Public Hearing: Proposed Harbor Ordinance
Call to Order: 9:03 A.M. by Board of Selectman Chairman Phil Whitney.
February 01, 2007
Islesford Neighborhood House
Phil Whitney, B.O.S. Bill McGuinness, Facilities Supervisor
Dan Lief, B.O.S. Nanette Hadlock, Deputy Clerk
Aaron Gray, B.O.S. Erin Fernald-Gray
Denise McCormick, Town Clerk Paul Thormann
David Thomas, Harbor Ord. Comm. Jack Merrill
Ted Spurling, JR, Harbor Ord. Comm. Karin Whitney
Roy Hadlock, Harbor Ord. Comm. Richard Alley, JR
Sally Rowan, Harbor Ord. Comm. Harvey Bunker
Jennifer Litteral, Island Institute Eve Harrison
Eric Dyer, Island Institute
- In 2006, $11,000.00 of funding was received from the state to research an improved harbor ordinance for the Town of Cranberry Isles. Harbor Ordinance Committee Members tried to keep the proposed ordinance simple, and to cut it down from the last attempt at a new ordinance that was voted down at town meeting.
- A public hearing was held at Great Cranberry Island on Tuesday, January 30, 2007. Comments from that hearing will be discussed at todays hearing on Islesford.
- This hearing will be informal, with no decisions made. The Board of Selectmen is asking for input and questions from the public, before the final proposed harbor ordinance is presented at town meeting in March.
- Phil Whitney introduces Jennifer Litteral, Marine Resources Officer for the Island Institute. Ms. Litteral was hired to work with the Harbor Ordinance Committee to help write the proposed ordinance. Ms. Litteral also has past harbor master experience with the Town of Bar Harbor, Maine.
- Ms. Litteral informs the audience that the Harbor Ordinance Committee worked hard to include interests of all harbor users, keeping in mind throughout the process that the islands are unique from the mainland. Many other towns harbor ordinances were reviewed in the process.
- Some of the reasons cited at this hearing for the need to write a new ordinance include:
- The need to address the Cranberry Dock at Manset which has no regulations at this time,
- To take a future look at the situation of more and more boat traffic and moorings in our island harbors,
- The safety of moorings in regard to navigation, rigging and maintenance
It is the belief of the Harbor Ordinance Committee that the current one page ordinance does not cover all the needed issues dealing with our harbors and docks.
The audience is reminded that if provisions for enforcement are not in writing, such as the ordinance, there are no legal grounds to enforce.
- Some suggestions / concerns from the public in reference to the draft ordinance include:
- There is some concern voice in regard to the ability to enforce the new harbor ordinance, as the current one is not routinely enforced. There are added duties in the proposed ordinance for the harbormaster. The Town of Cranberry Isles has no full-time harbormaster positions, and it would seem that a full time harbormaster would be needed to enforce the new, longer ordinance.
There is estimated to be 100 to 150 moorings in Islesford Harbor now, with more and more moorings being added every year. The Town really does not possess an accurate measure of number or locations of existing moorings at this time.
- It is suggested as "not necessary to have the harbormaster in charge of personal moorings".
- It is also suggested that "long existing moorings should be grandfathered for location".
Currently, Town of Cranberry Isles Harbormasters are appointed annually by the Board of Selectmen, and receive an annual stipend check in the amount of $500.00 each.
- It is noted that the costs involved with enforcing this ordinance are not addressed in the proposed ordinance as written.
- It is suggested that the proposed harbor ordinance would take away individual freedom.
- It is suggested that if moorings were to be realigned, that a huge cost would be involved for the project.
- In reference to 3.1.2 Duties and Responsibilities, it is suggested that the duties seem a lot for a volunteer position as harbormaster.
- In reference to 3.1.2 Duties and Responsibilities, subsection D, it is suggested to change the word duty to "authority" to insure mooring inspections are done.
- In reference to 3.2.1 Appointment, it is suggested to change the amount of members for the harbor committee from five, to three to five, to include a majority of year-round residents.
- In reference to 4.4 Obstruction of Channels, Launch Ramps, or Berthing Spaces, and Removal of Vessels, it is suggested that a limit on the size of skiff to be tied at the floats be added. A definition for "dinghy" is already included in the definitions section, (9.2), of the ordinance, but no limits on size. It is also suggested to clarify that skiffs should not block the head of the main float. In reference to overnight tie up after 10:00 P.M., it is suggested to reiterate that the head of the floats should be kept clear at all times.
- In reference to 4.6 Noise, it is suggested to do away totally with this part of the proposed ordinance.
- In reference to 5.2 Removal of Debris, it is suggested to add "no hazardous waste" on Town owned docks, piers, floats and ramps.
- In reference to 5.3 Concessions, it is suggested to add a definition of concessions to the definitions section of the proposed ordinance, (9.2).
- It is suggested to add a subsection to 6.3 Placement of Moorings, which might be labeled 6.3.1 to address placement of floats and lobster cars.
- There is some concern with 6.5 Change of Location as a threat to mooring owners' rights. It is suggested change 6.9 General Mooring Provisions by adding that general mooring regulations shall "be suggested for existing moorings and required for new moorings."
- In reference to 6.6 Designation of Mooring Spaces, it is suggested to delete the phrase "regulate existing moorings". It is also stated that without an actual mooring and traffic plan in place before the ordinance, how does the harbormaster maintain that plan, or how do the voters know if they want to vote on the plan? It is suggested to add standards for what is unsafe and safe, as well as to define "mooring plan" and the method used to determine the plan. The reason given is that you cannot give someone authority without guidelines.
- In reference to 6.10 Mooring Priority, subsection A, it is suggested to replace the word once with the word "should" a harbor reach capacity as determined
- In reference to 8.6 Amendment, it is suggested by the Town Clerk to change the section to reflect that any amendment to this ordinance may be adopted by "the voters at town meeting" (instead of the Board of Selectmen) upon recommendation by the Harbormaster(s) and Harbor Committee.
- Voters have the authority to change other town ordinances of the Town of Cranberry Isles, and voters have the initial authority to adopt the harbor ordinance.
Adjournment: 12:37 P.M.