Letters/Online Comments

Letters/Online Comments

Re: Battling “sneakaboard” tenants in Southern California (April 20-May 3 issue)


SoCal vs. every other state
What a bunch of crap – who came up with this? It does not surprise me though. Only in California do you constantly have people interfering and criminalizing otherwise law-abiding citizens. To refer to someone as a sneakaboard who has paid an exorbitant amount for their vessel, plus insurance, and ridiculous slip fees, along with state and county property taxes is the most insulting and completely ridiculous accusation or attempt I have ever heard and to compare them to squatters is absolutely insane.

I have lived on my vessel for over 20 years in Southern California, a $750,000 vessel, and pay over $2,000a year in property taxes and for what? The slip fees are completely out of line with the rest of the U.S and the facilities for the most part are sub-par. The City does absolutely nothing to promote or encourage boating in comparison to many, many other states and communities. Perhaps the marinas, local and state governments should take a look at themselves and their services or lack of before making stupid claims and titles to people who have worked hard and deserve a fair opportunity to live the way they choose.

Capt. Mike Thompson


Sneakaboards are not the issue

As someone who has lived aboard, both as a sneakaboard and now as someone who holds a liveaboard permit for my vessel, I can tell you that the main issue is not the sneakaboards who want to pay for the services that they are using, but the derelict people that buy floating piles of garbage from harbor masters and then further trash the boats, docks and surrounding areas. This article does a poor job at explaining the situation.

Harbormasters will keep boats that have been totaled in their marinas and sell them to derelicts to bring up their bottom line. Imagine if a car lot kept a bunch of rotting totaled cars that can’t move instead of paying to have them cleared out of the lot, and instead sold them to street bums; it seems pretty obvious that would increase the crime in the lot and you’d have a bunch of bums sprawled out on top of the vehicles. There is extremely little oversight into how harbormasters run marinas. And basically no say from the public or the boat owners into how things should be run.

Jed Humphries


Government interference?

I am surprised by all the government interference with a chosen way of life. If you are paying for services, space to occupy, utilities and have the ways and means to support it, what business is it of anyone whether you choose to live on your own property?
Chris Winter via Facebook


Housing shortages, live on a boat?

Great Article. Oddly, with the housing shortage that we are experiencing in California, I am surprised that the ports/cities/marinas have not expanded the percentage of liveaboards allowed.

Lucinda Lilley via Facebook


Re: California Coastal Commission: Newport Beach is Not a Port (May 4-17 issue)


Taking over routine responsibilities from the Coastal Commission

Your story is misleading and sends the wrong message.

Of course Newport Harbor is not a port. Proposed AB 1196 would designate it one, if approved. The Coastal Commission did not vote on an action.

Why would the City of Newport Beach want to have Newport Harbor designated as a port?

The reasons were stated at prior Newport Beach City Council hearings and are part of the public record. Currently, the city first processes and approves an application (an example given was dock repair and maintenance) then forwards the city approved application to the Coastal Commission for their review and approval. This process cost the applicant lots of money and due to the permit processing backup at the Coastal Commission, months to obtain approval. Not only does the cost and permit timeline discourage applicants from filing applications for needed repairs and maintenance, but the lack of maintenance impacts the environment, the city’s image and tourism revenue.

By having Newport Harbor designated a port the city hopes to take over these routine responsibilities from the Coastal Commission subject to Coastal Commission rules with any action(s) taken by the City appeal-able to the Coastal Commission. These routine actions are identified in a Port Master Plan approved by the Coastal Commission in a similar process to a Local Coastal Plan.

Why would the city want to take on this responsibility?

The city believes it can process these routine permits faster and cheaper than the Coastal Commission is.

Who approves the Port Master Plan?

The Coastal Commission does similar to a Local Coastal Plan. The Port Master Plan would be approved subject to the terms and conditions of the Coastal Commission. It is as if the city is taking two Coastal Commission staff and having them work only for the city.

Historically, the Coastal Commission backlog led to the adoption of Local Coastal Plans. This is another step in the evolution of the role of the Coastal Commission. Should the Coastal Commission have concerns? Yes, justifiably so. A trusted working relationship has developed between local coastal governments and the state Coastal Commission. The transfer of responsibility from the state Coastal Commission to local governments under the control of the state Coastal Commission will allow our tax dollars to be better used by the Coastal Commission while benefiting the City of Newport.

Is passage of AB 1196 the correct path to accomplish the City’s objectives?

Current regulations do not allow the city to take over these routine repair and maintenance activities. For example, this type of repair and routine maintenance cannot be added to the approved Local Coastal Plan. This is what the city and Coastal Commission will be working on. Various alternatives are being discussed. Let’s wait and see what is worked out.

David Tanner

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