These are comments excerpted from the Minutes of the Sebago Board of Selectman from their meeting of
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
VII. New Business
D. Safe Harbor Residents – Harbor Master Discussion
Jeff Harriman made a motion to discuss. It was seconded by Abe Parker.
Mr. Nicholson stated that several residents from Safe Harbor are here tonight to request that a Harbor Master Ordinance be developed for Sebago. He explained some of the problems that they have experienced and the reasons for their request. Some of the issues brought forth by residents revolved around issues such as the increased number of moorings allowed in areas that have actually become a safety issue. Not only does it cause boats to literally bump into each other when moorings are set too close to each other, but it also creates blind spots where a swimmer could be injured. It is felt that space requirements need to be implemented. One resident stated that they counted 17 moorings in a specific location last spring, and last week the same location contained 23 moorings. Courtesy to existing property
owners does not seem to matter to people who are putting in new moorings according to several residents that have encountered problems with individuals installing moorings right in front of their property. They also do not take into consideration the fact that mooring positions change when the water levels drop, this makes the chains become longer and the positions of the boats change. Another resident mentioned that Realtors in the area are advertising many properties as having water rights when in reality it is not water rights that these properties have but public access areas available. A resident stated that he contacted a Game Warden for assistance on this matter. He was informed that there isn’t much the Game Warden can do about the situation and that it is up to the town to develop an ordinance.
The general sentiment expressed is that it is understood that a Harbor Master program can be expensive, but at least if an ordinance was developed then perhaps the Code Enforcement Officer would be able to impose the rules and regulations.
Jeff Harriman asked if Code Enforcement Officer, Jim Smith has any input on this issue. Jim recommends looking into this matter and feels as though the safety issues definitely need to be addressed before things get out of control.
Bruce Hart reported that he was formerly on a committee to look into this problem in Sebago. He touched on some very important issues that have been discussed in the past.
Robert Nicholson suggested that the Ordinance Committee that Mr. Hart spoke about be reappointed and the first item addressed be the development of the “Charge and Responsibilities” of the committee. This potential ordinance would also pertain to the smaller ponds in town. There was quite a bit of discussion on this matter.
The Board of Selectmen directed the Town Manager to proceed with the organization of an Ordinance Committee to not only look into this matter, but to also monitor and review the existing ordinances.