New height restriction in place for Avalon dinghy docks

No vessels using the transient dinghy docks at Avalon Harbor cannot be taller than 24 inches.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to clarify the way the vessel restriction is measured.

AVALON — Vessels visiting the dinghy docks at Avalon Harbor must now be a certain size, as the local City Council approved a height restriction ordinance at their Sept. 4 meeting.

A 24-inch height restriction will be in effect for all vessels visiting the harbor’s dinghy docks. The Avalon Municipal Code had not restricted heights for vessels secured at dinghy docks.

The height measurement, according to the code, is  calculated as follows: “No vessel with a height of more than twenty-four inches as measured from the top of the upper edge of a vessel’s side, or ‘gunwale,’ to the top of the water shall be secured to the city’s transient dinghy docks.”

“Currently, [the Municipal Code] for dinghy docks only regulates the length of stay, and the length and width of vessels that can be secured to the dinghy docks. However [it] does not regulate the height of vessels that can be secured to the dinghy docks,” city staff said in a report to council members. “Amending [the Municipal Code], which adds a height restriction of 24 inches, will close this loophole.”

Avalon’s Municipal Code has these specific rules for vessels seeking to attach to a dinghy dock in the harbor:

  • Vessels smaller than 14 feet cannot be kept at a mooring (unless permitted at the city’s transient dinghy docks)
  • A 14-footer can be attached to a larger moored vessel
  • Vessels with beams larger than 7 feet in width are permitted to be secured to a transient dinghy dock
  • Vessels secured at a transient dinghy dock must have its outboard engine in the down position (or “in such a position as to expose the propeller in a manner which may cause damage to other vessels”)
  • Transient dinghy docks could only be used for up to 72 consecutive hours.

The proposed ordinance stated Avalon “desires to adopt a height restriction to prevent oversized vessels from being tied to the city’s transient dinghy docks.”

“Based on public input received and the recommendations of city staff, the City Council finds that this ordinance shall be adopted to prevent oversized vessels from being tied to the city’s transient dinghy docks,” the ordinance’s language continued.

The ordinance, which becomes effective 30 days after its adoption by the Avalon City Council, was unanimously approved as part of the Sept. 4 meeting’s consent calendar.

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