandate authority from our elected City Council down to appointed and unaccountable Harbor Commissioners. This will weaken mooring permittees’ ability to protect our moorings at the ballot box. City Council should not cede this authority given mooring equipment mandates rarely change. This is a power grab.
4. TRANSITIONING OUR PRIVATELY OWNED MOORING EQUIPMENT to “City owned” mooring equipment--The Harbor Commission is asking for authority to transition our privately owned mooring tackle to city owned mooring tackle. Mooring rates will likely increase as the city will want to recoup mooring tackle expenses. This will also increase City liability when incidents occur.
5. GOVERNMENT MANDATED INVOLUNTARY BOAT AND MOORING RELOCATIONS--Regardless of the outcome of the pilot test, the Harbor Commission has recommended moving forward with a new government mandate regarding “Designated Mooring Row Lengths”. Your boat and approved mooring length will now have to match up with an undefined and undetermined Designated Mooring Row MAP(if not, your boat and mooring will be subject to forced relocation). The map was not published with the agenda. This undefined and undisclosed map will be the mechanism the city will use to force INVOLUNTARY mooring relocations. When was this map created? How was it created? How many mooring holders will it impact?
6. TRANSFERABILITY CONCERNS--The proposed new language concerning transferability is still very unclear as it states that “new mooring permits” will not be transferable. Given the fact a person is issued a “new mooring permit” when he or she buys a mooring, that new mooring permit could be deemed to be non-transferable in the future. In response to this concern, proposed objectionable language was not changed and Commissioner Beer has only responded verbally saying that: “Existing permits are transferable. We are not changing transferability for existing permits”. This is clearly not an acceptable explanation. Is the Harbor Commission being obtuse and difficult on this subject for a tactical reason?
7. BUMP YOUR NEIGHBOR EXTENSION PLAN--The mooring length extension policy will now convert to a “Bump Your Neighbor” forced relocation plan. If your new Designated Mooring Row Length is longer than your boat length, you can be bumped and forced to move in favor of a larger boat. If you upsize your vessel even slightly, you will now most likely be forced to move to a different location.
8. MOORING VALUES AT RISK—Several Harbor Commissioners have expressed their outrage in the past at the fact that mooring permits have substantial value. Is the Harbor Commission trying to impact mooring permit values negatively? It sure seems to be a primary objective.
The NMA has expressed these concerns and they have fallen on deaf ears with the Harbor Commission. The Harbor Commission has maligned the NMA at almost every meeting. This disturbing behavior should be a big wakeup call regarding the fact that these revisions are being crammed down your throat.
You can email your thoughts to the Harbor Commission and City Council by using these email addresses – any emails you have already sent to the special email address “HarborFeedback” may not be made part of the official public record.
Email City Council Members: CityCouncil@newportbeachca.gov
Email us at: Mail@YourNMA.org or Mail@YourNewportMooringAssocation.org
Thank you for your anticipated help and support,
Your NMA Directors
Looking out for the interest of all mooring owners
Newport Mooring Association
P.O. Box 1118, Newport Beach, CA 92659-1118
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The NMA is a volunteer organization that engages professionals to support the interests of the Mooring Permittees. We rely on donations to pay for legal opinions, appraisals, mailings and other communications. Please donate to help our efforts! Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and fight for mooring owner rights.
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March 4. 2023
Attention Mooring Holders,
The Harbor Commission will be voting on the Double Row Mooring Plan and detrimental harbor code revisions on March 8th at 5pm per the posted agenda. The commission has posted the following document as “Attachment A”. Here are the NMA concerns and opinions regarding the plan and associated proposed harbor code revisions that involve your safety, property rights, and unknown costs (your pocketbook).
Please read the following easy-to-read document (Harbor Commission Exhibit A) and the harbor code revisions that are posted on the harbor commission website. The NMA will be posting additional analysis documents on these topics shortly.
Please show up on March 8th at 5pm
Comment/Opinion: The March 8th Harbor Commission Agenda is now posted. This is a City Document (Exhibit A) that summarizes the intention to gain authority to relocate your personal property.
Mooring Fields Optimization Initiative Summary
The mooring fields optimization initiative is intended to result in more efficient use of the space within the City’s mooring fields, increase the number of moorings available to the public, and improve safety and navigation within the fields and in the adjacent channels. With the reconfiguration, the fields will have footprints smaller than they do currently but while having wider fairways and greater average distances between boats in the same row.
Reconfiguration of the Mooring Fields
1. Reconfigure the mooring fields from the current single rows to double rows.
Moorings will be substantially the same configuration with two mooring buoys and a spreader line to prevent mooring buoys from drifting into the fairways. Alternatively, mooring permittees may request to have their mooring equipped with a single mooring buoy and a sand line to retrieve the opposing anchor line (similar to what is used in Catalina).
2. The rows will have established maximum lengths. Permittees will be assigned to moorings in rows that match the permittees’ mooring lengths to the extent possible. Nevertheless, some permittees will end up having to be assigned to rows that are greater than their mooring lengths. In making assignments, efforts will be made to maintain mooring permittees’ general locations within their fields. For example, permittees who currently have an end-tie mooring will be prioritized for assignment to an end-tie mooring.
3. Permittees whose mooring lengths are shorter by 5-feet or more than the designated length of their rows shall be subject to relocation via a mooring exchange (see “Requests for Longer Moorings; Relocations” below). All permittees are subject to being moved when deemed necessary by the Harbormaster to address safety or navigation concerns.
4. Permittees shall be prohibited from exceeding the designated lengths of their rows. No vessel LOA may extend beyond the length of the mooring permit. No vessel adjusted LOA (or any part of the vessel or attachments thereto) may extend into the fairways.
5. For the approximately 10 requests for mooring extensions of up to 5 feet that the City received prior to November 1, 2022, the additional length shall be taken into account when making the new mooring assignments if adequate spacing exists. Pending their new assignments, the permittees may be allowed to extend their mooring lengths if the Harbormaster determines that the requested extensions will not adversely affect navigation, or safety or impede either adjacent fairway.
6. The double mooring rows may consist of one shared anchor or two separate anchors as determined by the City. If a helical type of anchor is used, it will be provided by the City. To the fullest extent possible, all existing mooring equipment and materials (e.g. anchor weights, chains, tackle, hardware, buoys, etc.) will be used for the new mooring systems. Any additional anchor weights, chain, lines, conservation buoys or other hardware as necessary per new engineered specifications shall be provided at City’s expense.
7. Mooring permittees shall bear the responsibility to maintain, repair, and replace all components of the new anchor mooring system, e.g. all weighted anchors, chains, shackles, weights, lines and buoys. The City shall bear the responsibility to maintain, repair, and replace helical anchors it has installed.
8. Specifications regarding moorings and associated equipment will be determined and adopted by the Harbor Commission instead of by City Council.
9. Any newly-created moorings can be made available to the public at a rent close to fair market value since they would be non-transferable.
10. Moorings would be issued on the basis of a lottery, waiting list, or other similar systems, as determined by the Harbor Department, to afford members of the public an equal opportunity to obtain a permit.
11. If a mooring permittee is assigned to a row of an established length that is greater than the maximum mooring length specified on their permit, the permittee shall not be subject to increased mooring fees unless the permittee desires to moor a larger vessel.
12. The transferability of existing mooring permits will not be affected and they may be successively transferred until they are surrendered or revoked. Updates or changes in the information of permits, such as permittee names, assigned vessel, maximum mooring lengths, or mooring location, shall not affect permit transferability. Any mooring permits issued after the adoption date of this ordinance shall be non-transferable.
Requests for Longer Moorings; Relocations
13. A mooring permittee who desires a longer or extended mooring will be required to relocate to a larger mooring if the increase in length would exceed the designated length of their row. Relocation will require an available mooring in the same mooring field (the H and J fields shall be considered one field). A mooring is available if it is vacant or occupied by a permittee whose mooring length is at least 5-feet shorter than the designated length of their mooring row.
14. The Harbormaster may approve extension requests upon making certain findings.
15. Extension requests shall require payment of a fee.
16. The mooring permittee requesting the extension shall bear all costs of moving both their vessel and the displaced vessel.
This mooring reconfiguration initiative proposes to proceed with a pilot project of reconfiguring only the C Field for double-row moorings. During the process, one or two rows may be initially reconfigured. This would allow for testing of the new layout and for making any necessary adjustments. There will be follow-up on the reconfiguration, including regular inspections from harbor patrol boats as well as interviews with affected permittees and other stakeholders. The relocation of moorings and permittees for the first one or two rows is estimated to take two weeks. Completing the reconfiguration for the rest of C Field is estimated to take 30 days.
With the success of the pilot project, the next likely fields for reconfiguration would be B, D, J & H.
Commenter Note: The harbor code revision below (in red) has been proposed by the City. You will be forced to pay for moving your mooring tackle.
3. Mooring permittee shall move their vessels or relocate to another mooring when deemed necessary by the Public Works Director and/or Harbormaster to address vessel’s drifting from its assigned mooring location or to address safety or navigational concerns. Offshore mooring permittees who are assigned to mooring rows with established lengths that are greater than the permittees’ mooring lengths by at least five feet shall be subject to relocation for the purpose of accommodating mooring extension requests under Section 17.60.040(M). Except as otherwise set forth in this Title, the permittee shall bear the costs of moving their vessel or relocating to the reassigned mooring, including moving the mooring equipment.
A Summary of NMA’s Opposition to Dangerous New Mooring Reconfiguration, with a short video can be seen at: www.YourNMA.org - scroll below the Harbor Commission materials.
For sending emails to the Harbor Commissioners and the City Council:
Harbor Commission: email@example.com
City Council: Citycouncil@newportbeachca.gov
Please copy us on any email you send to the Harbor Commission or City Council as this help us understand what the City is telling permittees directly.
FYI: if you are a Newport resident, you might what to look out for our proposed informational meeting at a large conference room on March 16 to inform local homeowners of the impacts of the proposed double row mooring system.
visit us at:
This is a video of America' Cup Harbor showing mooring spacing and configuration. This video is narrated by Chris Bliss.
Newport Mooring Association
P.O. Box 1118, Newport Beach, CA 92659-1118 Contact us at Mail@YourNMA.com or 949-771-8600
Copyright © 2018 Newport Mooring Association - All Rights Reserved.
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