You are visiting the archived website. Be sure to visit the new Newport Mooring Association site!
 Home  |  News  |  Membership  |  Documents  FAQs  |  Links  |  Directors  |  Feedback  |  Photos  |  Sitemap 

Jeff Sangster Letter to City Council on Mooring Fees

From: Jeff Sangster

Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2010 08:42:00 -0800

To: Steve Rosansky (; Ed Selich (; Michael Henn (; Nancy Gardner (; Leslie Daigle (; Don Webb (; Dave Kiff (; Keith Curry (

Subject: NB Moorings

Honorable Mayor, Council and City Manager,


The long established practice of buying and selling government leases applies to cabins on state and federal land as well as moorings and slip spaces ( Santa Barbara ).   It is common practice to own equity by holding this right to possess public land for private use.  The City of Newport Beach now proposes to destroy this equity even though they have condoned this process and even used the process (sold moorings).

Since there was no way I could afford a slip I looked at having a trailer boat or buying a mooring.  I didn’t create the long time custom of “buying” a mooring by transferring a permit.  However, since this is the long established way of doing business I bought a mooring permit.

I’m not a speculator or profit-seeker.  I don’t want to ever sell my mooring but life is uncertain and you never know.  If the need arises I would like to be able to get some or all of my money back.

I suggest you start charging a percentage fee on the sale price like Avalon   Don’t try to re-write the book, destroy citizen's equity and try to set new precedents in public leases.


In the tax code we have what is know as a “Graduated Tax Structure” where the more you make the higher the percentage of tax you pay.  This proposal seems to offer the opposite, a “Reverse Graduated Tax Structure” where the less wealthy users of the Harbor pay more than the wealthy users.

Additionally we are being asked to pay more for the less accessible (to the general public) footprint compared those with docks who truly restrict public access to tidelands and beaches.

We are being charged for the use of public land.  This pays in part for the privilege of restricting public access from our space or “footprint”.  When we take up space in the water, in the middle of the Harbor, 200 feet from shore, we are restricting access from very few people.

On the other hand, private dock owners, in effect, restrict access of beaches and tidelands to a much greater degree.   The public, who does legally have access to the tidal zone, for good reason, don’t feel comfortable walking past and under private docks even if the tide is low.

These private dock owners are asked to pay $100 for their more accessible “footprint” while we are going to be asked to pay $2,000 for our less accessible “footprint”.  They are the wealthy users and we are the less wealthy users.  They restrict public access to beaches, moorings do not.

Increase mooring fees, but please do so in an overall comprehensive strategy that considers all users including dock owners.  Use a less arbitrary process with a real appraisal.

Jeff Sangster

Mooring H-74