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Chapter 17.50

Shore Mooring Regulations





Purpose: 3


17.50.001      Covered Boundaries. 4

17.50.002      Harbor Master/Harbor Resources. 4

17.50.003      Powers and Duties of the Harbor Master. 4

17.50.004      Mooring Orientation/Positioning.. 4

17.50.005      Mooring Inspections. 4

17.50.006      Vessel Mooring.. 4

17.50.007      Permit Application.. 5

17.50.008      Permit Issuance. 5

17.50.009      Shore Mooring Waiting List 6

17.50.010      Permit Priority. 6

17.50.011      Number of Permits. 6

17.50.012      Joint Permittees. 7

17.50.013      Transferability of Shore Moorings. 7

17.50.014      Vacancy, Extended Absence. 7

17.50.015      Temporary Use of a Shore Mooring.. 8

17.50.016      Failure to Pay Yearly Mooring Fee. 8

17.50.017      Right of Audit/Investigation.. 8

17.50.018      Positioning of Shore Moored Vessels. 8

17.50.019      Prohibition of Live-Aboards. 8

17.50.020      General Regulations for Shore Moorings. 8

17.50.021      General Regulations for Moored Vessels. 9

17.50.022      Prohibited Vessel Moorings. 9

17.50.023      Chapter Violations and Navigation Hazards. 9

17.50.024      Public Nuisance – Moorings. 9

17.50.025      Abandoned Mooring Tackle. 9

17.50.026      Public Nuisance – Vessels. 10

17.50.027      Liability for Removal and Disposition of a Public Nuisance. 10

17.50.028      General Release. 10

17.50.029      Actual or Constructive Notice of a Harbor Master Order. 10

17.50.030      Severability. 11



The City of Newport Beach shore mooring regulations are established to promote the efficient utilization of the harbor and scarce shore mooring areas, to improve the public safety and appearance of moored vessels and to provide regular access for the enjoyment of all users of the Harbor, mooring and tideland areas. This shall be done by regulating the placement of moorings, establishing standards for mooring tackle, inspections thereof and maintaining active availability of vessel shore moorings for the public use.



MOORING means any appliance or system used for holding a vessel in place and which is not carried on board the vessel as regular equipment when under way.


MOORING YEAR means the annual period of time from and including January 1 to December 31.


PERMITTEE means a person issued a mooring permit


PERSON means and includes any and all natural persons, corporation, association, club, commission, district, department, board, municipality, public or quasi-public agency or authority.


SHORE MOORING PERMIT means a permit issued for a mooring year by the City of Newport Beach authorizing the permittee to moor a vessel.


SAND LINE means a length of line sufficient to connect the buoy end of the mooring to the shore post end of a mooring.


SEAWORTHY means that a vessel is fit for its intended purpose.


VESSEL means and includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water. Vessel shall include the hull, equipment, gear and accessories normally required for the use and maintenance of the vessel whether afloat or on shore and which would normally be sold with the vessel.


VESSEL OWNER means the person(s) listed as owner on the vessel certificate of registration as maintained by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.


VESSEL LENGTH means the manufacturer’s length of the vessel as registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles.


17.50.001      Covered Boundaries

This Chapter shall apply to all of the inland waters of Newport Harbor shoreward of the federal demarcation line dividing inland waters from the high seas.


17.50.002      Harbor Master/Harbor Resources

The City of Newport Beach City Council shall designate a Harbor Master and such additional Harbor Resources as it deems necessary. Where the term Harbor Master is used in this Chapter, it shall apply equally to and mean either the Harbor Master or Harbor Resources.


17.50.003      Powers and Duties of the Harbor Master

Under the supervision of the City Manager, the Harbor Master shall have the following authorities and duties within the covered boundaries:

(1)   To enforce the provisions of this Chapter; and

(2)   To perform such other duties the City Manager may, from time to time, assign.


17.50.004      Mooring Orientation/Positioning

The Harbor Master shall publish regulations regarding the standards and measures of shore moorings and mooring tackle, including, but not limited to, the size of mooring buoy, sand line material and diameter, chain size and weight, and shore mooring placement within the covered boundaries.


17.50.005      Mooring Inspections

Mooring shall be lifted and visually inspected once every 24 months by licensed marine contractor. The contractor shall certify compliance with the Harbor Masters standards and measures, issued in accordance with Section 17.50.004 of this Chapter, in a report to the Harbor Master. A copy of the report shall be placed on file with and maintained by the Harbor Master.


17.50.006      Vessel Mooring

Except in an emergency, no person shall moor any vessel within the covered boundaries at a shore mooring without a shore mooring permit from or the signed written authorization of the Harbor Master.


17.50.007      Permit Application

Applications for a shore mooring permit shall be made to the Harbor Master and shall contain the following information:

(a)   the name and address of vessel owner;

(b)   the size, color, and type of vessel to be moored;

(c)    the registration number, if any, of the vessel to be moored;

(d)   the size and type of mooring;

(e)   the desired location of the mooring;

(f)     the signature of the vessel owner;  and

(g)   such other pertinent information as the Harbor Master reasonably may specify.

All vessels must provide proof of at least $300,000 in liability insurance coverage on the vessel. The City of Newport Beach must be named as an additional insured on the liability insurance policy name.

Shore mooring applicants and permittees must notify the Harbor Master's office of any changes to information provided on the application. Shore mooring permits are only applicable to the designated boat identified on the mooring application. The use of the mooring by any other vessel without the written consent of the Harbor Master will be grounds for revocation of the mooring permit. Falsifying information on a shore mooring permit application or failure to submit a fully completed shore mooring permit application shall be cause for non-consideration of such application.


17.50.008      Permit Issuance

If the Harbor Master finds that the application conforms to the requirements of this Chapter, he shall, upon payment by the applicant of the annual mooring fee, issue the shore mooring permit confirming the location for said mooring. If the requested location is unavailable, a permit for a location shall be assigned by the Harbor Master as near to the desired location as is feasible. The Harbor Master shall not, however, issue a permit to any person who has not paid their current vessel state registration fee. Upon the issuance by the Harbor Master, a shore mooring permit shall be valid only for the mooring year in which the permit is issued.




17.50.009      Shore Mooring Waiting List

Harbor Master shall maintain a waiting list of applicants who desire to obtain a shore mooring permit. Persons may be added to the waiting list by completing a shore mooring permit application and paying a $20.00 administration fee. The list and position of each applicant shall be published by the Harbor Master twice a year and posted at the Harbor Master’s office. An applicant who wishes to maintain their priority position on the waiting list must reapply each year, on or before the first day of February.


17.50.010      Permit Priority

Shore mooring permits are valid for one shore mooring year. New shore mooring permits are issued annually based on priority. Any person who was a permittee during the preceding year has priority for a mooring permit at the same shore mooring location provided that the permittee’s vessel to be moored is the same size as the previous year and the permittee has met all requirements of this Chapter.

If a permittee in the previous year requests a mooring change, that permittee will have priority over persons on the waiting list who were not permittees in the previous year. If two or more permittees in the previous year request a mooring change, priority will be based on which permittee has been a continuous permittee for a longer period of consecutive years. If all things are otherwise equal between or among applicants, priority shall be on a first-come first-served basis.


17.50.011      Number of Permits

No vessel owner shall maintain more than one shore mooring permit at any time.









17.50.012      Joint Permittees

Where two or more persons are current permittees of the same shore mooring permit, the joint permittee is responsible for ensuring that the joint permittee’s name is listed on the permit on or before January 1, 2006. A joint permittee whose name is not listed on the permit on or before January 1, 2006, loses any legal right in the permit. Joint permittees as of January 1, 2006, shall hold a continuing joint and several right to renew the permit year after year until their number is diminished to zero; thereupon the permit shall terminates and be immediately available for reassignment from the waiting list. No future joint permittee shore mooring permits shall be granted after May 2, 2005.


17.50.013      Transferability of Shore Moorings

Shore moorings may be transferred from a permittee to another person only in connection with the simultaneous sale and transfer of the vessel permitted on that mooring for the previous 12 continuous months. Harbor Resources shall develop and publish a schedule of transfer fees based on the total value of sale between the parties.


An existing permittee shall give up their priority right to obtain a mooring permit for a different location under Section 17.50.009 if the permittee voluntarily surrenders and transfers their existing permit on a sale of a vessel.


17.50.014      Vacancy, Extended Absence

No shore mooring shall be left vacant for a period of more than 60 consecutive days. If a permittee is unable to use the mooring for good reason in excess of 60 consecutive days, written notice must be filed with the Harbor Master. If a shore mooring is left vacant for more than 60 consecutive days and the permittee fails to provide sufficient good reason for the extended vacancy or file written notice with the Harbor Master the mooring shall be considered abandoned and the shore mooring permit revoked. Any moorings left continuously vacant for more than twelve consecutive months shall be grounds for revocation of the shore mooring permit, regardless of whether the permittee has written notice on file with the Harbor Master.



17.50.015      Temporary Use of a Shore Mooring

The Harbor Master may assign temporary use permit of the shore mooring during any permittee’s extended absence. The vessel occupying a shore mooring on a temporary use permit must give up the mooring for any reason on the Harbor Master’s order. Notice of the Harbor Master’s order shall be made to the temporary use permittee as provided by Section 17.50.029 of this Chapter.


17.50.016      Failure to Pay Yearly Mooring Fee

Failure to pay the annual mooring permit fee when due shall be a forfeiture of the permittee’s shore mooring permit.


17.50.017      Right of Audit/Investigation

Permittee agrees to cooperate and furnish all records as requested to the Harbor Master or the Harbor Master’s designated auditor or investigator as a condition of the granting of a shore mooring permit.


17.50.018      Positioning of Shore Moored Vessels

Permittees shall position their vessels seaward of the beach and high tide lines and in accordance with such other directions as promulgated by the Harbor Master. Permittee shall keep the beaches clear of vessels to maximize public use and safety of the beach on which a shore mooring is located.


17.50.019      Prohibition of Live-Aboards

No shore mooring shall be authorized as an eligible location for a live-aboard location under the Municipal Code of the City of Newport Beach. Use of a shore mooring as a live aboard location is grounds for revocation of the shore mooring permit.


17.50.020 General Regulations for Shore Moorings

All shore mooring must be maintained in compliance with the Harbor Master’s regulations propounded under Section 17.50.004 of this Chapter. No person shall abandon or relocate a legal shore mooring without the Harbor Master’s written permission.


17.50.021      General Regulations for Moored Vessels

No vessel that is not seaworthy shall occupy a shore mooring. The vessel owner of temporarily disabled vessel or vessel under repair must obtain the Harbor Master’s written authorization to moor at a shore mooring if the repair will take 30 days or more.


17.50.022      Prohibited Vessel Moorings

No engineless vessels, other than small pure sailboats less than 8 feet in length, rowing dinghies, kayaks, or canoes, nor vessel over 18 feet in length shall occupy any shore mooring. No vessels with a fixed keel, fixed ruder or fixed underwater propulsion shall be moored to any shore moorings.


17.50.023      Chapter Violations and Navigation Hazards

If the Harbor Master determines that a shore mooring or moored vessel is in violation of this Chapter or poses a navigation hazard, the Harbor Master shall order [PP1] the permittee, mooring owner, or vessel owner to either correct the violation or to remove of the shore mooring, the moored vessel, or both. The Harbor Master’s shall provide the permittee, mooring owner, or vessel owner with notice of his order as provided by Section 17.50.029 of this Chapter. If the violation is not corrected or the shore mooring or vessel is not removed within seven calendar days of receipt of the notice, the mooring, vessel or both shall be declared a public nuisance and be removed and sold at public auction.


17.50.024      Public Nuisance – Moorings

If a shore mooring is declared a public nuisance, the Harbor Master shall make its location available to the person in the next priority position on the waiting list.


17.50.025      Abandoned Mooring Tackle

Mooring tackle remaining on a mooring after a shore mooring is abandoned, or a shore mooring permit is terminated or revoked, shall be considered abandoned. The Harbor Master may remove and sell any abandoned mooring tackle at public auction.





17.50.026      Public Nuisance – Vessels


If a vessel declared a public nuisance, the Harbor Master may have the vessel removed and stored for a period not to exceed sixty days or until the vessel owner claims the vessel and pays all outstanding costs, fees, damages and expenses incurred in raising, towing, keeping, and storing the vessel. Upon the expiration of the sixty-day period, the vessel shall be sold at public auction in accordance with the provisions of state law. The owner of the vessel shall be civilly liable to the City of Newport Beach for all costs, fees, damages and expenses incurred in raising, towing, keeping, storing and selling the vessel. All such costs shall be a lien upon the vessel and the proceeds of sale thereof.


17.50.027      Liability for Removal and Disposition of a Public Nuisance

Removal of any public nuisance shall be done at the permittee, mooring owner, or vessel owner’s sole liability and expense.


17.50.028      General Release

As consideration for being granted a shore mooring permit, the permittee agrees to hold the Harbor Master, Harbor Resources and the City of Newport Beach harmless from all liability or damage and grants access to the permittee or the permittee's property occupying a shore mooring area.


17.50.029      Actual or Constructive Notice of a Harbor Master Order

Notice of a Harbor Master’s Order shall be issued in writing. Notice may be actual or constructive. Actual notice shall be notice issued to the person or by certified mail. Certified mail notice shall be sent to the person’s address of record. Constructive notice shall be notice posted on the person’s property located within the covered boundaries. Actual notice is presumed received immediately if issued in-person or within 72-hours of mailing if issued by certified mail. Constructive Notice is presumed received seven days after posting.


Any action requiring notice may be taken without notice if, in the determination of the Harbor Master, the notice is impossible or impractical or an emergency condition exists that requires immediate action. Action taken under this Section may be taken immediately.


The Harbor Master shall maintain a notice log recording all issued notice. The information recorded in the notice log shall include whether the notice was actual or constructive, the name of person to whom the notice was issued if applicable, and the date and time the notice was issued.


17.50.030      Severability

The invalidity of any section or provision of this Chapter shall not invalidate any other section or provision thereof.

 [PP1]Order or notice or both?