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Chuck Lewis Letter to City Council on Mooring Fees

From: Chuck Lewis

Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2010

To: Steve Rosansky (parahdigm@aol.com); Ed Selich (edselich@roadrunner.com); Michael Henn (mhenn527@hotmail.com); Nancy Gardner (gardnerncy@aol.com); Leslie Daigle (lesliejdaigle@aol.com); Don Webb (dwebb@newportbeachca.gov); Dave Kiff (DKiff@newportbeachca.gov); Keith Curry (curryk@pfm.com)

Re: Newport Harbor Mooring Fee Increases and Transferability Changes

I am writing to you to urge reconsideration of the proposed changes in mooring fees and transferability going before the City Council on November 23.   The current proposal will penalize mooring permit holders by unfairly increasing fees and villainizing us by having transfer privileges severely limited.  

As a holder of two mooring permits in the harbor (one offshore for my boat and one on-shore for my dinghy), I paid above-market prices for both boats in order to have the owner transfer the moorings to me--an accepted and well known practice supported for decades.  I also accepted all the challenges that come with not having a slip, including no power, water, parking, docks to load and unload for trips, protection from boats running into mine, and more frequent bottom painting due to sun exposure.  Boats on moorings are enormously hard work to use and have many other added costs and challenges.

At the time of my boat purchases, I read the proposals and language that were being developed related to mooring changes and felt that fee increases and the transferability plan were both reasonable.  The current (and surprising) plan going before the council on the 23rd includes unreasonable fee increases and unnecessarily reduces the “value“ of my moorings to perhaps nothing by eliminating transfers.  Many other options and models exist which would increase fees for the city (such as transfer fees) and not wipe out mooring values.  

When I purchased my boats, I had no intention of selling or trying to make a “profit” on my moorings--and certainly did not expect this type of unfair penalty.  I maintain tidy boats, actively participate in the local retail economy (gas, boating supplies, restaurants, boat services, and more), and make every effort to be a good neighbor when using my boat.  When did I become some sort of black market bad guy?

I urge you to reconsider the current fee proposal and return to the transferability plan previously on the table.  Clearly mooring holders will bear an unfair burden through these changes--especially when one learns about all the private docks and piers that will have no such transferability penalties or even have to pay usage fees for having a boat in our public harbor. 


Sincerely,

/s/
Chuck Lewis

cc: Newport Mooring Association