Sebago Mooring Regulations Ordinance
Minutes from Meeting of March 22, 2011
Meeting opened at 6:05 pm with 26 people in attendance.
In attendance were Committee members Dick Perry, Phil Lowe, Bruce Hart, Bob DeVilleneuve, and Allen Crabtree. Absent was Jim Smith.
Guests present were Gene and Ellen Rowe, Sherry Miller, Claudia Lowe, Joseph McMahon, Jim Otis, Samuel Minervino, Sally Perry, Charlotte Price, Ray Nelson, Wayne Farley, Ann Farley, Richard Nason, Ed Nason, Rosalie Carruthers, William Nason, Edie Harnden, Deanna Valente, Jim Libby, Gary Sleeper and Mrs. Sleeper.
Water Safety Zone Rule Change
Bruce Hart briefed the meeting on his conversations with George Powell, Director of the Boating Facilities Division for the Maine Department of Conservation. Phil Lowe discussed mooring depth and water fluctuations. Dick Perry discussed his review of the number of moorings at Long Beach within and beyond the 200 foot line. With a 67 foot scope there could be 130 moorings within 200 feet, but the mooring field could be doubled to 260 boats by extending beyond 200 feet.
The audience was asked to send in any comments on the draft of a letter to Director Powell requesting a rule change to Chapter 3, Maine State Aids to Navigation System, which would allow municipalities to designate an anchorage area on a great pond within the municipality’s jurisdiction and beyond the Water Safety Zone. Bruce will arrange a meeting with Director Powell in April.
Questions to put to Director Powell suggested during the meeting included (1) is the ordinance focused on Safe Harbor as a designated mooring zone an acceptable approach; (2) if the town registers moorings should they register those only within the water safety zone, or outside as well; (3) If they do, what are the legal ramifications?
Bruce also mentioned that DEP is now interested in any rule changes because of the potential requirement to lease submerged lands as part of any approved anchorage. Sam Minervino suggested consulting the Corps of Engineers about submerged lands.
There was discussion about whether the rule change should be pursued in advance of the ordinance or following it. Ann Farley felt that the rule change should take precedence. Sam Minervino commented that the ordinance is as important as the rule change. Dick Perry and residents from Safe Harbor stressed the need for an ordinance as soon as possible to allow a mooring plan for their area. Bruce Hart felt that now that we have changed our concept with a very limited regulation of the Open Shore line, we should proceed with the ordinance first and then seek the rule change after it passes. He felt that there is no pressing need for the rule change under this scenario and believes it will be easier to obtain from the state if we already have an ordinance in place. Also, Bruce said that he
would hate to see the State go the distance in making the rule change, only to see our efforts fail at Town Meeting. This could have a major negative effect for Sebago residents and taxpayers and we would be highly criticized for causing it. Sherry Miller felt that the ordinance should be developed first. There were pluses and minuses for each approach. There appeared to be no clear consensus, so work will proceed on developing an acceptable ordinance at the same time that the rule change is pursued. There is a great deal of work remaining on both.
Review of Draft Ordinance
Discussion continued on the 7th draft of the Mooring Regulations Ordinance.
Section 7.3 – Shorefront Owner Moorings – this section will moved and made part of Section 7.5, Designated Mooring Anchorage. The inclusion of a mooring for every 100 foot of shorefront owned, an expansion of the state language, was discussed and there seemed to be general acceptance of it. There was no consensus, however, on reducing the 100 foot to 50 foot, so the 100 foot will be retained.
Section 7.4 – Moorings in the Open Shoreline Anchorages – this section will be reduced to only the language in subsection (c). Claudia Lowe suggested adding a reference to dispute resolution and priorities in Section 7.5(b). This will be done.
Section 7.5 – Moorings in a Designated Mooring Anchorage – there was a great deal of discussion on this section focusing on the priority system of allocating permits, “use it or lose it” language in subsection (k) (make it more flexible), the addition of swimming rafts along with boats, and the issuance of mooring permits to preserve the 100 feet in front of waterfront lots even when no boat or swimming float will be moored. The rewrite of this section will take some work to attempt to reconcile the comments made.
Sherry Miller insisted several times that mooring permits should be issued based on lot ownership. Allen Crabtree mentioned that the language in Title 38 is specific that mooring are to be assigned “only to the masters or owners of boats and vessels the location that they may occupy for mooring purposes...” and that the ordinance is written to comply with Title 38.
Section 7.7 – Registration Applications – this will be rewritten to reflect that moorings must be registered in the Designated Mooring Anchorage but would be voluntary in all other areas. Bruce suggested that an incentive be included which offered to all moorings voluntarily registered would be given preference for a mooring permit if that portion of the open shoreline were ever to be changed to a designated mooring anchorage. There was discussion about the need for registering moorings.
Section 7.2 will be removed.
Section 8 – Mooring Standards were briefly discussed. A comment was made that these standards are for salt water and don’t apply to fresh water inland lakes. Dick Perry refuted that and said that Chapman’s Piloting and Seamanship, the standard in the ordinance, is an accepted standard everywhere including inland lakes.
Section 13 – a new section with a sunset provision will be drafted. The ordinance will sunset after three years unless the voters ratify it. This will give time to evaluate how the ordinance is working, specifically at Safe Harbor.
Appendix C - Phil Lowe said it was too wordy and was redundant and not needed. Allen Crabtree said it is intended to give a brief summation of the ordinance as an aid and mirrors what is done in other ordinances, such as the table included with the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance. Sherry Miller suggested a table. The section of Appendix C relating to the open shoreline anchorage will be removed or greatly reduced.
A comment was made that language is needed addressing moorings off the town beach. There was language in an earlier draft that was removed. It will be looked at again.
Meeting adjourned at 8:10 pm. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 20 at the town offices starting at 6pm.