Mooring Fees in Newport Harbor Might See a Significant Increase

The Newport Harbor Commission held a meeting on Jan. 10 to review their new appraisal, which would substantially increase offshore mooring fees. Very substantially. For example, a 50-foot mooring would increase from $2,004 to $11,250 per year.


“During the January 10th Harbor Commission meeting, the Harbor Commission presented an increase in mooring permit fees, possibly up to 500%,” said a Newport Mooring Association (NMA) representative in an email to the Log. “This has understandably raised concerns among mooring holders.”


Here is an example of how current fees are determined for the harbor:


  • Offshore mooring: price per square foot – example J0613 40-foot mooring – (40′ x 20′) ~800 square foot / price per year $1,603.20 = $2.00 per foot per year


  • Homeowner dock: price per square foot – example 645 Via Lido Sound – 772 square foot / price per year $432.40 = $0.56 per foot per year


According to the NMA, those with offshore moorings are currently paying the highest price per square foot per year and the city is attempting, or exploring the idea, of the big rate hike.


“We assert that these proposed rate increases do not align with the city’s Local Coastal Plan Policy, which explicitly commits to keeping moorings affordable for the average boater,” said the NMA representative.


The NMA released a statement – and an appeal:


“The NMA has repeatedly pointed out that mooring holders already pay 5 to 10 times more than all other tideland users, including homeowners with docks and major corporations who operate marinas. We are currently paying far, far more on a square-foot basis for the use of the same tidelands. This new report exaggerates this discrepancy multiple times over and flies in the face of fairness, and blatantly discriminates against mooring holders…


In our view, this, together with the other actions of the Harbor Commission this last year, appears to be designed to destroy private mooring permits as we know them.

We need your help, we need your money, and we need your involvement.

It’s time to step up and be counted.”


The NMA went on to list the four main cost components of obtaining a mooring permit:

  1. Cost of the permit
  2. Transfer fee to the city for obtaining the permit
  3. Annual rent to the city
  4. Bi-annual maintenance and servicing costs for the mooring balls and tackle.


The NMA also explained how the value of a mooring permit in Newport Harbor can vary depending on the location and size of the mooring. A general rule of thumb is approximately $1,000 – $1,500 per foot, officials said, though more extensive moorings and single-point moorings have been valued higher.


There are approximately 1,600 moorings in Newport Harbor, both onshore and offshore. The moorings are located in 15 mooring fields spread throughout the harbor, designated A through W. For current guest mooring and anchorage fees, please visit


The mission of the Newport Mooring Association is to be attentive to protecting and promoting the rights and interests of owners of mooring permits in Newport Harbor. For more information on NMA, please visit

One thought on “Mooring Fees in Newport Harbor Might See a Significant Increase

  • February 3, 2024 at 8:52 am

    This is just. Way to fund the harbor commissions out of control budget.



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