January 13, 2022
To Mooring Permittees -
The meeting went well last night. The Commissioners started off the agenda item by stating they would not be taking any action on the onshore mooring fee increase and would be postponing any action until the February meeting. They moved forward with the staff report and public comment. There were around 50 people in attendance. There were around 15 speakers opposed to the fee increase and none in favor. We think many people opted not to speak given the matter was postponed.
By the end of the agenda item, the commissioners seem to agree the shore mooring fee appraisal was defective. We believe the speakers were able to convince the commissioners to question the need to charge “full market value rents”. One objective was to convince the commissioners that it is legal and reasonable for the city to charge “low cost/affordable” mooring fees which would allow the current fee structure (with existing CPI adjustments) to remain in place.
A few of the commissioners closed by indicating they want to offer more services to mooring users (dredge shore mooring areas and maybe provide some work docks etc.) but they need to raise fees to do so.
Our assumption is that the Harbor Commission will have a new staff report 3 days before the February 9th, 2022 meeting that recommends a significantly smaller fee increase for the shore moorings. We will continue to work on this issue, and keep you all posted as we have new information.
If you have not sent your Mooring Association dues, please do so and a bit more if you can to obtain our own appraisal and legal support to fight these increases.
Thank you for your support!
March 7, 2022
Dear NMA Members,
While the Special Meeting devoted to on-shore mooring rates is Monday, 3/21, the Harbor Commissioners have invited a representative from the State Lands Commission to come and speak at this week’s Harbor Commission Meeting on this Wednesday 3/9. Per the Staff Report “The Harbor Commission will hear a presentation from a representative of the California State Lands Commission on the rights and responsibilities inherent in the granted stewardship of tidelands.” We believe that this will be an informative meeting for all permittees.
Under the current format of the meeting, only the Commissioners will be allowed to ask questions of the State Lands Committee representative, However, people will be allowed to make public comments at the beginning of the meeting if they wish.
We hope to see you at the meeting - it will be held Wednesday, March 9, at 5pm in the City Council Chambers at 100 Civic Center Drive.
January 18, 2022
Dear NMA Members,
As you are likely aware, on Wednesday, February 9th at 5pm, the Newport Beach Harbor Commission will be considering the City Staff recommendation to raise recreational shore mooring fees by over 1,000%. The NMA strongly opposes this proposal, and members of the NMA Board will be meeting with the Harbor Commission on Thursday, February 3rd, to discuss the proposed fee increase.
Key topics to be discussed:
1. The City is charging lower fees (per square foot) for other tidelands moorage and berthing. The Beacon Bay Bill (State Tidelands Grant to the City) specifically forbids this fee discrimination when setting tideland fees.
2. This mooring fee increase threatens affordable small boat access in Newport Harbor. These moorings are specifically protected by the City’s Local Coastal Program Policies and in general by the California Coastal Act in terms of protecting low-cost recreational access to the harbor.
3. In our opinion, the 3rd party appraisal that was used to justify this outrageous fee increase uses inappropriate methodology and is seriously flawed.
4. We believe the City should heed the various city policies that encourage the city to charge affordable rates for recreational uses in the harbor to promote the use of Newport Harbor and to better serve all city harbor users – including the use of on-shore moorings, off-shore moorings and docks.
Additionally - On January 11th, the City Council accepted the Harbor Commissions 2022 Objectives. According to the objectives, the Harbor Commission is planning to review the transferability of all moorings. The Commission is also planning to review the location of shore moorings and appropriate boat size.
In order to protect your mooring permit and privileges please consider to attending the next several monthly Harbor Commission meetings.
We will keep you updated as events progress.
Please join us in the fight! See how to donate below:
May 12, 2022 - A reminder – sign up to use our Shuttle Dinghy! Boating season is here!
Last fall, the NMA is launched a pilot program with the City of Newport Beach to provide better access to moored boats by providing “shuttle” transportation to fetch a moored boat’s dinghy. The NMA obtained an 8’ Walker Bay dinghy and placed it at Marina Park in a special, marked parking spot on the Marina Park dock. The dinghy can be used to row out to a moored boat in the H and J mooring fields to fetch the permittee’s own dinghy, and then return to the Shuttle Dinghy depot.
The NMA hopes to improve overall access to the moorings, as well as help reduce crowding at the public docks.
Shuttle Dinghy users must be NMA members in good standing and will be required to sign an agreement with the NMA acknowledging our requirements and certifying that the member has current marine vessel insurance in effect that covers liability for the use of its vessel on the mooring and any dinghy or tender used to access the vessel. Members will be provided with the combination to the lock on the dinghy and oars. A reasonable time of 30 minutes is expected for most shuttle trips. A PFD is provided under the back seat of the boat.
If you would like to be a part of our Shuttle Dinghy Pilot Program, please download and sign our agreement, which can be found below, and email it plus your contact information (name, email and cell phone number) to email@example.com with “Shuttle Dinghy” in the subject line.
We hope this is a positive program to increase access to our beautiful harbor!
Thanks for your 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
From Board Member George Hylkema - "While this is a "pilot" program for the Harbormaster and for NMA it was as I have mentioned "prototyped" for 10 years at the Fernando dock where my dinghy has served as a shuttle with 7 keys out to fellow mooring permit holders in the C mooring field. There are at least 4 fewer dinghies at the Fernando dock with this setup. I hope it becomes popular."
Thank you for all your work on this program, George!
Slides presented at the June 8th Harbor Commission Meeting by Commissioner Cunningham
January 20, 2023 -
Your NMA board has determined to our satisfaction that the proposed changes to the mooring fields based on the Americas Cup Harbor double row mooring field layout would not be suitable for Newport Harbor mooring fields because of significant differences in wind and tidal currents, and if implemented, would pose a frequent threat to the safe departure and return of boats to moorings.
It would be valuable to the debate to understand the perspectives of the mooring permit holders individually and as a group. Accordingly the NMA Board is requesting a response to the following short survey to determine these broader perspectives. The results of this survey could be useful in the future so please respond. It will only take you a moment.
February 6, 2022
Here's an update on NMA's meeting with the Harbor Commission's sub-committee on moorings:
Members of the NMA Board of Directors met with the Harbor Commission Subcommittee (Commissioners Kenney, Beer and Cunningham) last Thursday evening. We presented our objections to the latest appraisal which outlined the objections fully described in our Position Paper which was highly critical of the methods and assumptions used in the recent Netzer appraisal.
Our Position Paper can be found here.
The Commissioners were cordial, but stated that the appraisal, which still calls for a 10 times increase in shore mooring rates, will be presented at the next Harbor Commission meeting for review and possible approval to go forward to City Council. We received the impression that some of the members thought that a delay of 60 days would make sense to receive further input. The same members discussed that a meeting with the mooring owners in a workshop setting might also be helpful. But all of this was up to the Commission as a whole, and so we are urging all mooring holders to show up at the Harbor Commission meeting and let their voices be heard.
Again, please come to the Harbor Commission meeting on Wednesday, February 9th at 5pm, in the City Council Chambers, located at 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA.
After our meeting with the Subcommittee, a new staff report was sent to the Harbor Commission for the Harbor Commission meeting. That report left out the NMA's position paper which contained a lengthy rebuttal to the appraisal report. The NMA was disappointed it was not included.
The new staff report includes reference to approaches used by other harbors, but ignores the City's extensive study of appropriate charges for tidelands use and the City's own report approved in the 2017 George Hamilton Jones appraisal. It is NMA's view that if the City used its own extensive approved study, and treated the fees charged for different tideland uses the same without discrimination, the mooring rates would not increase, unless the City added services to the moorings.
The 2017 George Hamilton Jones appraisal treats all rates approximately the same, ranging from about .40 cents to $1.00 per foot, with "other uses" set at .76 cents per foot. Updated to today's rates, that would be .83 per sq ft per year. These rates are in the current City fee schedule.
The NMA has pointed out that in administering the harbor for the people of the State of California, the City may not discriminate in charges and fees for use of the tidelands. We did not see this important point in any of the Staff Reports.
Again, it appears clear that the City is charging lower fees (per square foot) for other tidelands moorage and berthing, but what it is proposing to charge for mooring owners, and not by a minor amount, but 10 times higher for recreational use of moorings. The Beacon Bay Bill (State Tidelands Grant to the City) specifically forbids this fee discrimination when setting tideland fees.
We all need to attend the Harbor Commission meeting this Wednesday to ensure that mooring permittees let their voices be heard.
Here’s how you can help:
1. Show up at the Harbor Commission Meeting Wednesday, February, 5:00pm at the City Council Chambers - 100 Civic Center Drive.
2. Call and email your City Council Members and the City Manager - one email will reach all members and the City Manager:
or call 949-644-3004
3. Email the Harbor Commission Members - one email will reach all members: HarborCommission@newportbeachca.gov
4. If you are a member of a Yacht Club, call and email the bridge and board of directors of your yacht clubs.
5. If you have not sent your Mooring Association dues, please do so and a bit more if you can so that we can obtain our own appraisal and legal support for the NMA to fight these increases.
Please join us in the fight! See how to donate below:
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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