Based on the widespread concern from members of Coastkeeper and other interested members of the public, the County postponed their application hearing and pulled the item off of the Coastal Committee’s meeting agenda for this Wednesday. At this time, they anticipate it will go before the Commission in June.
Coastkeeper sees this as a win, and that it is an opportunity to work on a Permit Amendment that is more favorable to boaters and the general public. They are encouraging everyone to sign up to speak at the Coastal Commission hearing on Wednesday during the public comment period (since the agenda item is removed.) Coastkeeper's goal is to get the old permit enforced now - meaning 72 hour tie up at the dinghy dock and use of the visitor dock.
We are encouraging our members make public comments and urge the commission to immediately enforce the old permit until the new permit is approved by the commission, not to wait for another boating season to go by.
You can sign up to speak at the meeting here:
Last year we saw a reduction in public access to Newport Harbor at the Orange County Sherriff Department facility’s dinghy dock located on Bayside Drive. This is an especially important access point for mooring permittees as it is the only public pier on that side of the harbor. Additionally, there is parking available nearby, it allows better access to moorings in the A field. Access to this dinghy dock has gone from 72 hours to daylight hours only.
Why was this change made? Because some people were abusing the 72-hour rule and leaving dinghies there for extended periods of time. The NMA feels that enforcing a 72-hour rule is a simple code enforcement issue that is similar to enforcing the “daylight hours only” rule now in place.
An active group of people have challenged the change and brought it to the attention of the California Coastal Commission. Initially they were hopeful the staff report will be in favor of restoring full access to the overnight dinghy dock, 5 low-cost guest slips and the visitor/loading dock. The CCC staff report was posted on Friday, February 26th, and it is not favorable to boater access:
1. CCC Staff has recommended approval of the “day-use only” concept on the dingy dock which eliminates overnight dinghy tie-up.
2. Staff is allowing the County to close the easy access visitor dock (north end). To mitigate, the CCC is asking the County to convert one of the 4 lifeguard slips into a “visitor slip”. It is unclear how many of the 5 documented guest slips the CCC staff is protecting.
The full meeting agenda, staff report, and exhibits can be found here: California Coastal Commission or you can download the documents below.
You also have an opportunity to change their minds by emailing a public comment. The deadline to submit a public written comment is this Friday, March 5th at 5pm. Please take a moment and submit a comment in favor of restoring overnight dinghy dock access at SouthCoast@coastal.ca.gov referencing Public Comment on March 2021 Agenda Item Wednesday 12a.
The Newport Mooring Association champions the rights and needs of the mooring permittees who lease moorings from the City of Newport Beach. Dinghy access from public docks is of paramount importance to our membership. Please support our efforts!
Harbor news, the retirement of our Harbormaster, Kurt Borsting, and more. Download our latest newsletter below!
The Harbor Commission Meeting will include a discussion of the Harbor Commission Objectives, which have been significantly revised since the last meeting.
It includes objectives to shrink the size of the mooring field footprints, mooring extensions and mandatory reductions in lengths upon transfer, the possibility of eliminating some on-shore moorings, and the need for increased rates on moorings.
We need your attendance at the meeting to voice your concerns! The meeting will be held at 5PM, with attendees allowed access in the Community Room adjacent to the City Council Chambers. The revised Harbor Commission Objectives can be downloaded below as well as the NMA Comments for the Harbor Commission Meeting:
October 1, 2020 - Staff has been working on an update to the City’s Mooring Extension Policy, which is slated to go before the Harbor Commission on Monday, November 9th, 2020. The Newport Mooring Association would like to present this Statement of Opposition to a portion of the proposed policy. The Statement of Opposition can be downloaded below. We need mooring permit holders to be present at the meeting to voice their opinion on the proposed policy.
August 21, 2020 - Your Newport Mooring Association needs your input on a current proposal to reduce the length of moorings. Currently, the City’s proposal affects about 20% of the moorings, but may open the door to future reductions in the size of every mooring.
The City, without any involvement of the mooring owners or the Newport Mooring Association, attempted to establish the maximum length of a boat for each row of every morning field (Resolution No. 2020-18, Policy H-3, Attachment A. These documents can be downloaded below. Note Attachment A often uses different row numbers than the current numbers, so it can be difficult to determine which moorings are now over the new suggested maximum length.
Using the City's information, the NMA has determined that there are currently at least 123 off-shore moorings that exceed the new maximum LOA for the respective rows (as shown in the City survey). The way new language is worded, this means:
In discussions with City staff and the Harbor Commission, it became evident to the NMA the specific current proposal will be applied so that when you transfer your mooring, with or without a boat, the City can require that your mooring be reduced to what they have decided is the maximum length for the row.
If you disagree with this proposal, please let each of the representatives on the Harbor Commission know your thoughts as soon as possible, as well as the members of the City Council. Their contact information is shown below. Please copy us with any communications, so we can keep track of your input.
The NMA needs your help and your support. If you have not yet paid your dues for the year, please do so. If you would like to make an additional contribution, we could sure use it right now.
Contact the City Council, Harbor Commissioners and City Staff
Here is a convenient way to send an email to all Council Members (this doesn't include the Harbor Commission):
Or call 949-644-3004 to leave a message for the Mayor and/or City Council Members.
Newport Beach City Council Members
Diane B. Dixon
Harbor Commission Members
Bill Kenney, Jr., Chair
Scott Cunningham, Vice Chair
Ira Beer, Secretary
Gary Williams, Commissioner
Don Yahn, Commissioner
Marie Marston, Commissioner
Steve Scully, Commissioner
Grace K. Leung
Assistant City Manager
Newport Beach Harbormaster
CATALINA ISLAND COMPANY REOPENS MOORINGS TO ALL BOATERS AT TWO HARBORS AND OTHER AREAS FROM WHITES LANDING TO EMERALD BAY
Shore Access Permitted for Essential Activities and Active Use
AVALON, CALIF. (MAY 13, 2020) Catalina Island Company announced today that it has received authorization from the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, with the concurrence of the California State Lands Commission, to reopen the moorings it administers in the Two Harbors area to all boaters beginning Thursday, May 14. The sites, which include Isthmus Cove, Cat Harbor, Fourth of July Cove, Cherry Cove, Hen Rock, Whites Landing, Moonstone, Emerald Bay, Howland's Landing, Little Geiger and Buttonshell, will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning at 7:00am on Thursday.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and discouragement of non-essential travel, use of the moorings has been limited to sub lessees only since the middle of March.
We have been working diligently with Los Angeles County officials over the past several weeks to reopen our moorings in a way that is safe for all boaters, said Randy Herrel, Sr., president and CEO, Catalina Island Company. We know that boating with loved ones allows a family to spend time together while remaining socially distanced from others. Picking up a mooring can make boating more enjoyable, as well as help ensure a safer experience for all.
Boaters will be able to come ashore for essential activities including:
• Food and necessary shopping at the Two Harbors General Store (face coverings are required)
• To-go food/drink pick up from the West End Galley (items must be consumed aboard your boat per County regulations)
• Restroom and coin-op shower facilities
• Trash facilities
• The Two Harbors pier is available for shore access only and is not open for recreational use. Additionally, while beaches are open for active recreation, activities such as sunbathing, sitting, gathering and picnicking are not permitted.
Mooring reservations are available at VisitCatalinaIsland.com/mooringrez starting at 8:00pm on Thursday evenings immediately preceding each weekend. Weekday moorings are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. Upon arrival, call Harbor Patrol on VHF 9.
For the well-being of all, shore-boat service is currently unavailable.
Mooring use is subject to change based on the fluidity of the health pandemic.
Resolution No. 2020-18: Proposed City Council Policy - “Establishment of Maximum Vessel Length Overall (LOA) Pursuant to Newport Beach Municipal Code Subsection 17.60.040(M) (Request to Extend Mooring Length)” - These proposed regulations will be revised prior to being presented to the Council - Stay Tuned!
The NMA Annual Meeting
Thursday, April 23rd, 6:30 PM
1600 West Balboa Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Have you received our latest newsletter? Let us know if you haven't - it covers the latest on the Title 17 updates, as well as the City's increased Code Enforcement activities! You can download a copy below:
At the Harbor Commission meeting of June 12, 2019, the Harbor Commission reviewed proposed amendments regarding offshore mooring extensions. The Commission approved a Harbor Department Policy based on this recommendation and requested staff to present the revised policy to the City Council for approval in February or March 2020.
The revised mooring extension procedure:
1. A Mooring Permittee shall in writing complete a Request for Mooring Extension form providing all requested information.
2. The Harbormaster shall review the request for compliance with all Title 17 Regulations and the approved list of Maximum Vessel Lengths by Field and Row to determine if the request can be granted (Attachment A below).
3. If the request does not exceed the maximum length in the mooring field row per Attachment A, the Harbormaster may approve up to a five-foot extension. However, the Harbormaster has the discretion to deny the request based upon existing conditions, navigational concerns or restrictions that may result from allowing such extension.
4. If the request is for more than five feet, and within the maximum vessel lengths, the Harbor Commission will decide the issue.
5.The decision of the Harbor Commission may be appealed to the City Council.
6.The Harbor Commission may periodically review the Maximum Vessel Lengths set forth in Attachment A and update as necessary.
7. Exceptions may be made based on end-tie or proximity to the channel, public beaches and footprint of the mooring field and general navigational considerations
If the Harbormaster or the Harbor Commission, as applicable, approves an application for an amendment to the offshore mooring permit under this section, such approval shall be conditional and contingent upon the following requirements:
a. The mooring permittee must occupy the mooring with the new vessel within twelve (12) months following the date of approval; and
b. The mooring permittee’s rights pursuant to a valid mooring permit, as amended, shall not be sold or otherwise transferred for a period of twelve (12) months following the date of occupancy of the mooring with the new vessel. The sale or transfer of said permit shall comply with the requirements of subsections (B)(3), (E) and (F) of Section 17.60.040.
This week the Coastal Commission is meeting in Newport Beach, and among the topics being discussed is public access to the Harbor Patrol's dinghy dock, which has recently been reopened, but with restricted hours.
Among the speakers lined-up for public comment was the NMA's John Fradkin. The public comment session got cut short due to time constraints, and unfortunately John did not have an opportunity to comment. The Coastal Staff is likely reviewing the County CDP application over the next few weeks and will issue their recommendations. Here is the text of John's comments, in which he states the NMA's position on attempts to to reduce hours on dinghy docks. This letter will be distributed to the Commissioners and staff:
Honorable Coastal Commissioners
Sep 11, 2019
My name is John Fradkin. I am a director of the Newport Mooring Association.
The Newport Mooring Association champions the rights and needs of the mooring permittees who lease moorings from the City of Newport Beach. Dinghy access from public docks is of paramount importance to our membership. If you can’t access your mooring easily, then that mooring has very little value.
There are over 700 offshore moorings in Newport Harbor. Only about 150 of them have access to a regular shoreboat service – those being the moorings controlled by the Newport Harbor Yacht Club and the Balboa Yacht Club. The remaining 550 offshore moorings are accessed by several ways, but primarily by small dinghies launched at public docks. Mooring permittees are the single largest user group of the public docks.
Life on a mooring is not easy. Fresh water access is difficult. Access to electricity is difficult. Just accessing the boat is difficult. When attempting a multi-day maintenance project on a boat on a mooring, it is very helpful to be able to leave your dinghy at a dock overnight so that you can return the next morning and get back to work with a minimum of effort.
We need more public access to the harbor and anytime there is a reduction in public access from public dinghy docks in Newport Harbor, the Newport Mooring Association feels compelled to speak out in protest.
Unfortunately this past year saw a reduction in public access to Newport Harbor at the Orange County Sherriff Department facility’s dinghy dock located on Bayside Drive. This is an especially important access point for mooring permittees as it is the only public pier on that side of the harbor. Additionally there is always easy parking availability nearby, and if you have a mooring in the A field, it allows you to not have to drive your car all the way out to the end of the Balboa Peninsula which saves you a lot of time.
Access to this dinghy dock has gone from 72 hours to daylight hours only. Why was this change made? Because some people were abusing the 72 hour rule and their leaving dinghies there for extended periods of time. That is not a good excuse in my mind. Enforcing a 72 hour rule is a simple code enforcement issue that is not too different from enforcing the daylight hours only rule now in place. A cell phone camera and some stickers would be the only additional equipment necessary. In my estimation, it would only add a minute or two to the current job of enforcing a daylight hours only policy.
The Newport Mooring Association respectfully asks you to encourage the reinstatement of 72 hour dinghy dock access at the Orange County Sherriff Department dock on Bayside Drive so that mooring permittees can better access and maintain their boats.
Here is a link to the public comment section of the meeting:
The Coastal Staff is likely reviewing the County CDP application over the next few weeks and will issue their recommendations.