Chapter 17.05


17.05.010    Title.

17.05.020    Purpose.

17.05.030    Applicability.

17.05.040    Administrative Authority.

17.05.050    Duties of the City Manager.

17.05.055    Duties of the Harbormaster.

17.05.060    Duties of the Public Works Director.

17.05.065    Duties of the Harbor Commission.

17.05.070    Establishment of Channels, Turning Basins, Etc.

17.05.080    Public Trust Lands.

17.05.090    Local Coastal Program.

17.05.100    Coordination with Resource Agencies.

17.05.110    Rules for Interpretation.

17.05.120    Payment of Fees.

17.05.130    Permits Nontransferable.

17.05.010 Title.

This title shall be known as the “City of Newport Beach Harbor Code” and referred to as the “Harbor Code.” (Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.05.020 Purpose.

A.    Preserve the diverse uses of the harbor and the waterfront that contribute to the charm and character of Newport Bay, and that provide needed support for recreational boaters, visitors, and residents with regulations limited to those necessary to protect the interests of all users;

B.    Maintain and enhance public access to the harbor water and waterfront areas;

C.    Enhance the water quality and protect the marine environment in the harbor;

D.    Preserve and enhance the visual character of the harbor;

E.    Preserve and enhance historical resources of the harbor;

F.    Provide for the ongoing administration and maintenance of the harbor;

G.    Recover the costs of services provided to tidelands users and the fair market rental value where appropriate;

H.    Administer the use of public trust lands in a manner consistent with the tidelands trust, the California Constitution, the certified Local Coastal Program, and applicable laws;

I.    Implement the policies of the General Plan and certified Local Coastal Program. (Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.05.030 Applicability.

The provisions of this title, and any rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this title, shall be applicable to and within Newport Harbor and all public trust lands under the jurisdiction of the City of Newport Beach, except where otherwise provided in this title. Any activity or action or use of the harbor is prohibited unless specifically permitted by the provisions of this Code, or the tidelands trust. (Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.05.040 Administrative Authority.

The responsibility for the administration of the provisions of this title is delegated to the City Manager, or officers or employees of a department or departments of the City designated by him or her; provided, however, that some or all of the duties necessary to be performed in the administration may be performed by the Harbormaster. (Ord. 2018-17 § 7, 2018: Ord. 2013-11 § 132, 2013: Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.05.050 Duties of the City Manager.

The City Manager shall be authorized to:

A.    Carry out the orders of the City Council and to enforce all harbor regulations, ordinances and tidelands trust requirements;

B.    Order any vessel improperly berthed to change its position or location as he or she may designate, and in case his or her orders are not complied with, or the vessel is unattended, to cause such vessel to be so moved, and to collect the cost thereof from the vessel, or owner thereof;

C.    Promptly report to the appropriate Federal agency any violation of the laws of the United States for the protection of navigation and the preservation of navigable waters, particularly any encroachment on the waterway by the building of illegal structures, illegal filling or dumping of material of any sort into the waterway, or throwing overboard or setting adrift or allowing to be set adrift anything that is or might become obstructive or dangerous to navigation. (Ord. 2013-11 § 133, 2013; Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.05.055 Duties of the Harbormaster.

It shall be the duty of the Harbormaster to:

A.    Act for and assist the City Manager in administering the provisions of this title, coordinating with appropriate department directors for services falling within their respective functions as defined in Title 2, and coordinating as required with other governmental agencies and with interested civic associations;

B.    Act as the head of the Harbor Department and supervise and assist the City staff assigned to the Harbor Department to carry out the purposes of this title, or any successor title;

C.    Administer the harbor-related policies adopted by the City Council and the Harbor Commission, and to recommend to the City Manager appropriate changes and modifications to harbor-related policies; and

D.    Conduct regular inspections of both public and private facilities and structures located upon or over the waters of Newport Harbor or the Pacific Ocean or any other water where the tide ebbs and flows within the City, and to recommend action to the City Manager to ensure compliance with this title. (Ord. 2018-17 § 8, 2018)

17.05.060 Duties of the Public Works Director.

It shall be the duty of the Public Works Director to:

A.    Maintain files and records of all pier permits issued by the City;

B.    Perform such duties as assigned to the Public Works Director by this title, or any successor title; and

C.    Issue approvals in concept for development located on tidelands or submerged lands that did not involve a discretionary action authorized by Title 20 or Title 21 where the authority is specifically assigned to the City Council, Planning Commission, Community Development Director, or Zoning Administrator. (Ord. 2018-17 § 9, 2018: Ord. 2013-11 § 134, 2013; Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.05.065 Duties of the Harbor Commission.

It shall be the duty of the Harbor Commission to:

A.    Advise the City Council in all matters pertaining to the use, control, operation, promotion and regulation of all vessels within Newport Harbor;

B.    Approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove applications on all permits where the City of Newport Beach Municipal Code assigns the authority for the decision to the Harbor Commission;

C.    Serve as an appellate and reviewing body for decisions of the City Manager on permits, leases, and other harbor-related administrative matters where the City of Newport Beach Municipal Code assigns such authority to the Harbor Commission;

D.    Advise the City Council on proposed harbor-related improvements;

E.    Advise the Planning Commission and City Council on land use and property development applications referred to the Harbor Commission by the City Council, Planning Commission, or the City Manager;

F.    Make recommendations to the City Council for the adoption of regulations and programs necessary for the ongoing implementation of the goals, objectives, and policies of the Harbor and Bay Element of the General Plan. (Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.05.070 Establishment of Channels, Turning Basins, Etc.

All channels, turning basins, anchorage areas, and pierhead and bulkhead lines in Newport Harbor shall be as established by the Federal Government or by the City Council upon recommendation of the Harbor Commission. A map thereof shall be kept on file in the offices of the City Clerk and the Harbor Department for public inspection. (Ord. 2018-17 § 10, 2018: Ord. 2013-11 § 135, 2013: Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.05.080 Public Trust Lands.

A.    Applicability. Public trust lands include tidelands, submerged lands, the beds of navigable lakes and rivers, and historic tidelands and submerged lands that are presently filled or reclaimed and which were subject to the public trust at any time.

B.    Limits on Uses. Public trust lands are subject to the common law public trust, which limits uses to navigation, fishing, commerce, public access, water-oriented recreation, open space and environmental protection.

C.    Exceptions. State legislation has modified public trust restrictions for the historic tidelands in Beacon Bay, the Balboa Bay Club, and Harbor Island.

1.    Beacon Bay. The Beacon Bay Bill (Chapter 74, Statutes of 1978) and Senate Bill 573 (Chapter 317, Statutes of 1997) allow the residential lots of Beacon Bay located within State tidelands to be leased for residential purposes until June 27, 2043.

2.    Balboa Bay Club. The Beacon Bay Bill (Chapter 74, Statutes of 1978) and Assembly Bill 3139 (Chapter 728, Statutes of 1994) allow Parcel D of the Balboa Bay Club to be leased for residential purposes until December 31, 2044.

3.    Harbor Island. Chapter 715, Statutes of 1984, allows the filled or reclaimed land on Harbor Island to be leased for nonpermanent recreational and landscaping purposes. (Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.05.090 Local Coastal Program.

A.    Discretionary applications shall be reviewed to insure conformity with the policies and regulations of the certified Local Coastal Program.

B.    All uses of the marine environment shall be carried out in a manner consistent with sustaining the biological productivity of coastal waters and to support populations of all species of marine organisms adequate for long-term commercial, recreational, scientific, and educational purposes.

C.    Where applicable, development in Newport Harbor shall:

1.    Protect, and where feasible, expand and enhance vessel-launching facilities in Newport Harbor;

2.    Protect, and where feasible, expand and enhance low-cost public launching facilities, such as trailer launch ramps, boat hoists, commercial landing facilities, and organized recreational boating launch facilities;

3.    Provide a variety of berthing opportunities reflecting State and regional demand for slip size and affordability throughout Newport Harbor;

4.    Protect, and where feasible, enhance and expand marinas and dry boat storage facilities;

5.    Protect shore moorings and offshore moorings as an important source of low-cost public access to the water and harbor;

6.    Protect, and where feasible, enhance and expand dinghy docks, guest docks at public facilities, yacht clubs and at privately owned marinas, restaurants and other appropriate locations;

7.    Protect, and where feasible, expand and enhance facilities and services for visiting vessels, including public mooring and docking facilities, dinghy docks, guest docks, club guest docks, pumpout stations and other features through City, County, and private means;

8.    Protect, and where feasible, expand and enhance facilities necessary to support vessels berthed or moored in the harbor, such as boat haul-out facilities;

9.    Protect, and where feasible, expand and enhance existing harbor support uses serving the needs of existing waterfront uses, recreational boaters, the boating community and visiting vessels;

10.    Support private sector uses, such as vessel assistance, that provide emergency, environmental enhancement and other services that are not provided by the public sector and that are essential to the operation of a harbor;

11.    Provide, expand and enhance, where feasible, existing recurring and year-round harbor special permits and special purpose uses such as boat shows and boating festivals, boat sales displays and delivery/commissioning facilities. (Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.05.100 Coordination with Resource Agencies.

In carrying out the provisions of this title, coordination with the California Coastal Commission, the Army Corps of Engineers, California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, other resource management agencies, and private organizations, as applicable, shall be required in the review of development applications in order to ensure the protection of marine resources.

Continue to cooperate with the State and Federal resource protection agencies and private organizations to protect marine resources. (Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.05.110 Rules for Interpretation.

Where uncertainty exists regarding the interpretation of any provision of this Code or its application to a specific site, the Harbormaster shall determine the intent of the provision and issue a written administrative interpretation. An interpretation by the Harbormaster may be appealed to the Harbor Commission, as provided in Chapter 17.65. (Ord. 2018-17 § 11, 2018: Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.05.120 Payment of Fees.

Any application for a permit or other approval required by this title shall not be considered complete and will not be processed for approval unless accompanied by payment of all applicable fees established by resolution of the City Council. All fees shall be established and paid in compliance with this section and Chapter 3.36 of this Code.

A.    Date. All fees required to be paid under any provision of this title shall be due and payable on a schedule established by the Finance Director.

B.    Revenue. The revenue resulting from the administration of this title shall be accounted for separately and used exclusively for the purposes authorized to be used for public trust lands.

C.    Penalty for Failure to Pay Fees. Any owner or permit holder who fails to pay any fee required by this title after same is due shall be subject to a penalty in the amount established in Chapter 3.36, or any successor chapter. Failure to pay the fee, plus any accrued penalty, within one hundred twenty (120) days of when the fee was due, shall constitute grounds for revocation of the permit by the Harbormaster.

D.    Administration. The Harbormaster and/or Public Works Director shall administer the provisions of this title, except for the collection of fees, which shall be the responsibility of the Finance Director. (Ord. 2018-17 §§ 12, 13, 2018; Ord. 2013-11 §§ 136, 137, 2013; Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.05.130 Permits Nontransferable.

Unless otherwise authorized in this title, any permit, license or approval issued under this title is personal to the person receiving such permit, license or approval and may not be transferred or assigned to any other person without the express written consent of the issuing official or body in compliance with the provisions for issuance of such permit, license or approval. (Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)