Moorings or floating docks?

Moorings or floating docks?

NEWPORT BEACH — In order to gauge the community’s stance toward a floating dock pilot concept, Newport Beach Harbor Resources recently provided current mooring holders, waterfront homeowners and interested members of the harbor community the opportunity to express their opinions by completing a mass survey.

“The council directed us to survey the mooring permittees on their views on the project and also the waterfront home owners,” said Harbor Commission Chairman Brad Avery, who chairs the Multiple Vessel System ad hoc committee. “It’s really important we get input on this.”

The city, which has examined the option of spending $248,000 on the construction of six floating docks in the harbor, requested a questionnaire be delivered to all interested parties to determine the feasibility of the system. Harbor Resources made the survey available at tinyurl.com/kwhhsbd and notified potentially impacted citizens via postcards in the mail.

Among the inquiries, mooring permit holders will be asked if they would implement the system in lieu of a hypothetical 25 percent increase in mooring fees. Permittees are also being asked if they would volunteer to use the system during the trial period, free of charge.

“My goal will be to give people maybe two or three weeks to respond,” Harbor Resources Manager Chris Miller said. “We’ll analyze those results and bring it back to council, probably the second meeting of September. Then the council will decide whether it’s worth it to proceed based on that feedback.”

The docks are part of a pilot program, spearheaded by Newport Beach Mayor Rush Hill, who proposes floating docks be installed within the harbor’s existing double-point offshore mooring fields. Proponents have said a potential system will increase open water space and provide better boat access.

The proposed floating docks are 50 feet long and 6 feet wide, capable of mooring two vessels on either side and will be equipped with sea lion deterrents.

“No additional boats are being proposed to occupy these floats,” a letter accompanying the survey said. “Rather, the intent is that two existing boats within the mooring field will use the same float and be tied on either side.”

The harbor is currently home to more than 500 double-point moorings. A potential pilot would begin summer of 2015 depending on the results of the survey.

Miller added that once the surveys are completed, staff will post a detailed report online for public viewing outlining the results. Respondents are also encouraged to submit comments via email at HarborResources@newportbeachca.gov.

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